In our "Enrollment Blitz" webinar series focused on Maximizing Marketing. How can you take full advantage of your marketing dollars to produce the best results? To expand your marketing expertise, be sure you know the difference between paid media and earned media, and that you have a good understanding of inbound marketing strategies.
Prospect Lists & Relationships
Creating prospect lists is essential to your marketing strategy. Disciplined cultivation of your database will yield strategic advantage in multiple ways. Sources for data includes your local post office, which can often give you free mailing addresses for subdivisions near you. Based on your current enrollment or assigned areas, you will know which subdivisions or neighborhoods on which to focus. You can send them invitation post cards about graduation results, summer camps, continuing education, and other summer events that they may find of interest.
Reach out to area organization that are hosting summer camps, Vacation Bible Schools, or similar programs and offer to give them promotional items (e.g., pens, bags, balloons, etc.) to distribute. Sponsor a local YMCA Fun-Run and always find ways to collect the names. Investing in your database will generate a valuable return when it comes to enrollment and fundraising.
In this social media connected world, content that you create and publish is a critical part of generating Internet search engine success. Consider creating a blog on your school site where you publish a few times each week stories about life at your school. You want to create content that encourages engagement and conversation. You can also reach out to local newspapers with articles of community interest. Without mindshare you are irrelevant, so leverage your content strategy to maximize the ROI from marketing.
When you employ an ecosystem mindset, you appreciate that your school is part of a much bigger community of people, organizations, suppliers, and other relationships. How can you better connect with key influencer's in your ecosystem who are actively engaged with families? Consider leaders at religious organizations, civic clubs, pediatricians and orthodontists offices, real estate organizations, etc.
One way to connect with them is to create a free Google+ OnAir Hangout interview with those leaders online where you feature their stories. Make them a "hero" and support your their goals while achieving yours--mindshare. Ask them questions about their business/practice, delve into their stories, and learn what is happening in their sphere of influence. As you help them get their message out, they will reciprocate.
Another relationship building option is hosting a realtor luncheon where you introduce them to your campus and value proposition. Reaching out to feeder schools is a "no brainer" to share resources, recruiting, professional development, and similar items. It's hard to go wrong in building such mutually beneficial relationships throughout your school ecosystem.