Marketing & Online Presence


Attract Students & Build a Name for Yourself

How you present yourself online is key to your marketing success. Use your online presence to grow your number of enrolled students.



Get Found & Set Yourself Apart


Marketing, particularly with the evolution of online marketing and social media, has become increasingly complex over recent years.

In this section we distill down what we believe to be the most salient points for developing a marketing strategy for your school and identifying a few channels that can be effective in meeting your enrollment goals. With knowledge of who you want to reach, a great website, and a few well-selected channels, you can get in front of the right people and make an impression.

Software That Simplifies & Empowers Your School


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Twine helps schools simplify their administration, automate scheduling/staffing, and lesson the load placed on teachers and administrative staff. Twine also helps with enrollment, marketing, and more. See what Twine can do:


Parent Communications

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Websites & Admissions

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School Management

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Online Classrooms

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Defining Your Audience & Understanding Their Needs


When you get into the specifics of marketing, you’ll find that all of your choices are based on who the target audience for the message will be. For example, if you’re advertising for hiring teachers or staff, your audience is going to be educators and those with support staff experience, not necessarily every person out there.

Similarly, when you’re looking at how to get families to attend your school, you might think about who in the family is going to view your content and what their needs are. How you approach marketing to a student versus their mom is going to be a different approach. There isn’t one right or wrong way to handle this, but it is probably wise to look at the wants and needs of the primary decision maker, which for most families is the parents. What do parents want out of a private school? Why might a parent choose a private school for his or her children?

Once you understand the needs of your target audience, you can create marketing efforts that are more focused and will be more successful.



Who Are Your Prospective Customers?

Remember all that thinking you did in the school identity section about your core values and mission? That is going to come in handy again here. You might be thinking your prospective customers are all the students and families that live near your school – but that’s probably not accurate.

Based on the type of school you’re opening, the tuition you’re going to charge, the courses and activities you’re going to offer (or not offer), your target families are going to narrow down. Take some time to think about who they are and what they are like. Understanding your prospective families is key to making smart marketing decisions, so the more you know about them, the better off you’ll be.



Buyer Personas

Next, it is time to really narrow down your audience by thinking about who your ideal buyer is. You may be in the business of directly serving children, but do children make the decision about where to attend school? Not usually.

Marketers that sell to consumers often recommend the development of one or more “buyer personas” that can be used to help you understand your prospective buyers better. In the niche you want to serve, are education decisions usually made by one parent or two? What is the age of these parents? What is their typical income or occupation? Where does that parent shop? What are their interests and what websites do they visit? All this and more goes into developing a persona.

Two great starting points for writing buyer personas include:

Use the personas you develop to guide your marketing efforts. If you know the questions & concerns of your ideal buyer, and know where they shop, how they like to get information, and what institutions they respect, you can more easily ensure that your message will be seen and will resonate with the right people.

Marketing Basics


Tradtional Marketing


Your School Website


Website Providers

As a service built as a one-stop for independent schools, Twine includes great school websites.

Our websites for schools are beautifully designed, easy to setup and maintain, and even include online applications for staff and students. Best of all, Twine’s websites require no specialized technical knowledge or skill.

consistent branding matters and your website is one of the most important conveyors of your school’s brand.

Alternately, there are a variety of low-cost, stand-alone website solutions you might consider. Note that most of these solutions will require that you build or modify a web template, design your site navigation and menus, and then fill in and maintain content. In many cases you’ll want to engage a professional designer to get the most out of these platforms, even if starter templates or free options are provided. Common general-use platforms include:

Online Marketing


Great Resources to Expand Your Marketing Knowledge


There are truly hundreds of thousands of marketing resources available online and you could make it your full-time job to know and understand it all – in fact, lots of people do! Here are just a few good resources we’ve found helpful, but know that there are lots and lots more out there:

  • Hubspot Academy – This site offers training and tips for all things internet marketing, from emails, to social media, to creating content for your website.

  • PPC University – This is where to go if you want to learn more about PPC ads and how you can use them to find potential prospects.

  • Association of National Advertisers – The Marketing Knowledge center this organization offers is full of great content, including best practices and trends.

  • Vero – Here you’ll find a great blog focused on tips and tricks for reaching out to your website visitors.

  • Moz – Moz’s blog focuses on SEO and getting your website in front of the people who are looking for it.

  • Contently – This blog focuses on producing great content that you can use to attract potential customers.

  • AdEspresso – If you’re thinking about advertising on social media, this blog has some advice, tips, and best practices.

  • Convince and Convert – This blog focuses on all aspects of digital marketing and is a good read if you’re looking to enter the online marketing landscape.

Internal Marketing


If your website is only for prospects, where should you go to communicate with enrolled students and their families?

Too often, schools think they should try to communicate everything, everywhere. The result is that both prospective families and currently enrolled families all get frustrated, having to wade through content that isn’t intended for them. Instead, you should identify specific channels that you’ll use to promote your school and get the attention of prospective families, and other (restricted) channels for communicating with active students and their parents .

As a general rule, your website and social media presence should be oriented toward prospective families, community partners and prospective employees. These channels should include information explaining who you are, what your school believes, and what makes you unique.

For anybody who is actively engaged with the school, including staff, advisors, enrolled students, and their families, communications should be centralized in a secured “portal” or intranet with one-stop access to discussion groups, calendars, committees, online class areas, news and updates, photo galleries, and individualized data about student performance, homework, grades, attendance, etc. We call this portal a School Management System.

At Twine, we have built our platform to support exactly this structure, combining an intuitive, comprehensive School Management System where enrolled students and their families interact with staff, alongside public-facing websites for prospects.

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Guide Quick-Nav



Introduction to Starting a School

Introduction

We’ve developed these 10 topics to help you along the way. Take them all in at once, or start with the areas most relevant right now.


Creating Your School Identity

School Identity

There’s plenty you can do to develop your own brand, starting right from your personal ideals and goals for your school.


Creating Your School Curriculum

Curriculum

Our curriculum pages include ideas on where to go to find materials, and different associations and educational models you may want to consider.


Legal & Operating Requirements

Legal & Operating Requirements

You need to know the requirements at both the federal level and for your state. Here are the basic details for every state.


Introduction to Starting a School

Funding & Finance

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Creating Your School Identity

Business Plan & Budget

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Facilities

Facilities

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.


School Staffing

Staffing

How can you find and recruit the right talent for your school? What qualifications or certifications are required?


School Policies & Procedures

Policies & Procedures

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Marketing & Online Presence

Marketing & Online Presence

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Associations

Associations

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.