The enrollment in private schools has unfortunately flatlined across the United States. Statistics from the country’s Census Bureau revealed that the overall enrollment in K-12 private educational institutions in 2019 was approximately 4.4 million, which isn’t statistically different from the figures in 2009.
Although acknowledging enrollment challenges honestly is important, it’s also vital to come up with actionable strategies to rise above this lackluster number and rate.
Many schools are thinking up of ways to draw and recruit more students to their educational institutions. Some private schools, for instance, branch out and promote distance learning options, like online education for middle school students, as a way of setting themselves apart from the competition. Schools that take measures to innovate and change up their marketing approach can boost their chances of hitting their enrollment and admission goals.
If you’re struggling to jumpstart the enrollment and admission figures of your school, consider these four strategies:
- Share Your Unique Value Statement
A concise value proposition helps parents and families quickly and easily understand how your educational institution can develop their child and what programs you have to offer on the table. You can make your statement stand out by being specific with your value proposition. Take a unique angle on the values of your school to help you get your message across your target market.
Here’s an example to get you started: instead of merely saying that you instill values to students, specify what these values are. An example is a set of related values, such as character, faith, community and love. Then, explain these values can help students become better people.
Another method to help you create a unique value statement is to think carefully about the benefits of your school’s teams and departments. These areas have unique value propositions, which you could share in various marketing channels like brochures, newsletters, e-mail campaigns and the home page of your school website.
- Use Storytelling to Market Your School
A common mistake schools make in the heat of hitting their enrollment targets is forgetting that they need to build their brand just like any other business out there. Your audience cares about characters and stories, as they want to see a struggle or a journey to overcome a hurdle.
Look at the applicants in your school as your audience, then tell them the story about your school. Storytelling, when done right, creates emotions and offers a better understanding of your institution along with a sense of engagement. You can tell this story by various means to introduce your school and your brand in different ways.;
- Harness the Power of Social Media
Now that you have a story, you may be wondering what specific channel to use.
Enter social media. Students often go on the web – particularly on social media – for news updates, research and opinions.
The power of social media isn’t something your school should take lightly. A report from Inside Higher Ed found that one out of every two teens turns to social media when researching colleges and universities. So bring your story to where your audience is – on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms.
When telling your story on social media, find out what strategy best suits your educational institution. You could, for starters, post videos to bump up engagement. Produce professional videos about your school, teachers, campus, staff, students and facilities. Then, promote them all on multiple social media channels.
Alternatively, create videos on special events that happen in your educational institution, such as sports matches and fests. These videos help drive student motivation and create a sense of attraction toward your school.
- Tailor Your Marketing Message
If you want your marketing message to reach families and be effective, you’ll need to add a personal touch to it. Start by coming up with research-supported school personas. This will enable you to communicate more directly to each student or parent’s interests, goals, and concerns.
Your prospects can determine their needs at the topmost portion of the school enrollment funnel whether it’s an optimized online inquiry form or a phone call with a member of your admissions team. As the conversation goes on, you can offer related info they need, such as details on after-school clubs and financial assistance programs.
Take an ordinary family as an example. If there’s a concern over the affordability of earning a high school diploma from your educational institution, you could send an email regarding the available financial aid opportunities.
Increase enrollment in your school by taking note of these four suggestions. By reviewing and rethinking your approach to marketing your educational institution, you can meet your “fill the seat” goals and stay financially stable.