Let’s start by explaining what school marketing actually is.
School marketing is defined as ‘the means by which the school actively communicates and promotes its purpose, values and products to the pupils, parents, staff and the wider community’.
Where a large amount of businesses do realise the importance of marketing, it is also this area that sees the most cuts when delegating financial funds; marketing can be considered as a lesser priority so it is common for schools in particular overlook their marketing when dividing up their budget.
However, if it is true that marketing and design are less important ingredients to thriving business, ask yourself – why do private schools need to bother investing in it? If a private school can effectively articulate its purpose and values without marketing and creative design, is there a need for it at all?
Firstly, let’s talk about what happens when minimal financial resources are devoted to the art and science of marketing a school. It’s true that the school might save itself the time and effort of creating a marketing strategy, but without it, this short-term satisfaction can become a long-term problem – as a result of no marketing, you may find your school undergoing a downwards spiral in exposure, and most importantly, a decline in enrolment figures.
We understand the huge undertaking of a marketing strategy may initially intimidate public schools: after all, private schools already have the longevity of foundations built from strong heritage and pre-established branding to pave their way to success. Teachers might even feel that their positions there are ‘cheapened’ in treating the school as an opportunity for marketing – however, by not investing in marketing, this means that your school could be reliant on communities, parents, and word of mouth to tell a story that you have the power to tell yourself
By changing your mind-set on marketing and by addressing the challenges of competition, recruitment/retention and tighter budgets, you could actually give yourself the ability to really take care of your brand. By hiring a specialist in this field, you are able to trust in how your school will be perceived. This professional will not only understand how to regulate your branding, but can also tell your school story, emphasise your values, and portray exactly what makes your school unique.
Investing in marketing does not mean that your school will be harassing or imposing upon prospective pupils and their parents in order to increase enrolment figures – in fact, it actually means that your school can connect with them more easily, through shared values and by behaving as an aid in the difficult process of choosing the right school.
The extensive selection of public and private schools can make it even more difficult to stand out and ‘win over’ prospective pupils and their parents. Private schools in particular can no longer rely on their legacy alone to outrank competition (after all, there are also the education fees to consider), but by using marketing as their skeleton key to success, private schools can secure those all-important relationships and connections with their target audience. So why shouldn’t all institutes not aim for this effect, regardless of public or private education? It could make all the difference.
But how can you stand out? In order to keep up to date with competitive schools, we suggest that you manufacture a strong brand alongside your respectable school heritage. Here are a range of cost-effective ways that you can help your private school invest in print and design which can increase your school’s enrolment figures.
Investing in a powerful prospectus
Think about your current marketing material and prospectus. Does it invite you to pick it up? If you had a pile of prospectuses under your arm, would yours make the final cut?
Or would it not even get a second glance?
56% of consumers state that print advertising is still the most trustworthy type of marketing and that readers engage more with a printed prospectus. According to Forbes magazine, consumers are spending 20-30% longer reading text as opposed to an online alternative. This means you have 20-30% more time to really engage with that consumer and show them exactly what makes your school different.
For many years, we have specialised in offering an extensive service to the educational sector. This has resulted with us now working with a large amount of private and public schools within the UK. This cohesive partnership with the education industry has allowed us the ability to provide expert marketing, design and print advice.
Your school would be offered a tailored, bespoke package and advice to enable you to be noticed, trusted and engaged with by the right audience.
Maintaining an engaging modern school brand
Although your private school may have well-respected heritage, would you say that is reflected in your branding? Whilst we are aware that there are many elements to why students and parents choose certain schools, we are also aware that a school’s brand and marketing plays a massive part in this decision.
Therefore, it is crucial that your branding and marketing material reflect your school’s values, background and history, as this is your way of standing out from the competition.
The capabilities we have at Media Village make it easy for us to produce your educational materials.
We can make sure your brand is successful and meets the public at every point of contact, including external signage, websites, prospectuses, letterheads, social media, logo design and much more.
Marketing as storytelling
Storytelling through branding is more important today than ever before; with the average person viewing 100,000 digital words every single day, a refreshing narrative behind a brand can really stand out. Famous brands like Coca Cola and Marks & Spencer have been using the art of storytelling to their advantage for years now, and to great success.
We have proudly worked closely with Westholme School for many years, and the relationships we have established helps us to deliver their story in exactly the right way, to exactly the right audience. Our cohesive relationship with Westholme guarantees that we are working together and remain united in the pursuit of a common goal.
One of the main aims at Westholme School is to support each child in fulfilling their full, individual potential; the journey of a Westholme pupil, from 3 months old to age 18, is a unique story in itself… and one in which the school has invested its all. Therefore, we have created marketing materials in various forms that inspire and motivate pupils to succeed, with choice wording such as ‘flourish, cherish’.
Investing in professional photography to showcase your talents
Photography and eye-catching visual content generate more engagement and attention online; as we are a very visual society, it is the perfect way to communicate. With millions of images being posted on the web daily, your school’s need to be the ones to stand out against the rest.
With this in mind, the type of image you choose to illustrate your school’s name and reputation has the potential to attract new customers or instantly turn them away. We always think about the relationship between your content, your imagery, your school brand, its narrative and your target audience before we even press a button on the camera.
We offer as much time as needed at your location to enable us to really capture the perspective of school life. However, we always consider the information we have gathered and the main objectives of your marketing when taking pictures. Therefore, if your school aims to focus on extra curriculum activities, then we would tailor the photographs to portray this.
Making the most of your open day opportunities
Vast amounts of potential pupils, their parents and family members visit your school on one appointed day. You would be crazy not to make the most of it!
So, it’s time to shout about what makes you unique – show off your branding and make your school open day more memorable than any other. You can do this by investing in open day banners, roller banners that showcase your school’s impressive achievements, and any other effective marketing materials that will help your day be a huge success.
(We can also offer you all of these services in-house).
Marketing your school effectively allows you to learn how to position yourself successfully within the education market compared to your competition. It uses your unique attributes to communicate to the market, boost your reputation – and drive applications and enrolment figures.
Finally, by investing in marketing, design and print, schools can develop a better understanding of its current parents’ needs and underlying motives for sending their child to their school, as well as interesting the types of parents the school is not currently attracting so that you can determine target segments for future marketing communications.
You can see more of what we have done with other schools here