How do I start my Digital Enrollment Marketing Plan?
Things to do BEFORE You Spend a Dime
Chasing buzz-words and shiny objects tends to lead you right back where you started…but with less resources to try it again.
School Marketing is an investment in time and money, and you MUST get a return on that investment. It can be time consuming if you do it
yourself, or expensive if you hire someone else to do it…and it doesn’t pan out.
You already know that you need a plan, or what I call a “blueprint” before you spend one dime or one-minute chasing those shiny objects.
But how do you get started?
Start with a Situational Analysis:
How can you make any plans if you don’t know how you compare to other choices your parents have? Regardless of how detailed you want to
get, you can safely break down any introspective look at you own web presence into three categories:
1: Site: Your website is the hub of all things marketing. All roads lead back to your site regardless if they came from a
Google search, a social post, or a direct mail piece. How does your website stack up next to other school choices, and to other leading
websites in your industry?
Professional Look: If your website looks homemade or out of date, studies have shown that your school or business is
perceived as less trust-worthy. How does it visually compare to other choices that parents or consumers have?
Current Design Standards: Todays websites are designed for mobile first, with desktop layouts falling into place. This is
a big departure from the way sites were designed just a couple of years ago. Scrolling is no longer taboo. In fact, since most websites
are being viewed on smartphones, scrolling is now the preferred method of navigation.
Readability: Don’t assume that your customers are as interested in you as you are. People don’t read on the
Internet, they scan, they see Headlines, Images & Bullet Points. Get to the point quickly. Consumers will gravitate to images before
the will read a block of text.
Free Resource: “25
for driving Traffic, Leads & Students to your School” for Driving Traffic Leads & Sales
2: Search: Parents and consumers who are actively searching for something are farther down the sales funnel because they
are looking for YOU, you aren’t looking for them. They are typically more pre-qualified than social media leads.
Run your own Search: As a digital marketing agency, we use a variety of fancy schmancy software programs to aid us in
determining where our clients rank in relation to their competitors. However, if you search for something that your next best customer is
likely to search for, and only your competitors show up, they’re getting the business, and you’re not.
Different Search Channels: Google is the 800 lb. gorilla, but do you show up on other places where your customers might
be? Yahoo/Bing, CitySearch, various directories? Once again, if you’re competitors or only other schools are showing up and you aren’t,
you’ve got a problem.
Paid Search: Pay-Per-Click advertising is the single quickest way to get people who are actively searching for your
products and services to your website. Are your competitors running paid advertising? If they are, and if they have a great website, they
are getting customers that you aren’t.
3: Social: Believe it or not, a robust social media presence can actually give your search engine optimization a boost.
Not only does it help establish your brand, traffic to your website alerts Google that you have something interesting going on (called
Uniformed, Branded Profiles: If someone went to your Facebook page and then Twitter and then your Google My Business
page, would it look like the same company? That’s all part of your company brand.
Fans, Followers & Activity: “Likes” do NOT equal sales. However, it’s worth taking a look to see if your competitors
are more popular than you are. It’s a branding thing….
Paid Social Advertising: Ask yourself, how does Facebook make money? Is it from helping you build your business for free?
Nope, companies have less and less direct access to their markets for free. The game is rigged…but that’s ok, Facebook advertising is
still reasonable, and under the right circumstance, very effective. Have you ever been to a competitor’s website or Facebook page, and
then noticed they keep showing up in your Facebook newsfeed? Coincidence? I think not.
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