Educational Marketing: What is it and How to Create a Successful Plan?

Educational marketing allows schools, universities or academies to achieve the same results as any type of company. That is: attract users and convert them into customers. How to implement it in your center? We tell you in this note.

What Is Educational Marketing?

Educational marketing is a set of actions that any institution dedicated to teaching can implement to attract, maintain and increase its target audience.

That is, what is sought is to attract users and convert them into clients of the institution.

At this point we must mention the first of the particularities of marketing for schools. Why do you think we talk about “clients” instead of students or students?

Because educational marketing strategies focus on two key audiences:

  • Students: these are those who access the educational offer of the institution and therefore are one of the most important audiences for any center.
  • Parents or guardians: marketing for schools also directly targets this segment, since during a good part of a student’s educational career it is the parents or guardians who decide which institution they will attend.

Of course, educational marketing uses the same strategies and channels as any other. However, the approach is different, since selling a shirt is not the same as getting a person to enroll in a degree.

Therefore, influencing the decision of potential students or their parents is not easy. Choosing a college or university is not something you do on impulse. Rather, it is a thoughtful choice, characterized by a more arduous research process.

What can we infer from this?

  • In principle, facilitating the research process for parents and potential students allows the educational center to offer a differential that stands out from its competition.
  • Establishing agile communication with users can shorten their journey and even decision-making.
  • Providing relevant content is key to transmitting the value of the institution.

Educational Marketing Examples and Strategies

Now that we better understand what educational marketing is, it is time to talk about the marketing strategies for educational institutions that can be applied in the sector. Below we share the main options.

Online presence

Although it may sound incredible, there are educational institutions that are not on the Internet.

These centers do not have a website, do not use or update their social media profiles, and have not even heard of educational digital marketing.

What would it be like to have an online presence? Well, something like this:

  • Set up a website and keep it updated.
  • Create a blog and upload valuable content.
  • Generate profiles of the institution on the main social networks.
  • Run paid advertising campaigns.
  • Create a YouTube channel.

As you can see, there are different options and it is not necessary to start with all of them at the same time. The general recommendation is to have a website and from there diversify to the rest of the channels.

Beyond the number of media in which you are present, the important thing is that in each of them you provide the same quality experience to users. Communication with potential clients has to be agile and consistent across all channels, that is, omnichannel.

To do this, tools like the chatbot can be of great help. This integrates with your website or social networks such as Facebook and Instagram and allows you to interact with your potential clients instantly.

Thus, you can improve communication with users, resolve their queries immediately and make decision-making more agile.

Content Marketing

Another educational marketing strategy is content marketing. We said before that one of the key points to influence the decision of parents and potential students is precisely the content.

In fact, it is one of the first actions to take, since relevant information is what allows you to attract users to your institution.

Think about it this way, in the past when people were exploring options they went straight to school or university, went to educational fairs or listened to the opinions of people they knew. Today, this search begins online.

Faced with this, content is key. Articles on a blog, an e-book, and videos on YouTube or posts on social networks can serve as bait to attract users to your institution.

Once there, it will again be the content that keeps their attention on the value proposition of your institution. And also, through the content, you will make it clear that your establishment is the best option.

Web positioning

Because the search begins online, another educational marketing strategy to apply is web positioning.

It is important that All that content you generate allows you to be more visible on the Internet. That is, having a better position in search engines and thus generating more traffic to your website.

Analyzing the online visibility of your site, how you want it to be positioned and what type of content you could improve the results with is part of the task. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be your great ally in this crusade. Learn in detail how to increase web traffic in this note.

In the specific case of educational marketing, positioning in local searches also becomes relevant. This way, you can highlight your institution to users who want to find teaching centers available in the area.

Online Advertising

To amplify the reach of your educational center’s value proposition, online advertising is an excellent strategy.

Something very valuable about this type of initiative is that it not only increases the visibility of your establishment, but also, by allowing you to segment the campaigns in detail, you can easily reach the users that really interest you.

There are many examples of advertising to promote a school. Some of the main ones are:

  • Search engine ads through SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns: the most used option is Google Ads, as it allows you to promote your educational center in the Google search engine.
  • Display: this is an online advertising format that contains image or video. Ads are placed on different types of sites, such as websites, blogs, or media outlets. You can make the contract through platforms such as Google Ads or directly on each site.
  • Advertisements on social networks: this is another way to increase the visibility of your educational center. Keep in mind that most of these platforms offer the ability to create ads. Among the most used options today we find Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Twitter Ads.
  • Video advertising: we cannot finish this list of examples of educational advertising without mentioning the possibility of including ads on platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. These will be shown to the user before the videos start.

Social Networks

Being present on social networks became a basic rule for any business. But when it comes to an educational center, this becomes even more powerful.

Potential students use social networks to make direct inquiries about the educational offering, course load, teaching staff and other data that may influence their decision to study or not at the institution.

Therefore, it is important not only to be on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but also to use these channels to build a bond with users. And this is achieved through content and appropriate interaction. Which it involves:

  • Provide answers when they need them.
  • Resolve doubts proactively with an educational chatbot.
  • Humanize customer service through more human conversations.
  • Deliver a consistent message across all platforms.
  • Personalize the experience.

By adding a chatbot to your social networks you can ensure that all of the above will be covered.

But that is not all. Something common in these channels is that institutions tend to receive the same queries over and over again. The bot will answer these frequently asked questions for you and save you a lot of time.

How to Create an Educational Marketing Plan

Creating an educational marketing plan takes time. There are many efforts to coordinate to increase the reach of your educational center and increase the number of students.

Do you want to know where to start? We share the main steps to design it.

Analyze what the current situation is

The starting point of your educational marketing plan is the analysis of the current situation of your establishment. Some points you should focus on are:

  • Economic and financial state in which your institution currently finds itself.
  • Level of acceptance that your educational offer is having.
  • Needs and concerns expressed by your clients and the audience you target.
  • Resources and budget you have.
  • Behavior of the competition.
  • Market situation in your area of influence.

A very useful resource is to do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). It is an internal analysis to review strengths and weaknesses and an external analysis to understand the opportunities and threats of your educational center.

Define Objectives

Before moving on to the strategies you will use, it is necessary to stop for a moment and think about what you want to achieve? We could say that this is the heart of your marketing plan. It is what will motivate all the actions to be deployed from here on.

It is important that these objectives are aligned with the reality of your educational center and for this, precisely, the previous step is f fundamental

An effective way to define your marketing goals is through the SMART methodology:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Based (in a specific period)

Determine the Strategies and Actions to Implement

How to translate these objectives into concrete actions? Through marketing strategies for educational institutions such as those we exemplified a few paragraphs ago.

Let’s say your goal is to add more leads to your database. These are the users who share contact information with your institution.

Through a content marketing strategy you can create a masterclass at no cost.

Interested people must leave their contact information to participate. All those who sign up become part of your lead list.

As you can see, determining the strategies to implement will allow you to more clearly define what actions you have to take to achieve your objectives.

Distribute Tasks, Resources and Budget

Not all members of your team can deal with the same thing, nor do all strategies require the same investment of time and resources. When drawing up your educational marketing plan it is essential to take this into account.

Therefore, before implementing any type of action, it is important to ask yourself: What personnel and tools do you need to execute your plan? How much do you have to invest in each strategy?

Measure Results

How can you know the performance of your strategies and the scope of your educational marketing actions if you don’t measure it? To do this you must not forget the measurement of results.

In order to know in greater detail the degree of success of the actions you have implemented, you need Key Performance Indicators, what we know as KPI (Key Performance Indicator).

These metrics are directly related to the objectives and therefore are essential to know if you are complying with your plan.

Importance of Educational Marketing

Currently there is a saturation of competitors and information in various sectors. Precisely, one of them is educational. More and more training proposals are being added for the population looking for where to study or an institution where they can educate their children.

Furthermore, to the above we must add the rise of distance education. This means that you no longer only have to compete with schools in your city, but now you must attract a user who can access educational offerings from around the world.

Doing a master’s or bachelor’s degree abroad without leaving home is now a possibility. So how do you stand out in such a saturated market?

For this you need educational marketing. By designing a good plan and implementing the appropriate strategies you can achieve results like these:

  • Know and segment your audience better
  • Expand the visibility of your center on the Internet
  • Correctly highlight your value proposition
  • Attract the right audience to your institution
  • Increase the number of registrations
  • Improve the experience of your current and potential students
  • Get recommendations from your educational center’s community

Achieving all of this is not impossible, but you must dedicate time to designing an educational marketing plan. Of course, there are tools that can help you speed up certain processes and save valuable hours of your daily life.

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