9 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes Schools Need to Avoid

Digital marketing continues to evolve over time, making it challenging to keep up with all the changes constantly happening. It might seem your digital marketing strategy is effective, but sometimes there are new best practices that have developed in the world of school marketing.

Digital marketing mistakes could cause you to implement the wrong strategy, tactics or target the wrong audience.

Here is a list of nine common digital marketing mistakes your school could be making. Correcting them will help improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

  1. Not clearly defining your audience

A common mistake school marketers tend to make is not defining your audience niche as specifically as possible. It’s important to build a clear persona so you can create the best messaging campaigns that will appeal to your prospective families.

  1. Poor website design

Your website is often the first impression parents will have of your school. It makes sense to design it with the goal of making it attractive and compelling to your target families. Make sure your website is designed to be user-friendly and relevant to your target audience.

  1. Not making your site mobile-friendly

A large majority, at least 91 percent of internet users, will access your website using a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you will lose visitors. Make sure your website functions well on mobile devices by using Google Search Console features, which will tell you if your site has any mobile usability errors.

  1. Not optimizing your website for search engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to be an essential strategy for getting your school found online. If you haven’t incorporated SEO best practices into your digital marketing strategy, families who are a good fit for your school might not be able to find you. As a result, you will lose valuable traffic to other schools that can be found online, or at least rank higher on search engine results pages.

  1. Not having a blog

Your website needs a blog. Why? Because blogs help you build and maintain relationships with parents. They also are a part of an effective SEO strategy and are essential for inbound marketing. Blog posts also give you content to publish on social media, furthering reach to your target families.

Furthermore, your blog needs fresh content on a consistent basis. The more frequently you post to your blog the more traffic you will attract to your blog. Marketing Insider Group found that publishing to a blog 11+ times per month gives the best results and Hubspot found that publishing 16 posts per month gave a return of 3.5 times more traffic than businesses that published less than 4 times per month.

  1. Not using social media

Social media is a great way to reach out to your families and prospective families and engage with them. It’s also inexpensive compared to traditional marketing campaigns. In the United States, eighty-one percent of people have a social media profile. Families are active on social media – your school should be too! Read more: 10 Creative Ways to Boost Your School’s Social Media Presence

  1. Not using social proof 

Social proof will influence others to enroll in your school. People who are undecided or unsure whether your school is a good fit for their family will assume others who have experience will have more knowledge and insight than they do.

Positive testimonials, reviews and stories go a long way toward helping those who are making a decision about your school decide to submit an application. And since testimonials are so powerful, you should encourage students, parents, alumni and other stakeholders to share their positive experiences. 

  1. Not using remarketing

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is where marketers show ads or send emails to people who have visited their site. Or, retargeting can be used when someone visits a landing page or a specific webpage, such as a page with an inquiry form or application download. It’s an effective way to “retarget” people who have shown an interest in your school.

There are lots of ways to do remarketing, but basically you upload a snippet of code on the page the user visits, and then the user is shown ads or sent an email that follows up on the content of that page.

Remarketing works because remarketing conversion rates increase over time. Most people who visit your site aren’t ready to enroll their child in your school yet. If you use Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you will increase your reach tremendously.

  1. Taking on too much

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When this happens, often you won’t get the results you’re seeking. You’ll end up running yourself ragged and accomplishing far less than you had hoped. As school marketers, we tend to overdo it trying to get everything done with limited resources.

Counteract this by focusing on the aspects of your job you do the best at, and delegate or outsource the parts you don’t enjoy or are not your forte. Read more: 7 Ways to Increase Productivity With a Small School Marketing Team

Take some time to determine whether you need to overcome any of the aforementioned digital marketing mistakes. If so, what adjustments will you make? By following these suggestions, in time your school will see improved results in terms of engagement, traffic, inquiries and enrollments. 

Need help with your SEO efforts? Consider SEO Coach, DIY software for school marketers. SEO Coach will help you optimize your website to improve search engine rankings. Click here to learn more

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.

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