Choosing the right option for a K-12 school is one of the most vital decisions a family can make. The education, environment, and experiences a child has during their formative years can drastically influence their overall happiness, their outlook and philosophy on life, and the opportunities they can enjoy as an adult.
Therefore, brand management strategies in the world of K-12 Education emphasize efficiency, creativity, and maintaining the quality of educational services.
Revamped technology has introduced fresh opportunities in the education industry. With competition soaring high in K12 education institutions, many nonprofit institutions, as well as for-profit institutions, are creating brand management strategies to build awareness for their institutions.
Brand management in the education industry focuses on school community engagement. How you engage with the community, what you offer your students, and the values that permeate the academic environment you provide are all part of brand experience and brand positioning.
One of the most significant things you can do to ensure your educational institution is successful is to have a clear brand positioning. In higher education programs, students have a voice; they prepare themselves for high-paying careers through partnerships and internship programs that play an essential role.
Brand management strategies in K-12 educational institutions are more parent-focused while keeping the students at the center. A new era of parents who are seeking to enroll their children in K-12 programs are exposed to the growing influence of technology.
In today’s time, educational institutions cater to national and international curriculum and thus provide a variety of learning options for students and parents to choose from. he offerings an institution includes are quality education and upbeat infrastructure. Therefore, while creating a marketing plan, we need to keep in mind the demographics and psychographic. Even the technological influence amongst the parents is impacting their informed decisions.
To succeed in today’s highly competitive and evolving educational marketplace, institutions must either redefine how their current offerings can meet those new needs or revise their offerings to provide educational institutions with solutions to meet their problems.
Defining Appropriate Personas:
Through marketing segmentation you will need to create personas for the parents and students you are targeting. Different personas for different sections of the target demographic needs to be created as an educational institution does not cater to one specific kind of parent. There are many defined segments when it comes to a school. It all boils down to surveying, reviewing, and changing according to your brand’s needs.
Identifying Relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI):
The general goal of every institution is to increase enrollment numbers. In order to facilitate growth, KPIs like footfall or walk-in enquiries generated, call to action (CTA) conversion rates, the contribution of traffic sources, and social media engagement can be considered. KPIs can track whether your key objectives are on track, behind, ahead, or complete and accordingly give you a more actionable metric to put your efforts into. Social media engagement can be affected in many ways. However, for K-12 marketing services, this may not be practical, and social media marketing may play a less significant role in general.
Enhanced Brand Experience:
A parent can espy a brand if it is built on a number of marketing factors such as setting up a dialogue room and displaying collaterals, brochure, videos and brand playbook, digital and social media management, public relations, events, direct marketing and lead generation campaigns.
Brand Style Guide:
Keeping your target audience in mind, you need to maintain a consistent brand image to create a brand recall and recognition value. Maintaining uniformity is not only true for branding on correspondence and letterheads but is also true for the type of language you use in any online social media post. This includes your content, color schemes such as those used consistently by major social media networks. These brand traits are what we call the brand style guide.
Digital and Social Media Marketing:
Website is the most important aspect of the brand experience. Your website should include all the details pertaining to the academic insights, initiatives, awards, offerings and facilities. An incomplete and a not mobile-friendly website will have a negative impact on your branding strategies. Social media engagement is most prevalent among the parent and students community that can be used to share learning experiences relevant to them.
With several institutions mushrooming at a rapid pace these days, it has become imperative for educational institutes to differentiate their brand in the market, keep competition at par and establish themselves as a leader in the sector. PR enables education institutes to enhance their brand visibility, making it easier for the target audience to know more about the institute on the web without having to visit in person. A PR plan can be taken into action such as arranging community events, giving press releases, and arranging for promotional content to be produced. Best type of influencers can be your current students who can share their personal experiences which can be recorded online, published in student blogs, or even used in school newsletters. Similarly, alumni can share how the institution prepared them for life skills and shaped them into future ready global citizens.
Events whether virtual or in-person can also be a great way to connect with prospective families and introduce them to your school and put forward your brand experience. You could host informative sessions that allow both parents and students to explore your programs, courses, extracurricular activities, and much more. Inter-school competitions and events can highlight the capabilities of your institution and can bring a lot of public attention.
Digital and Traditional Marketing Aspects:
A 360 degree campaign by running digital and traditional marketing strategies can be generated to engage the audience directly and can include various media vehicles such as social media ads, search engine etc. in digital mediums and billboards, bus shelters, newspaper etc. in traditional mediums.
In addition, you can put tactical campaigns into effect to bolster any weak areas in your marketing strategy or to keep your marketing efforts going in the right direction.
Generation of Reports:
Keeping a track of the efficacy of your marketing campaigns is crucial while executing marketing strategies. By employing digital tools, you can track your lead through impression, conversion, and finally, enrollment. It will also be highly valuable to centralize your marketing reporting so that resources can be allocated where needed without the institution becoming complacent.
About the Author
Saijeet Bhambri is a Senior Marketing Manager based in Mumbai, India. He has extensive experience in K-12 National and International School sector. He has successfully lead brand positioning, advertising and communication functions in leading K-12 educational organizations in India. He is recognized for implementing marketing strategies and running end to end digital and traditional campaigns.
His other competencies include inspiring and mentoring multicultural team members into delivering exceptional outcomes. In his professional journey, while working with advertising agencies, event management agencies and branding agencies, Saijeet has been fortunate to be associated with esteemed organization in India. In this article, he shares his insights on a broad range of brand management tasks, which with coordinated planning can bring about transformational changes in an institution.