Marketing plans are the roadmap to success for your vocational school.Times have changed, and many schools are finding that they need to engage in strong marketing tactics to thrive in today’s market. However, building a school marketing plan for the first time can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for developing a marketing strategy for your vocational school.
What do you want your marketing plan to achieve? If you have a strategic plan, you can pull from those documents. If not, the administration likely knows where the school(s) needs improvement, and you can dig into your databases to get benchmarking information on how these initiatives have performed in the past. Having actual quantifiable goals for your marketing plan will be helpful in determining whether or not your initiatives are successful. One goal could be increasing enrollment by a specific percent.
Determine Your Target Audience
Your marketing plan must identify who needs to receive your brand’s messaging. Your school isn’t for everyone, but you must clarify the ones whom your school can best serve. This is called a Buyers Persona. Write out their physical characteristics like their age and gender. Think through their dreams, goals, fears, concerns, and frustrations. Give them names and even pull generic photos to create target-audience avatars for each target audience. The persona you create will be inspiration for your marketing campaigns in the future. You can create different personas for different campaigns, however, your marketing should always align most with your buyer persona and their goals.
Your school website should be front and center in your marketing plan. It is the cornerstone of your marketing. Your school website is the most important feature of your branding and communications. Websites are the main source of information about an organization, and that includes schools. As soon as someone accesses your website, you have a captive audience and an opportunity to share your school mission, culture, and, most importantly, your stories. Parents and the community will turn to your website to learn about your services, your programs, and your team. And once their student is enrolled, the website becomes a connection for home-school communications. So not only is your school website the center of your online presence, it is your main communications hub.
Your school website goes a long way to meeting your communication and marketing needs, but in this digital age, your second most important online communication tool is social media for schools. One cannot replace the other; they work together to help you tell your school’s story more completely. While the best school websites “pull” your audience in, social media “pushes” straight to their news feeds. Rather than just telling people about your school, social media allows you to show them. Both should be an integral part of your school marketing strategy.
School marketing plans streamline what you do and outline why you’re doing it. Validating these important decisions is important for gaining support for the plan and ensuring that you continue to move forward with positive progress.
If you’re interesting in learning how to align your marketing goals to enroll more students at your vocational school, contact Neon Goldfish today for a free consultation of your current marketing efforts and some ideas on where to start.
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