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school marketing news

How to get people talking about your school

Posted by Clare Ravasini

Word-of-mouth marketingWord-of-mouth marketing can be your best asset or your own worst enemy. We all know that a bad word travels fast, but when responded to quickly and in the right manner it can demonstrate your level and commitment to service. On a more positive note, how do you encourage others to promote your school’s brand to the public through word-of-mouth? Being the most trusted form of unbiased promotion available today, word-of-mouth is an incredibly valuable (and inexpensive) way to generate enrolment leads. What’s more, if the parent is satisfied then they will likely be loyal when it comes to considering schools for any siblings.

Despite the prevalence of social media, many recommendations still happen offline, with people sharing their experiences with friends face-to-face or over the phone. On the surface, word-of-mouth marketing may seem better geared towards larger schools, but this isn’t the case. Small schools have the advantage that the sense of community is often strong and parents rely on the opinions of their neighbours. There’s also an opportunity for parents to have a relationship with staff at the school, so it’s easier to customise offerings and give personal attention. These are the things that tend to increase satisfaction and the likelihood of parents becoming advocates of your school.

Here are three highly effective word-of-mouth strategies:

  1. Be a good storyteller
    When people recommend a school they enjoy talking about the history of the brand, how and why it began, and they like to be included in your journey. Whether that be through targeted and thoughtful blog topics and enewsletters highlighting important things happening in your school. Captivate your audience with your story.
  1. Treat your parents like gold
    Many schools do a great job or nurturing parents during the enrolment stage but the quality and the attentiveness of the relationship can diminish after the child is enrolled. Be careful not to build expectations too high if you’re not able to deliver thereafter. That’s an excellent way to start the ball rolling with some negative word-of-mouth and makes it more difficult to get referrals from your dissatisfied parents.
  1. Find ways to show you care
    Parents value being appreciated and even a small gesture can have a dramatic and lasting impact. It can be as simple as remembering their name and specifics about their child, inviting them to enjoy special events, understanding their needs and offering solutions, keeping your promises or even just asking for their feedback to show you’re interested. 

Negative word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire. Conversely, parents are equally compelled to tell others when they’ve had a good experience and this has the potential to lead to new enrolments.

Word-of-mouth is a powerful promotional tool and should be considered an important part of your school’s marketing strategy.

Want to know more about how to best generate positive word-of-mouth?

Here are some resources you might find helpful:

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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: Education, imageseven, Communication, Marcom, School marketing strategy, School marketing, School