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Digital Marketing Strategies for Private Schools: Part 1

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Our squad of six is skilled in an array of disciplines, from video marketing and web design to branding and social media management. Although we don't specifically specialise in school marketing, we've collaborated with 13 schools across the state, creating close to 150 school marketing videos over the past eight years. In this blog post (part 1 of 2), we're taking a closer look at digital marketing strategies for private schools navigating an ever-evolving digital landscape.


"Rather than delving deep into statistics, trends, and case studies, we're simplifying things to an elemental level: the classroom. "

Our aim isn't to immerse you in the intricate complexities of virtual reality or the metaverse. Instead, we intend to bring you back to the basics of digital marketing. The goal? To empower you to move forward with unshakeable confidence, adeptly planning your digital strategies for the forthcoming years.



Graphic of 100 students
Typical 1000 student school.

Rather than delving deep into statistics, trends, and case studies, we're simplifying things to an elemental level: the classroom. The above graphic is representative of a typical 1000 student-capacity school. Capacity is the keyword here, as many of your schools might not be filled to the brim yet. We're focusing on this classroom to truly understand our marketing targets – and as it turns out, we're only here for 5 of those 30 students.



30 students as icons


There are three categories of families in this representative classroom:


1. The 'Rusted On' Families: These are the stalwarts who are here to stay, come what may. Convenience, faith alignment, community ties - all factors contributing to their loyalty. These families are a part of your school's community, and their children would join your school regardless of your marketing efforts. Fact.


2. The 'Easy Pickings' Families: Much like the 'rusted on' families, these families require little persuasion to enrol. Whether it's due to an elder sibling's presence, recent relocation to the area, or a perceived lack of alternatives, they're almost certain to be part of your school.

3. The 'Others': This group is defined by the families who have multiple options and are fully aware of it. They're willing to explore, can afford the fees, and are not an easily identifiable or reachable group. Their absence of loyalty to your school combined with their insistence on a high-quality education makes them a unique challenge for marketers.


Students leaving: It has nothing to do with you!


Understanding why students leave schools is crucial. In most cases, the reasons are beyond the control of the marketing teams.


30 students as icons, some greyed out representing leaving students

Geographic mobility, financial constraints, disagreements with teaching methods, or issues with fellow students – these are all factors that can lead to student attrition. The point here is that as a school marketing professional, it's nothing to do with you.



Show me the money.


30 student icons with five being labeled as profit students

Focusing again on our representative classroom, we must recognise that schools have fixed costs. It makes little difference to the running costs if you have 25 or 30 students in a classroom. These costs – teacher's salaries, utilities, facilities – are generally the same regardless of whether your school is at 80% or 100% enrolment.


However, it's the last few students, the 'profit students,' who make a world of difference. They are the ones who provide the additional funds needed for that new gym, the specialist teacher, field overseas trip, the new school bus, solar panels on the roof, or a science lab upgrade.


"...we must acknowledge this evolving environment, targeting our strategies to reach 'the others.' After all, the success of your school's future might just be in their hands"


Let's wrap this up... for now.


In conclusion, understanding the types of students, the reasons for student attrition, and the nuances of school running costs will shape effective marketing strategies. And remember, the 'others', those final few families, can make an enormous difference to your school's financial health. They are the ones who can elevate your school from merely maintaining operations to achieving grand visions.


This is the new landscape of digital marketing for private schools. As we move forward, we must acknowledge this evolving environment, targeting our strategies to reach 'the others.' After all, the success of your school's future might just be in their hands.


Understanding and targeting these families effectively will be the key to ensuring that our schools aren't just keeping the lights on but are flourishing and innovating in an ever-changing landscape.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we'll delve deeper into strategic ways to reach 'the others' and boost your school's enrolment and prosperity. Until then, keep evolving and remember, the best marketing strategy always revolves around understanding your audience.

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