Embracing an inbound marketing culture for your school marketing strategy is like getting in shape. You won’t see long-term, transformative results if you don’t do it the right way and if you aren’t consistent. You can’t just go to the gym a couple of times and then expect to be fit.
So how can you set yourself up for success? Keep reading to learn more about how to leverage the advantages of inbound marketing for your school.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
First, let’s define what inbound marketing actually is. According to Hubspot, the entity that coined the term “inbound marketing”, it’s “the method of growing your organization by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers. It’s about valuing and empowering these people to reach their goals at any stage in their journey with you.”
Why is this important? Because when you recognize your success as a school marketer is dependent on the success of your families, you will be a more effective marketer. Instead of vying for the attention of your ideal prospective families using outbound marketing approaches, inbound marketing teaches us to earn their attention and engagement through inbound marketing approaches. We want them to come to us without us having to chase them. That’s literally the inbound marketing dream in a nutshell.
Keep in mind that inbound marketing is an umbrella term. It employs multiple content marketing tactics, such as:
- Video marketing
- Content marketing (blog, website)
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
All of these tactics work together to contribute to your overarching inbound marketing strategy.
In today’s blog post I’m going to review the major advantages of an inbound marketing approach as well as explain the results you can expect to see when implementing this methodology for your school.
Statistics That Demonstrate the Power of Inbound Marketing
Let’s take a look at statistics that illustrate the potential of inbound marketing.
- 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing as part of their overall strategy and approximately 60% of those marketers consider those efforts “very” or “extremely” important to their overall strategy. Source: State of Marketing Trends Report 2022, HubSpot
- 73% of consumers reported consuming between three and seven pieces of content before speaking with a salesperson. Source: Demand Gen 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report
- Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. Source: Hubspot
- 87% of marketers say video has increased traffic to their website, while 80% say it has helped increase sales. Source: State of Video Marketing 2020 by Wyzowl
- 86% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use content marketing. Source: Content Marketing Institute
- 84% of respondents reported that, over the last year, content marketing has become more important to their organization’s demand generation efforts. Source: 2022 Content Marketing for Demand Generation Survey, Content Marketing Institute
- After 5 months of consistent inbound marketing execution, the average cost per lead drops 80%. Source: Eloqua
- When inbound marketing tactics are executed properly, they are 10 times more effective for lead conversion, as compared to outbound methods. Source: Gartner
The Real Advantages of Inbound Marketing
Trust and credibility advantages of inbound marketing
If you truly want to implement the inbound methodology, you have to make a fundamental shift in your school. Everyone, from your head of school to your admissions team to your office staff has to understand and believe that your primary mission, no matter what, is to build trust.
Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing focuses on the problems and needs of your potential families. This enables you to attract the right families and build trust and credibility in your school.
For example, you can’t just blog about any topic you feel like writing about. You have to research blog topics proven to appeal to your target families and cultivate trust.
Alignment advantages of inbound marketing
With the right inbound marketing strategy, marketing and admissions teams become fully aligned, learning to trust each other and have mutual respect for one another. They ensure an open line of communication, meeting at least once a week at a minimum.
The admissions team understands and sees the value of their role in creating content that informs prospective parents, leading to inquiries and enrollments. Admission officers are more fulfilled and happier in their roles.
The marketing team sees more value in their work and takes pride in the direct connection between what they produce and the revenue generated for your school.
Content creation advantages inbound marketing
Your marketing team shouldn’t be the ones coming up with topics in a vacuum. The best inbound marketing content strategy is built upon the foundation of communication and feedback between marketing and admissions. You want your admissions team to drive the direction of your content because they have direct contact with potential families. The content you create then needs to be helpful to parents trying to make an enrollment decision. For example, nearly all parents want to know:
- How much will it cost for me to send my child to your school?
- How does your school compare to other schools who have similar programs?
- Which school is the best fit for my child?
- How will your school make a difference in my child’s life?
- How might my child’s life be impacted if I don’t send him/her to your school?
- What are some challenges your school faces, or challenges my child might encounter if I enroll him/her in your school?
- Do you have testimonials and reviews written by parents who have sent their child to your school? (social proof)
Of course, these are not the only questions parents have, but they are a good place to get started thinking about the questions – and objections – parents might have. Once you have these questions, use them to write helpful content for potential families. You will want some of the content to be free (resources, blog posts, infographics, YouTube videos, etc.) and other content should be gated (they must provide a name and email address to receive the content). Common gated content includes guides, cheat sheets, templates, ebooks, case studies, or webinars.
Talk with your admissions team and ask them to write down the top 25 questions they hear most frequently from prospective parents. These are questions they will benefit from having a resource to address. Then, be sure to educate your admissions officers on the different use cases for each piece of content you create. For example, once someone completes an inquiry form, send them a few resources to prepare them for a meeting with an admissions officer.
The admissions team influences the editorial calendar as well. They also should have input on what content should be produced, and when. The content being created by your school attracts more qualified families. You’re creating content for parents who have already embarked on the enrollment journey, not just for brand awareness.
Admissions advantages of inbound marketing
You can see the content created being used during the admissions process, both video and written form. When you review your ROI reporting, you see content being leveraged regularly to enroll families by reviewing contact records in your CRM.
Your admissions team is able to work with more families because the content you’re creating is empowering them to educate parents and spend less time with families who aren’t a good fit with your school’s mission and programs.
Your admissions team recognizes how beneficial the content you’re producing is for your school. In short, the real advantages of inbound marketing aren’t just wins for marketing, but when implementing properly, will benefit your whole school.
Are you struggling with getting everything done that’s needed for an inbound marketing strategy? If you’re having a hard time wondering if your marketing efforts are what you should be doing, wondered about the return on investment of your marketing budget, been tasked with creating report and are unsure what to do, or increase inquiries for your school while still doing everything else on your plate, my Fractional Digital Marketing Program may be for you.
The Fractional Digital Marketing Program takes care of your inbound marketing, blogging, SEO, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads management to get more inquiries for your school.
If interested, schedule a consultation here. I’d love to hear from you!