Many schools have come to discover the “tried and true” marketing efforts that had once been so successful for them in the past are no longer as fruitful in growing school enrollment as they once were. Advancements in technology have had a tremendous adverse impact on the effectiveness of traditional marketing efforts, such as newspaper ads, billboards and direct mailers. In addition, the internet has had a profound impact on consumer buying habits, which has led to the birth of a new and more effective marketing strategy: inbound marketing.
Is your current school marketing plan helping you achieve your enrollment goals? If not, chances are you may still be relying too heavily on traditional school marketing efforts. Here are three reasons why you should consider transitioning to an inbound marketing strategy:
1. Inbound Marketing Can Improve Your School’s Ability to Reach Your Target Audience.
The increased use of smartphones and the internet for communication has changed the way people receive their information. Today’s consumers are suspicious of conventional advertising as they have come to realize the ads present information only from the company’s perspective, not based on the consumer's desires or needs. As a result, prospects are inclined to ignore these ads and are much more likely to rely on search engines, social media and review sites to obtain more neutral third-party perspectives before making a purchase.
Your school needs to be aware of this trend and respond appropriately. Inbound marketing strategies solve this issue by making sure your school is represented in a positive light, positioning you as a resource school prospects will trust and listen to.
2. Inbound Marketing Asks Permission. Traditional Marketing Interrupts.
Traditional marketing relies on interrupting people in an effort to capture the attention of anyone who will listen. While this may have worked in the past, today’s technology allows people to filter out these interruptions. When was the last time you took a call from a telemarketer? Caller ID allows you to screen your calls. Telemarketers are sent to voicemail, direct mailings go in the recycle bin, and television commercials are avoided through the skilled use of the remote control. Even radio advertising can be avoided through internet services such as Pandora.
Like the average consumer, your school prospects are using technology to avoid disruptive and annoying advertising. So, if your school is still relying on traditional marketing, the effectiveness of your advertising is going to be reduced. Inbound marketing offers you the opportunity to obtain permission to market to your prospects and allows you to deliver personalized and relevant messages to them when they are ready to listen.
3. Inbound Marketing Is Less Expensive Than Traditional Marketing.
Many Christian schools have a limited budget for marketing. Marketing studies for businesses reveal that the cost of a single lead using traditional marketing methods can exceed $350. On the other hand, inbound marketing costs about $125 per lead. These numbers might not be reflective of your school, but it is certain that inbound marketing costs significantly less than traditional marketing.
Today’s parents are shopping for schools in new and different ways than those in the past. As a school leader, you need to be aware of this and educate yourself on how to respond to this shift. Inbound marketing is an effective response to these new trends. Your school should give serious consideration to this strategy when you begin planning for next year’s marketing budget.