If you operate an educational establishment, then you will know that marketing in the education sector is a constant challenge.
This is because you do not operate a conventional business model. Your ultimate duty is to nurture and develop your students, rather than selling a product or being perceived as turning over a profit, which spills over into educational marketing – or lack thereof.
However, even though education requires a different approach to marketing, it does not mean you should avoid it altogether. This is because, despite it being seen purely as a series of strategies and techniques to sell products, the best marketing aims to give a voice to those with something genuinely useful to say – whether that is a product or service. Your educational establishment is no different.
Marketing is what will help potential students and their families discover your school or college, so it is crucial that you can execute it effectively.
This is how to market for the education sector:
It should be marketing that promotes positive change
The best marketing campaigns go beyond selling a product or service and instead delve deeper, promoting a mindset, a lifestyle choice, and a human need. Education is no different.
While prospective students and their parents want to know that you are the best school available, and learn more about the facilities on offer, what will really register with them on an emotional level is the approach your establishment takes to the development of each student – the driving ethos behind your school or college.
The specifics of this will depend entirely on your educational establishment, but it is best to look deeper and aim to promote positive change through your marketing.
If you want to explore this further, it may be worth consulting with an education marketing agency to help you formulate an educational marketing campaign.
Education marketing is about more than making a profit
Following on from the previous point, it is critical to note that you cannot come across as cynical or commercial within marketing in the education sector. Even if you are independently owned, and you need to turn over a profit, those consuming your marketing should not sense this.
Indeed, like all marketing, you need to turn your attention instead to the needs of your target audience – potential students and their families. They are looking to find the standout school or college that will be in charge of shaping the rest of their lives. Given that their future is potentially in your hands, you need to convince them that you won’t just take good care of them, but you will help mold them into successful, purpose-led people.
You should therefore focus on building trust with your audience, as well as building a close – almost familial – connection with each prospective family who are interested in attending your educational establishment.
Highlights of marketing for education sector establishments
The initial panic you may feel about trying to market your educational establishment is understandable, but in reality, marketing is a natural human tendency and should not be considered a negative approach.
Everything positive in human society has used marketing to grow and become influential – from governments to charities and highly successful entrepreneurs. People even use it in everyday life – there is a reason why social media has driven straight to the root of popular culture.
Therefore, don’t be afraid of using marketing as much as you can – just remember to do it for the right reasons.