Whether private or public, schools in South Africa are rapidly realizing the benefits of digital marketing.
The top trends cited by various schools is the ease in which a digital marketing strategy has helped them recruit students and parents, communicate with alumni, and distributing the latest news and updates about the school.
2019 seems to be the year in which education and digital marketing create new opportunities for schools in South Africa and overcoming some of the challenges experienced.
With the rise of emerging social media formats, exciting new features and even brand-new platforms, let’s find out how the 2019 will unfold for digital marketing for schools.
Google my Business
Google my Business has been a great marketing tool for schools as it as shown the location, great images, FAQ’s and history about school. It is usually the first point on contact for people searching for the school.
Such information makes it easier for those searchers looking for quick information about the school. Google my Business can become a great summary of the school for people who are browsing for nearby schools and want an understanding on what the school is about.
From your Google my Business page you can promote events about the school, answer questions regarding fees and uniform, and the personnel of the school.
For schools looking to improve their digital marketing in 2019, Google my Business will be a great asset.
Video of school activities
The growth and benefits of video content has been immeasurable for schools across all social media platforms.
Video content allows everyone to enter and experience the lifestyle of organisations and individuals.
The best sales pitch any school has is the people at the schools and their shared experieces. From sports games to classroom activity, birthday celebrations and award ceremonies, schools are an treasure trove of content to market to the world.
Parents and their children choose schools according to the benefits and advantages it will provide in future. Video content will allow schools to show the very best students, teachers and personnel are experiencing at the school.
Who doesn’t want to go to the school where we can see the educational and lifestyle benefits of attending it?
Continued growth of email marketing
As a promotional and communications tool, email marketing can be used to constantly share news and updates to the schools stakeholders and students on a weekly or monthly basis.
With almost every student, teacher, parent and school personnel having an email address, building and utilising your email database could have multiple benefits for schools in 2019.
Creating personalised and more tailored messages to your email list could increase engagement and feedback from members of the school. When the schools stakeholders are informed of the schools activities, it will allow them to invest more in contributing to their growth and success.
Past and present members of a school still want to feel like they are part of it, that is why continuously updating them will mobilse the schools greatest asset, it’s members.
Interactive social media strategy
The days of just posting on the schools social media pages are long gone. Social media is no longer a one-way conversation for any organisation. Continuing such a social media strategy will leave your pages with minimal engagement and zero Return-on-Investment.
2019 is the year of having a conversation with your followers. Understanding what they are saying about your school on social media is essential to your social media strategy.
Interaction on social media is engaging with your followers and third party sources, responding to comments and messages on your profiles and posting content that is relevant to your audience
A schools social media presence should not only be an extension of the school, but rather part-and-parcel of the school. The lifestyle and energy of the school should be emulated on its social media accounts.
Social media is no longer a trend or exclusively for young people, it has become ubiquitous with everyone’s online experience from WhatsApp and Instagram to Facebook and YouTube.
That is why a school that creates and implements an interactive social media strategy will continue to thrive.
Creating thought leadership – blogging
Blogging is the ultimate tool for establishing insight and knowledge about the schools. It not only helps improve search engine performance, it allows a school to bring its classrooms online.
2019 is the year to get all members of the school to get involved in the blog. Contributions from the principal to the staff and students – past and present – will give a great account about the stories of the school.
Blogging will not only benefit a schools digital marketing efforts but will also contribute to the intellectual and writing skills of those school members contributing to the blog page.
Creating competitions and incentives for those writing blog posts will allow a school to tap into the great wealth of knowledge it is blessed with.
The aim is to provide valuable information for those wishing to be part of your great institution.
In 2019, digital marketing for a school is as important as any task undertaken by the school. South African schools are now making inroads into the industry, thus allowing all of us to watch them thrive.