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Marketing Toward Their Child — Not Students

5 min read
Feb 21, 2024 8:00:00 AM

In school recruitment, telling your school’s story is critical to convincing families to consider your school.

If prospective parents visit your website or see your flyer but don’t understand what opportunities your school offers their student — their child — specifically, you aren’t really giving them something to be excited about or to connect with.

To effectively encourage families to consider your school, you need to share how your school will impact their childnot just students in general. 

Naturally, schools are mission-driven, often focused on macro-level goals like improving the number of students from underserved communities who go on to college or making sure every student has access to high-quality STEM education. And both of those are fantastic missions!

But sometimes those macro-level mission and vision sentiments trickle down into a school’s marketing in a way that has parents thinking, “This is all great. But what does this mean for MY kid?”

While your school exists to serve your community on that macro-level, prospective parents really only care about how the school will serve THEIR kid. Parents don’t care if 80% of your students go on to college; they care about THEIR child’s success. 

So how can you tell an effective story that helps families envision how their child will be successful and happy in your school? Let’s dive in!

By the way, if you’re interested in receiving more student enrollment and recruitment content like this in the future, sign up for the SchoolMint Insider newsletter!

Personalized Impact Over General Features

Schools often get stuck in the habit of just listing all of the programs and offerings their school has, but what parents are really looking for is the impact those offerings have on their children.

Instead of expecting families to connect the dots from offering to impact, do it for them!

For example:

  • Rather than telling people you have small class sizes, tell families what that small class size means for students — which is that their child will receive personalized attention.
  • Don’t just tell families you have 36 extra-curricular programs; tell them that, at your school, their child can be involved in something they love.

Making sure to tell the “Why?” behind the statistics or your offerings helps families directly understand how those statistics impact their child, not just students in general. 

You can also use this to put a little “marketing spin” on some of your stats that might not stand-out on their own. What do I mean by this?

For example, say you’re a small school with small numbers. Here are two ways you could put a marketing spin on those statistics:

  • You might have only four or five sports teams. How great is it that your kid will actually get to PLAY as a freshman and not just sit on the bench?
  • You might have only 10 teachers at your school. How great is it that your kid will be personally known by each and every teacher in the building?

Narratives and Opportunities

Parents love to see how students just like theirs had a great experience at your school. An easy yet impactful way to do this is to highlight stories of diverse individual students who have thrived due to your school’s environment.

You can showcase how extracurricular activities helped one student develop unique skills and discover new passions — or perhaps how a particular class project inspired another student to pursue their dream career.

This storytelling approach makes the opportunities more tangible and relatable to parents and their children.

Emotional Connection

A story isn’t a good story if no one connects with it!

When telling your school’s story, you need to focus on not just creating content that YOU like but instead on creating content that your prospective parents will identify with and be excited about.

So make sure you take the time to deeply understand who your prospective parents are and what they care about. Now, this might sound like a big lift, but you don’t have to start from scratch!

Sign up for SchoolMint Enrollment Academy (don’t worry — it’s FREE!) and check out our free template and training on creating your own “customer personas” to get started:school marketing resources in schoolmint enrollment academy

Visual and Interactive Content

It’s true what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words…but a lot of the school websites and marketing materials we see rely on stock photos — or worse, no photos at all!

Great school marketing materials use authentic photos and videos that show what the school is really like day to day.

For example:

  • Do you want to TELL your prospective parents that students conduct hands-on learning in their environmental science class — or do you want to SHOW pictures of them planting an urban garden?
  • Do you want to TELL families that your school is a diverse and welcoming place for all families — or do you want to SHOW them through photos and videos of families who look like them?

Visually representing your story and values can do a significantly better job at conveying your school’s culture than words could ever do.

So what do you do now? Recognize that what you say about your school and how you say it matters.

You need to be the expert at storytelling when it comes to marketing your school. Saying what you offer is a great first start, but you really have to focus on what that means for prospective families.

If all you do is share facts, features, and statistics, you’re expecting families to connect the dots themselves between what you offer and how it impacts their child. You’re losing out on a huge opportunity to tell families WHY your school is a great place to grow and learn!

Not only that, but it isn’t enough to just “have” these stories. You need to make sure people see them. So where do they belong? Your website and social media of course!

This is your public face and the FIRST place parents look for more information about your school. 

Remember — the goal is to make parents excited about enrolling THEIR child in particular, so your marketing needs to speak to what they care about!

Interested in telling your school’s story to your community?

SchoolMint can help through our digital advertising service!

Whether you’re seeking to spread awareness of your school in your local community or you’re looking to increase student enrollment in the new school year, our enrollment experts are ready to hear your story, understand your challenges, and craft a custom social media advertising campaign for your school.

Learn more here, or click below to get in touch with an enrollment expert.chat with a schoolmint k-12 enrollment consultant ad

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