Creating a strong marketing plan is so important for the success of your school’s marketing. Without a good marketing plan in place for your school, you won’t have an official system for assessing where your inquiries and admissions are coming from. Today you will learn more about a good education marketing plan.
You run the risk of wasting money on marketing and advertising avenues that aren’t working for your school while underutilizing effective marketing strategies at the same time.
Here Are 10 Crucial Elements Of A Perfect Education Marketing Plan
- SWOT Analysis
- Mission Statement
- Target Market
- Customer Personas
- Unique Selling Points
- Competitor Analysis
- Content Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Objectives
- Marketing Channels
And we’re going to go through each of them in detail for you…
#1 SWOT Analysis
Before you start planning anything for the school’s marketing you need to conduct something called a SWOT Analysis, this allows you to identify your school’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats.
This is a great opportunity to get the marketing and SLT teams together to deeply analyze your school and from every angle. It’s also worth getting other members of staff involved, such as teachers, cleaners and kitchen staff, and asking them what they’d consider your school’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to be.
#2 Mission Statement
All of your school’s marketing activities will be based on your mission statement, so this is something to think really hard about.
If your school doesn’t already have a mission statement, answer these three questions to get the ball rolling.
- What does your school want to do?
- Why does your school want to do it?
- Who does your school do it for?
#3 Target Market & Customer Personas
Your school isn’t for everyone. That’s why your school’s marketing plan must identify your target market. Your target market is the sort of families you want to attract to your school, this section should be as detailed as possible.
Ask yourself these questions when putting together your target market:
- Which geographical areas are in your target market?
- How can you reach them?
- Why would families in these areas be drawn to your school?
- Why would families in these areas be put off by your school?
- What are these family’s current needs?
#4 Customer Personas
It’s also very important that you create detailed customer personas for each of your target markets. This way whenever you start a new campaign you can refer back to these personas so you know that you’re targeting the correct people.
#5 Unique Selling Points (USPs)
Your school’s unique selling points are where you take your mission statement and distill it even further. It’s your school in its most concentrated and authentic form. Ask yourself what separates you from your competitors and what can you shout about?
Think about it like this, if you had 1 minute to tell a prospective family why they should choose your school, what would you say?
#6 Competitor Analysis
The next part of your school’s marketing plan needs to focus on something other than your school, now to focus on your competitors.
Choose the top 5 competitors who are aiming to reach the same target audiences like you. Think about who they are, how they’re performing, and what, if anything, they’re doing better than you.
#7 Content Marketing Strategy
We all know that content is king. With more ways to consume information, and more devices to access content, prospective families look for schools that are producing informative and entertaining content as if they were corporate businesses.
Thankfully, content marketing is very cost-effective, and even schools on smaller budgets can create fantastic content for their target markets. We would also highly recommend that your school uses video content, it is the most effective way to communicate with your families and prospective families.
#8 Marketing Objectives
This part of your school’s marketing plan is about setting ambitious but achievable goals and defining how you’ll measure success.
I would advise using a format called SMART objectives. These are goals that are designed to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Here are some helpful questions to get you started:
- What do you want to achieve? And when?
- Who needs to be involved?
- Why should you aim to achieve this goal?
- How can you measure progress?
- How will you know you’ve successfully met your goal?
- Are you capable of achieving these goals?
- Do you have the skills necessary? If not, can you build them?
- Why should you achieve these goals?
- What would the impact be?
- What is the deadline for these goals?
#9 Marketing Channels
How are your prospects going to see everything you’re producing? In other words, what platforms are you going to be using?
Your school’s website will always be your main marketing channel, you just need to figure out what other channels (social media, etc.) you want to use. For each platform you want to use, you need to outline the following:
- Purpose of the channel.
- Metrics to measure success.
- Who’s responsible.
Remember, you should make sure you’re using a few channels really well rather than using them all and spreading yourself too thin.
Creating your school’s marketing budget can be one of those tasks you’re not too keen on. But it doesn’t need to be. Plus, your SLT will most likely have a say in this.
There are two different ways you can start building your budget:
- Based on last year’s spending.
- Start from scratch.
When creating your school’s marketing budget, look at what you spent last year, where you want to cut back and which areas this is possible in. You should consider all costs, from social media advertising costs to Open Day costs and copywriting. List these elements one by one and assign a budget to them.
To help you out, we’ve created a marketing budget template. We’ve even included all the formulas you’ll need, just make a copy of the Google Sheet to get started.
So that’s it, there are the 10 most important elements to help you build a successful marketing plan for your school. Kick start your marketing plan with these 10 elements and you’re sure to see results.