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school marketing news

How inbound marketing for schools will change in 2017

Posted by Clare Ravasini

How inbound marketing for schools will change in 2017Times have changed. A decade ago schools had very different tactics to generate enrolments. The pushy ‘enrol now before you miss out’ approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. Nowadays, schools need to look to the future and build an inbound marketing strategy that will keep them ahead of the game.

Whether you’re already engaged in inbound marketing or not, here are the top 8 tips you need to know for 2017:

1. Switch from pushy to helpful selling
As power shifts increasingly to the parent, schools are incentivised to be helpful rather than forceful. Just as inbound marketing overthrew pushy outbound marketing, inbound will transform schools from aggressive closers into helpful advocates. Align your prospecting efforts with how parents want to purchase by tuning into the signals that indicate interest, and working to increase the flow of inbound leads (State of Inbound, 2016).

2. Is your school social selling?
You should be. According to IBM, 55% of buyers do all their research using social networks. And it’s no surprise that the same is true for parents when they are researching schools to enrol their child in. By having a strong social presence, parents will find you at a time when they’re actively looking to explore their options.

3. Invest in quality personnel
Having the right people to drive your inbound marketing strategy is crucial, and can be the difference between success or failure. Providing additional training to your staff could be the best investment you make for 2017.

4. Closing the deal is harder than ever
This is largely due to increased competition and greater sophistication of your rivals. It’s no longer safe to continue with ‘business as usual’. Schools need to constantly be one step ahead to remain in the game and stay competitive.

5. Evolve the prospecting process
Schools often report that prospecting becomes increasingly difficult when the lead is poorly educated about the school. Nurture your leads by providing them with all the relevant information that they need to make an educated purchase decision.

6. Admissions and marketing teams to work closely
Make sure your admissions and marketing teams are speaking the same language because misalignment will result in an inconsistent inbound effort. Ultimately it comes down to communication. If there’s room for improvement for either team but there’s no feedback mechanism in place, then each team will be none the wiser to change.

7. Meet prospective parents where they want to be
When connecting with prospective parents do you determine the method of communication or do they? Successful inbound marketing is about reaching prospects at the right place at the right time with the right message. Create content that is insight-driven and publish where your prospects will be actively looking for it. Social channels, video conferences, messenger apps; channel diversity is ever increasing. Familiarise yourself with the channels parents prefer, to communicate effectively.

8. Use an integrated CRM
Not having a CRM that can integrate with other systems or having to do manual data entry are the two biggest challenges for schools today. Without an effective CRM schools are not able to gain a true perspective and tracking the progress of prospects becomes impossible.

To learn more about optimising your inbound marketing strategy for 2017, download your complimentary copy of our ebook. To learn about inbound marketing for schools, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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This blog was written by Clare Ravasini

Clare joined imageseven in 2013. Since then, no two days have ever been the same and she has loved every minute. Clare considers herself an out-of-the box thinker, which serves her well in her work with a variety of clients. She’s got a spring in her step, always has a smile on her face and has a passion for all things creative. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and loves living the country life with her horses.

 

Topics: Lead generation, Education, Inbound marketing, Social media, imageseven, Communication, Marcom, School marketing strategy, Content marketing, School marketing