What is a private school's primary admissions objective - and biggest challenge - in its quest to reach new potential families?
My guess is that many of you answered: “Getting them to visit our school.”
True, if you can get a prospective parent to tour your campus, their likelihood of applying skyrockets as high as 80% (based on Schola's client results). The visit is even more crucial when a secondary (generally 6th-12th grade) student is visiting, considering that parents of these older kids will likely seek their child’s input on the school much more than grammar school parents.
But you have to make them WANT to visit you in the first place. And therein lies your biggest school marketing challenge.
Your primary objective in order to meet that challenge effectively? You must CONNECT with parents - in a meaningful and personal way - early in their buyer’s journey.
This is where most schools who are relying on traditional marketing strategies fall flat - to the detriment of their enrollment numbers. Even the best radio or direct mail campaign will only get you 1-3% results - and that's even a high estimate. Often, these leads simply take the form of a phone call or an email (not a visit), which is a long way up the road from enrolling.
Here’s the reality: your school is competing against other private (and public) schools in your area for the same pool of students. If you want to rise above your competitors in the minds and hearts of parents, you’ve got to connect early. Not just tell about your awesome programs. Not just invite them to your open house. Not just tout your awards.
With education being such a massive and emotional decision for parents, they have to believe you are trustworthy, and that you are like-minded with their family culture, long before they will contact you. Every single tentacle you reach out to prospective parents should seek to make a meaningful connection with something deep-seated in their hearts. It's even better if the medium allows them to interact WITH you in a non-threatening, edifying way.
Enter live video: an inexpensive, invaluable, ingenious way to do just that.
Thanks to advances in technology, schools can use video to emotionally connect with prospects in a manner that was often too expensive just a few years ago. Taking it a step further by using live video gives you an organic way to build emotional connections with parents that reveal the heart of your school without being over-produced.