Marketing your charter school on a small budget isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. More often than not, marketing is an investment of time and money that not every school has the luxury of doing. Often the goal is to increase enrollment at your school, but if enrollment is lower than normal, the marketing budget is going to be lower as well.
However, there are several cost effective ways that you can market your charter school. By focusing your marketing efforts on the right things, you will ensure that every marketing dollar is being put to good use. Here are marketing ideas that will help market your school without breaking the budget.
Understand Your Buyer Personas
Understanding who you are targeting with your marketing efforts is the most important place to start in your marketing your charter school. The more you can understand who you are marketing to, the more you can ensure that every marketing dollar is used to reach the right people. A buyer persona is a profile that helps to define the who your customers are as well as their goals, roles in life, and what motivates them. These profiles will help you understand where your customers are going to find information about potential schools. Many schools will have multiple buyer personas that they target such as athletes, transfer students, international students, and parents.
Make Your Website Awesome
Your school’s website is the single most important marketing tool that you have. The main place that both students and parents go to find information about a school is their website. Your website should validate your school as credible and communicate your unique culture and reputation. Your website should also be mobile responsive. According to Search Engine Watch, 72% of consumers want mobile-friendly sites.
A Pew Research study also found that 48% of people say that if a site didn't work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn't care about their business. If you have marketing dollars to spend, the best place to invest is in your website.
Collaborating with other schools and businesses is a great way to market your school. If there are other schools or areas that your students often come from, collaborating with them will create a great relationship that will instantly give you credibility and help you reach your buyer personas. Also, collaborating within your school to create marketing material is a great way to involve everybody in the vision. Your teachers and administrators will often be a well-spring of information that can be helpful in creating powerful marketing materials.
Start Creating Content Online
Because your buyer personas are likely looking online for information about schools, it is a great idea to create a content marketing plan. Content marketing is the act of strategically creating and distributing content online targeted at your buyer personas. A great example of this would be starting a blog. Writing targeted blog posts that provide useful and valuable information for people will attract more visitors to your website. The goal is that when a prospective student or parent is searching online information about schools, your website will show up in search results and be a great resource to them. The key to content marketing is to understand what your buyer personas are searching for and create content that they will want to see.
There are many ways you can market you charter school on a budget, but the most important marketing investment you can make is in your website. It is essential to have a mobile responsive website that works great and provides your website visitors with the information they are looking for. It may be that you just need to simplify your school’s website, or it could be that you need to contact a web design company to get your school a mobile responsive website. Whatever the case is, if your website is working properly, that will be the best place to start.