Online Marketing Tips for Charter Schools

Online Marketing Tips for Charter Schools

 

Today, one in every 20 public school children in America attends a charter school. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

 

Overall charter school enrollment increased by approximately 225,000 students during the 2012-2013 school year. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

 

Over 600 new public charter schools opened their doors for the 2013-2014 school year. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

 

 

Charter schools may be gaining in popularity amongst parents and students – but that doesn’t mean the competition is gone.

 

There are still many other options for parents to choose from – including public, private, homeschooling, and even other charter schools. In order to convince parents to choose your educational institution over the alternatives, you need to be effective at communicating its value — placing a premium on it’s culture of learning.

 

Because the majority of parents begin their search for schools online, we recommend that’s where you begin as well – with a robust digital marketing strategy that is consistently working to demonstrate your value, enhance your credibility, showcase your spirit, and attract high-quality applicants.

 

Here’s how to get started:

 

  1. Adopt an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is about attracting prospective families to your school with content designed specifically for them. Once they arrive at your site, your helpful, problem-solving content convinces them to contact the admissions office.

 

Inbound marketing works because it leverages the fact that prospective parents conduct much of their search for schools online. It ensures that their searches yield educational information about your school, positive testimonials from other parents, and helpful content that encourages them to apply. Your

 

  1. Create quality content. Quality content is the cornerstone of a strong inbound marketing strategy. It ensures that when parents search online for answers to their questions, your school’s information appears in the results.

 

To be effective, each piece of content on your website should solve a specific problem for your readers. For example, an article about “How to Choose Between Charter School and Private School” or “Why we don’t teach to the test” addresses a common concern and allows your school to lead the conversation. End each post with a call-to-action. Calls-to-action can either to read another piece of content that clarifies next steps or make an appointment to visit the campus.

 

  1. Get active on social media. Social media is your opportunity to engage, entertain, and educate current and prospective families. It allows you to promote your content, post engaging photos, showcase community partnerships and share school news and events.

 

We advise the charter schools we work with to avoid being overly promotional on social media, and instead focus on the values, principles and passions of the school. Continually engage with influencers and advocates on these channels, and encourage them to share and interact with your content. Social media is a perfect channel for engaging parent-advocates and ring leaders of parent groups.

 

  1. Leverage digital advertising. Once your inbound marketing strategy is in place, and you have a large quantity of helpful content to share, it’s time to leverage digital advertising to attract qualified leads.

 

Remarketing and social ads are digital ads and search engine placements that drive prospective families to your site. These ads should target the keywords your market is searching for, and direct prospects to specific landing pages. For example, a remarketing ad for “deciding between charter and private school” would drive traffic to an article or in-depth resource about that topic focusing on parents that have recently explored your charter school’s website.

 

We also strongly encourage the use of remarketing ads that target prospects that have already visited your site. These ads drive visitors back to an optimized landing page where they convert to a lead.

 

  1. Be proactive about your school’s reviews. Parents search online to get a feel for your charter school’s reputation, and what they find influences whether or not they apply. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive about your school’s reviews.

 

To begin, assess your school’s current reviews, and respond to any negative postings. Avoid the urge to argue with the reviewer, and instead sincerely thank them for their feedback and let them know the steps your school has taken to improve. The goal is to take the high road and have the last word. Once your negative reviews have been addressed, ask current, satisfied parents to leave positive feedback for your school online.

Learn more:

Sources:

  • The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities – Eighth Annual Edition, https://www.publiccharters.org/press/students-32-school-districts-attend-public-charter-schools-market-share-report/
  • The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, New and Closed Report – 2014, https://www.publiccharters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/New-and-Closed-Report-February-20141.pdf

 



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