Did you ever think of marketing when you decided to pursue a career in education? Chances are you didn’t! But in 2021 brand identity and digital marketing are intrinsic parts of any school’s success. Marketing is how we reach more families, how we engage with our community, how we communicate the efforts of our faculty, and how we create content to inspire students outside of the classroom. You are already a passionate educator, now let’s show the target audience WHY your school is the best for them. 

Here at Schola, we know that as a school leader you have a lot on your plate, that is why we want to lend a hand. Let us help you with your marketing homework! 

digital marketing for schools

We created the School Leader Success Guide. A series of articles that will take you on an in-depth digital marketing journey. These articles, combined with our webinars, will prepare your team for successful recruitment campaigns. We will provide the theory you need to know mixed with resources that you can immediately put to the test. 

First things first. 

Have you ever had to open 5+ Google tabs to understand a marketing-related email? Or second-guess yourself before entering a marketing meeting? I know I have! With so many acronyms and ever-changing trends, knowing the basics of the marketing jargon can be a complete game-changer. 

Before we dive into creating strategies and analyzing metrics, let’s take a step back and get to know the basics of the most helpful and commonly used ed-marketing terms.

Brand, we hear about it almost daily. It is part of every marketing document, book, podcast, or class out there. But how do we define it? Well, a brand is the sum of all expressions by which an entity is recognized. For example, as a professional you are a brand, and your school certainly is a brand.

To make any brand stand out it needs a Unique Selling Proposition, (I must say this is one of my favorite marketing concepts!) because it refers to the factor that differentiates a brand from its competitors. In other words, it is what makes your brand REALLY special! It can be the quality, low cost, mission, values… and it is what usually sells to the Decision-Maker. This is the person in a position to make the final choice about buying a product or service. For schools, the decision-makers are usually the parents or guardians, and in some cases it is the student.


Acronyms, ASAP. 

( Are Sometimes A Problem!😅)

For some these can be a little intimidating, but don’t worry, because we got you covered! Here is a list of acronyms that will come in handy for any marketing conversation.

  1. KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – These are used to measure the performance of various factors, from employee functions to marketing tactics. Without a doubt, tracking KPIs will help boost your school’s marketing success.
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – A method to increase a webpage’s performance in web search results. By tweaking elements on a webpage, you can move your site up on a search result page such as Google. SEO elements include keywords, title, image tags, links, and more.
  3. ROI (Return On Investment) – A way to measure the profitability of the investment you make in marketing. ROI compares how much you paid for an investment to how much you earned to evaluate its efficiency.
  4. CTA (Call to Action) – This tells your audience or leads what action you want them to take. Example: “Enroll Today!”
  5. WOM (Word Of Mouth) – This is really powerful within families of the same community! It is to share information from person to person. WOM marketing is inexpensive, however, it involves leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product, content, and social media marketing.
  6. UX (User Experience) – The experience a customer has with a business. It starts from their awareness of the brand, their interaction, purchase, use, and all the way to advocacy.
  7. SMB (Small-to-Medium Business) – Companies that have between 10 and 500 employees.
  8. CPL (Cost Per Lead) – A metric that measures how cost-effective your marketing campaign is. It focuses on generating new leads for the sales team. Therefore, providing important data regarding the return on marketing investment. 
  9. CPA (Cost Per Application) – This is a pricing model which enables you to only pay for quality applications. It helps you can make enrollments faster! 
  10. CPE (Cost Per Enrollment) – The total cost associated with getting one student into your classroom. This includes every marketing budget you spend from the first engagement until they are officially enrolled in your school.

Game-Changing Actions. 

At Schola we are big fans of Inbound Marketing, which is to advertise your school by creating unique content, email broadcast, and social media usage. Combining these efforts with paid advertising is one of the things we know best! When creating a new campaign you must start by analyzing the baseline, which is the starting point to compare performance improvement, forecasting, and strategy creation. Based on this analysis you can dive into A/B testing. This type of testing is all about comparing versions of a webpage, email subject line, landing page, or CTA to see which one performs better. This is also one of our go-to tests because it helps us to analyze the engagement rate. This is nothing more than a measurement of likes, shares, comments, or other interactions a particular piece of content receives. 

To increase engagement rates and build relationships with leads you should apply lead nurturing. It is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. You can also apply multi-channel techniques, such as: 

  • Email Nurturing – A series of emails that are sent based on a lead’s behavior, which delivers timely, targeted information. 
  • Retargeting Ads – Retargeting allows you to reach new prospects with your ads. A retargeted ad helps those who’ve never heard of your company understand how your product or service fits into their lifestyle or solves a potential problem.
  • Discovery Call – It is the very first call with a lead! Its purpose is to find out if they’re a good fit for your school.
  • Mobile Marketing Automation – To use software along with a set of rules and templates to make it easier for a company to communicate with its prospects by segmenting and personalizing the content. 

The ‘aha!’ Moment.

All of the marketing efforts mentioned here lead us to where the magic happens: conversions. This is one of the most important aspects for the success of any business. It refers to the moment where you turn a visitor into a customer. But, it may not be an actual purchase. It could be subscribing to your email list, filling out a contact form, or enrolling for the new semester.

Understanding the importance of marketing and effective communication is crucial for your school’s marketing success. For the education field, the focus is on the classroom, however it is just as important how we communicate our efforts to engage, recruit, inform, and keep our students. To build a solid community requires a lot of effort and understanding marketing concepts will help you stay on top of this significant part of your school’s success.

Now that we have covered the basics of Marketing Jargon let’s dive right into your audience and how to define it. See you in the next School Leader Success Guide article!