When people hear the words digital marketing, most people immediately think of social media and web ads. These are two big parts of the digital marketing sphere, but let’s not forget that digital marketing covers a broad spectrum of marketing techniques and areas, on and offline. Radio and TV are both digital marketing platforms and, although they are slowing in some markets, are both viable options.
We also must not forget telephone marketing which is still widely used and enjoys success across certain industries. These traditional digital marketing methods can be effective if used well, but online digital marketing is experiencing huge amounts of growth and doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.
Despite covering a large array of areas, the term digital marketing is mainly used to refer to only online digital marketing. Over the last financial year in Australia, online digital ad spend increased by 11.7% to $7.6 billion. While it’s never good to use new marketing methods for the simple reason that everyone else is, those numbers are hard to ignore.
So let’s look at the five basic areas of online digital marketing to see what could be a worthwhile addition to your school’s marketing mix.
1. Social media
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are your school’s tickets into the world of social media, preferably in that order. Most schools today will have a Facebook page that is hopefully used effectively to communicate with parents and attract prospective parents to their school. Have a listen to these SMC podcasts in which we talk about using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at your school.
Your school’s email newsletter should be the bread and butter of digital communication with your parents and prospects. A visually appealing newsletter that delivers clear, relevant messages to your audience will be a very effective communication tool.
3. Inbound marketing
Often called content marketing, inbound marketing is a method of attracting prospective customers by providing them with content like blogs, podcasts and ebooks on your area of expertise with the intention of building rapport and generating leads. This content is often given in exchange for their name and email address so that they become a contact that you can send more content to. Then when the prospect is ready to engage or purchase, they approach you over your competitors because of the trust you have built through the content you’ve given them. Trinity Grammar School in Sydney offer a great example of a successful school blog that not only builds leads but is very informative for parents, both current and prospective.
4. Pay Per Click advertising (PPC)
PPC advertising is a method used by marketers to gain site visits through payment instead of organic traffic. The price per click is determined by how many click your ad receives. Google AdWords is the most common methods for PPC advertising and can be very effective if done well. It is a slightly complex method to understand completely so have a read of this extensive article and infographic from WordStream.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Gone are the days of filling your site with key words and hoping for the best. Search engine optimisation is the process of increasing the chances of getting organic traffic to your site, or in simple terms, good SEO helps Google find your site. SEO is a broad discipline but learning the basics like correct use of key long tail key words and meta descriptions can make a big difference. Get started by watching this informative video from Search Engine Land.
Online digital marketing may at first seem like a black hole of possibilities and can be intimidating, but don’t be afraid! Small steps and consistent effort will see you build your marketing mix and knowledge of the digital sphere to help drive traffic to your site and to your school.