Finding the right school for your child is of crucial importance to parents. For some, there may be only one school within feasible distance, in which case, the decision is quite straightforward. However, for those with the luxury of choice, and for the purposes of this piece, the luxury of being able to send their children to private school, it is a decision that cannot be taken lightly. We’ve written before about how businesses can market themselves to customers, but how do private schools go about promoting themselves to parents of prospective pupils?
A brand identity is not just for big corporations. Schools need one, too, and this identity can go a long way to convincing parents that you are the right place for their child to learn. There are a number of things that need to be included in your brand identity, such as:
- What learning opportunities can you offer pupils?
- What facilities does your school have?
- What is your ethos?
- How do you help pupils learn and grow?
These are some of the main points that parents will want to know. Your school’s strengths need to be marketed properly, but it’s important to get the right balance. For example, you might have an excellent track record when it comes to exam results, but that only counts for so much. The other, immeasurable things you offer your pupils, such as a happy environment, excellent facilities and a chance to flourish outside of the typical academic processes can all play a part in making your school stand out.
Push your brand
Once you’ve established your brand identity, it’s time to push it out to the world. There are methods of advertising that can bring your school to the attention of parents and pupils alike.
A tried and tested form of advertising that has been in place for centuries, out-of-home advertising is constantly changing and evolving to cater to our changing lifestyles and the way we consume content. An advert on a billboard in your school’s catchment area can work wonders – if the campaign is designed properly.
Consider adding your school’s website to the advertisement, or design a special landing page for it – this way, you can use analytics to track how many people visit that page – a strong indicator of how effective your campaign is.
Alternatively, you could advertise on public transport. As school buses go to and from your school every day, promoting your establishment on the side or back of it can cause people to take notice – if they’re parents on the way to work, they might be looking for a new school for their child, and you might have caught them at the right time.
The most advanced digital advertising screens offer features such as interactivity, motion detection and even facial-recognition, which not only help your advert catch the eye, but also provide ways to measure how people respond and interact with your campaign. These adverts can be tailored to certain times of day – there’s no need to take down posters to replace with new ones – information can be sent to the screen to change the display depending on what time it is. Want to catch people on their morning commute, or would you rather get their attention as they head home? Whatever your preferred tactic, it can be achieved simply with digital screen advertising.
Once seen as the domain of young people and young people only, social media is now truly a platform for teenagers and adults alike. Promoted posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and now Instagram slot seamlessly into people’s digital experience – they look exactly like a post from their friends would – so it’s a fantastic way to get their attention. Use it to provide a link to your site or other informative material about your school and get the ball rolling. Facebook, in particular, is popular with parents as it is the most widely-known and used platform, and they have plenty of tools for effective advertisement available.
Parents doing the weekly shop for their families are in an environment actively looking to make purchases, which means they will be more receptive to advertising. While enrolling your child at a school is not a purchase, per se, it is a significant financial outlay, which means they will need to be fully convinced before they commit to it. With a carefully designed advert placed outside a supermarket, you can catch the eye of mums and dads as before they shop, and if you use features such as a landing page URL, you can encourage them to investigate further into what you can offer their children.
There are plenty of ways you can promote your private school to parents and pupils, and we’ve detailed a few of them here. Clear Channel Direct are specialists in providing out-of-home advertising platforms for schools and businesses alike. For more information, or to arrange a marketing campaign with us, please get in touch with us today.