A guide for Private schools: Consistency is a parent requirement, so why not with your marketing?
Marketing is more important for private schools than it ever has been before. Not only is the market growing more competitive, but parents are very much more alert to marketing – on and offline. This means that the best private school marketing campaigns can have tremendous impact because there’s an audience that’s ready and waiting for them.
Why is consistency important for private school marketing?
For private school marketing to have real impact, it needs to be a clear reflection of what you’re doing; highlighting the major selling points that parents will be looking for.
One of those big plus points is consistency – a vital component of effective education. Your marketing should mirror the constancy of a high quality education, delivered with expertise, to every child in your care.
Consistency is a vital component of any successful marketing campaign. It will:
- Make your message clear
- Strengthen your brand identity
A clear message delivered through a strong brand identity will be more persuasive when it comes to showing the advantages that your school offers, over and above your competitors.
Remember that consistent marketing is regular marketing: that means staying in touch with parents and being a visible part of your community.
Consistency of messaging
Start by identifying and honing the dominant messages of your private school. Think about your central ethos alongside the needs of parents.
Once you’re clear as to the core messages of your school, you need to make sure that they’re used consistently throughout your school marketing materials. That doesn’t just mean repeating the same phrase over and over in different places.
Look at how different marketing communications support your dominant messages. For example:
- Do your sports promotions support your school marketing message of being inclusive and nurturing, while building ambition?
- How can you show these values in your sports promotions (and all other marketing communications)?
Consistent marketing messages for the education sector are as much about what you show as what you’re actually saying.
Consistency of design and imagery
Consistent design, colour palette, imagery and fonts are part of your brand identity. Together, they give an immediate impression of professionalism, high standards and expertise. Create clear brand guidelines and make sure that all staff understand the importance of following them.
This means that all communications, no matter who issues them, conform to the same high standards, consistently reinforcing your school branding.
Consistency doesn’t mean that there’s no room for originality. It doesn’t have to mean safe. There’s plenty of scope for the unusual and innovative, but coupled with consistency, it has the added power of stability, showing established standards and values. The special qualities shown through originality are then firmly part of your private school identity.
Consistency across marketing mediums
Whether it’s your school brochure design, a new school website, an advertising campaign or an email campaign, it’s essential that there’s a common thread of consistency running through all of your school marketing methods. Again, this is a vital part of establishing your school brand identity, and constantly reinforcing the messages that you’re delivering to parents.
Consistency across different marketing mediums isn’t just about the messaging and design. When it comes to social media for private schools, you need to be consistent with how often you post.
Social media planning for private schools is essential:
- How often do you blog?
- How often do you tweet?
- What about your Facebook page?
- Who does it?
- Who coordinates the contributors?
- How is content decided on and checked?
- Which type of communications go where?
Your school social media plan can play a really big part in establishing your values and unique selling points for parents. Make sure that you plan it properly for consistency and use professional help if necessary.
Consistency in marketing may take a bit of planning, but once the plan’s in place, school marketing communications become a whole lot easier. It’s a relatively simple way to build awareness and establish your private school as a first choice for parents.