All admissions teams are agents. You are individuals who act on behalf of another, a.k.a. your school. And every year your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to reach out to a wide range of prospective parents and inform them of how your school can strengthen, improve, and develop their children into highly educated individuals.
Your “mission” may not involve scaling skyscrapers or penetrating highly guarded government buildings, but your assignment is no less important, nor is it easy. The hard work and attention to detail demanded by this marketing task never ends. It takes a dedicated team to successfully plan and execute this mission each school year.
In the popular Mission Impossible movie franchise, Tom Cruise plays agent Ethan Hunt; a top notch spy known for his ability to successfully complete missions. His ability to carry out these missions is partially ascribed to his cutting edge tools and technology. Similarly to how Agent Hunt exploits his gadgets, so should schools take advantage of the technology available to them as a means to showcase their school to potential families. A few easy ways of doing this are through your school’s website, blogging, and social media.
The Value of a Website
Many schools underestimate the value of having a great website. Schools fail to acknowledge that the quality of their website is a type of reflection on the quality of their school. Therefore, having a website that’s not only easily accessible and user-friendly, but that’s also aesthetically pleasing and well-stocked with up-to-date content is crucial for successful admissions marketing.
For instance, a potential parent’s first introduction to your school is likely to be when they visit your website. In fact, mtmConsulting, a leading marketing firm among schools, released a survey showing that an overwhelming amount of parents were unimpressed by the school websites they had visited. If fully utilized, having a website with great content can be a powerful force in converting website traffic into more meaningful school inquiries. You can also use school admissions software to help you capture inquiries with dynamic inquiry forms.
Blah, Blah, Blog
Admissions teams should take a lesson from the current generation of young people who have figured out how to turn something as simple as a blog into an overpowering marketing tool. Blogs, ranging from cosmetics to rock climbing, have sparked entire businesses and are an excellent way to heighten awareness about your school.
By frequently blogging news related to your school, you are drawing more traffic to your school’s website. And as mentioned above, a well-crafted website can help you convert web traffic into inquiries.
One of the beautiful things about a blog is that it’s creative and open to imagination. With so many students and so many events, schools have a wealth of material to draw from.
Blog about the upcoming school basketball game, write about the history of your school, highlight a student who has done exceedingly well in academics, introduce a new teacher, or even blog about the success of the last school carnival. The possibilities for blogs are endless.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
As we all well know, social media is a powerful force to be reckoned with. The advent of social networking tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more have completely re-shaped the way people communicate.
But what does this mean for schools? And how can you unleash the power of Facebook? Or use Twitter to market your school and reach more families? Well, the development of social media has created an entirely new medium for schools, parents, and students, to communicate. It’s a quick way to disseminate information to the masses, a.k.a. the individuals that make up your school community. Just make sure your school understands the unspoken etiquette of social media before you start to use the tools.
Furthermore, unlike traditional forms of marketing such as radio announcements and newspaper ads, social media is a valuable way to truly connect with your audience because it’s a 2-way street. Individuals can comment and respond to your news.
In essence, social media is an invaluable tool for all schools. If properly harnessed, it can transform your school’s communication and relationship with the community.
At times, marketing your school can seem like an impossible task. But the technology we have access to, like Twitter, Facebook, e-newsletters, blogs, and more, is endless. And these are all opportunities you can take advantage of to promote your school.
Each coming school year signals another cycle of admissions marketing and school promotion, and your “mission” may never seem complete. But with the right tools and mindset, it’s not impossible. And ultimately it’s worth it to make a difference in your student’s lives.