An important step in creating an effective marketing campaign for your school is to define your current school population. There are several strategies that schools can use to help them better understand their families and expand their current reach beyond a local audience. While proximity is definitely a factor in recruiting students, it isn't the only major one. Many school administrators prioritize reaching more families who share the same core values as their school.
Here are some tips to help you define your school population and some things to consider for future marketing campaigns.
Determining the population of your school’s student body based on location seems fairly obvious, but it’s an important factor. Whether you live in a suburban, urban, or rural community, determining how students commute to your school and the average distance they have to travel is essential in your recruitment process. For example, if your school is in a more rural community and your average student lives about 15 miles away from your school, you would have to be more strategic to ensure that you are targeting families that can conveniently commute.
The demographic makeup of your student body is another important factor in defining your school population. It’s important to look at the demographics of the family as a whole, not just the prospective students. Since parents and guardians of potential students will be the ones choosing which school to send their children to, tailoring your marketing strategy to pique their interest is an effective strategy.
Beyond statistical demographics like age, you can determine if a student and their family is the right fit for your school during the interview process. Family dynamics are important to observe, to ensure that your students and their families share the values and can meet the expectations of engagement levels required for your school.
The term “psychographic” is not as widely used as “demographic”, but it is an equally important factor to consider when recruiting students for your school. Psychographics refers to the lifestyle, interests, and values of a certain population. Just like you would make a demographic layout of your families, you should also make a psychographic profile. This will help you understand what your current student population of families values and give you ideas on how to market your school better.
A common misconception in developing a target audience is to think that your audience should be exactly like you. Although similarities may make it easier to engage with your audience, they can limit your reach and potentially alienate lucrative connections. Developing family personas of your target audience will help you understand them better and therefore learn how to market yourself to better attract them. All the information you collected from demographics, location, and psychographics will help you create accurate personas which can then be referred back to during your various marketing campaigns.
One way to maintain a connection to the young people in your area and their parents is to diversify your admissions staff. Hiring young people and people of a variety of backgrounds is a great way to ensure that anyone who walks through your door can be sure to feel a connection to your school and your staff.
Overall, defining your school population is a mixture of qualitative and quantitative factors. The more you understand your current student population and your target audience, the better you'll be able to develop a marketing strategy that attracts the right families.
To learn more about defining your school population and engaging with your target audience, check out this live stream on Youtube, hosted by our CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Ryan Lowe.
Tuition Education Platform (TuitionEP) was founded by Dr. Ryan and Gloria Lowe, to simplify tuition payment management and enrollment processing for schools and organizations so you can focus on what you do best. We are a fintech company with a heart for education and its eyes on the future.
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