Whether they're providing assistance with branding, supporting a school website redesign, or kick-starting a marketing strategy for your school, choosing to work with a school marketing company should go deeper than “When can you start?”
You're selecting a strategic partner who will work alongside you to help your school achieve success; you’ll be working with them to help advance your school, attract prospective families, or unveil a new visual identity. Collaboration is integral.
A lot of time, emotion, and brainpower goes into these major projects, so when it comes time to decide on a partner, you want to be confident in your choice and empowered once the project launches.
To ensure you've chosen the right partner, we've compiled ten crucial questions to ask, along with detailed explanations, so you can spot the red flags and understand how an ideal agency should respond.
Questions to ask a Digital Marketing Agency for Schools
1. What's your experience working with schools, specifically with schools like ours (e.g., public, private, charter, etc.)?
You’ll want to work with school marketing experts. These pros will answer this question with detailed accounts of their experience within your specific school category. They should be able to provide examples of past work with similar educational institutions — size, location, tuition, or market — showing that they understand your unique needs and challenges your type of school faces.
2. How do you approach creating a strategic marketing plan tailored to a school's unique needs, target audience, and objectives?
Every school is unique, with specific needs, target audiences, and objectives. The ideal agency will understand your challenge and describe how they develop a customized strategic marketing plan for you. This should involve identifying target audiences, setting measurable objectives, and crafting effective strategies to meet your needs.
3. What strategies do you recommend for reaching and engaging our specific target audience (e.g., prospective students, alumni, or donors)?
Marketing services and consulting for schools should have a deep understanding of your target audience and propose strategies for reaching and engaging these key groups effectively. Their response should be a mix of digital marketing strategies, event suggestions, or other communication strategies based on what best suits your school’s goals.
Keep Reading: 9 Signs You Need Help With School Marketing
4. How do you ensure brand consistency and messaging across various marketing channels, including website redesigns and communication initiatives?
Agencies must communicate their strategies for maintaining brand consistency across different marketing channels. This means your school's branding, voice, and messaging remain the same whether you're looking at a web page, a social media post, or a print brochure. They should detail the tools and techniques they use to ensure this consistency, and how you'll manage it going forward.
5. How do you measure the success of a marketing campaign? What key performance indicators (KPIs) do you typically track for schools?
The best school marketing agencies will clarify how they measure campaign success and what KPIs they find most relevant for school marketing. This could include metrics such as website traffic, increased inquiries, or conversion rates for enrollment campaigns. They should commit to transparency and regular reporting to keep you informed of progress.
6. What's your experience with search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and content marketing for schools? How do you integrate these strategies into your overall marketing plan?
Your agency should show they’re experts in combining SEO, social media, and content marketing within a broader strategy. These elements shouldn't stand alone or be one-off initiatives but parts of a whole, working together to maximize your school's online presence and reach.
7. Can you provide an overview of your project management process, including how you handle timelines, budgets, and communication with clients?
Communication and project efficiency are vital to a successful partnership. Agencies should outline their approach to managing timelines, budgets, meetings, and communication, ensuring transparency and efficiency at every stage. They should explain how they keep projects — and your team — on track and within budget and how they plan to keep you informed along the way.
8. What resources do you have available to execute our marketing initiatives?
The agency's response should reassure you that they have the necessary team members, time, and resources to carry out your initiatives effectively. They might discuss their team's size, areas of expertise, and any software or tools they use to implement and track campaigns.
9. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in school marketing?
Staying up to date in a field like education is key. A forward-thinking agency will show its commitment to continuous learning, detailing how they stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in school marketing. Their answer will either give you a sense of their ability to adapt and innovate, or you may need to keep searching...
10. Can you provide case studies or examples of successful marketing campaigns you have executed for schools or educational institutions with similar goals and challenges?
When responding to this question, agencies should provide examples of their success. They should provide specific case studies, online reviews, or samples detailing how they helped other schools with similar goals and challenges succeed. This will provide you with a clear vision of what they’ll achieve for your school.
Choosing the right marketing agency for your school is a crucial step in ensuring your school's success. These questions will help guide your selection process, and the responses you receive will ensure your partner has your school's best interests at heart. Take your time, consider each response, and make the choice that will best serve your school's needs and goals.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.