Should you hire a school marketing agency?
There are only three reasons to hire external support for your school's growth:
- You are facing flat or declining enrollment.
If your school's growth is stalling an agency can bring you a few quick wins by using high converting ads from their copy library.
- You lack the time or skills to grow your school.
My most recent call with a principal of a 300-student school in rural Pennsylvania went like this; me: "So what made you reach out? Why did you decide NOW is the time? We've been in touch in the past a few times..."
Him: "We were simply running out of time to learn how to try different marketing channels. We were falling behind on our social media marketing. I decided to hire an agency the day a parent confused us for a 'bus-bench' school down the road."
- You are unsure of your next move.
If you're running all the marketing yourself, you might be struggling to determine or settle on a broader marketing strategy. A school marketing agency will help you analyze your 'Unique Selling Points' (USPs) and develop a longer-term winning social media strategy. Parent surveys and thematic testing will shine a light on which points resonate most with your parent audience.
If you feel you fit into one of the above three groups, you might want to start shopping around.
There is, however, a critical component to look for in a school marketing agency; make sure they understand the K-12 educational landscape.
A generic marketing agency should be able to guide you on how to manage direct mail, Google Adwords, Facebook marketing, print ads, etc.
A SCHOOL marketing agency will take it a step further.
They will know the latest marketing strategies, AND they should also be able to write and design ads that resonate deeply with your parent audience.
Deciding where to send your kid to school is after all an emotional decision. Marketing techniques will only take you so far. Being able to overlay the best marketing techniques with with insights into parent decision journey is what will get your enrollment growing again.