Effective Ways of Marketing to High School Parents

minute read
March 30, 2023

In the competitive recruitment race, it can often feel like you’re falling behind. You need to understand the most effective ways to market your campus to prospective high school parents if you want to keep up the pace. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a few simple tips to get you to the recruitment finish line.

First, Understand Who Your High School Parents Are

You can’t market your school effectively if you don’t know who you’re trying to target.

But how do you get to know your prospective parents? By breaking down their demographic data , such as:

  • Average age
  • Socio-economic background
  • Geographic location
  • Average family size

It’s also important to understand why parents choose one school over another because demographics don’t tell the whole story. What matters to prospective parents? One of the easiest ways to find out is by asking the parents of your current students why they chose your campus over their alternatives. Once you have this demographic and behavioral information, you’ll have a much better idea of how to attract parents to your school.

Invest in Mobile-First Experiences

What, exactly, is a mobile-first experience ? This term simply means planning your website to work well on a mobile device.

Why spend all that time and effort creating a mobile-friendly online presence? Because more than 2 billion people worldwide use their smartphones to access the internet - and only their phones. They don’t use tablets, laptops, or desktops. If you aren’t designing with these users in mind, you’re losing a huge chunk of your audience.

marketing to high school parents

Create a beautiful, easy to navigate website

Parents have the world at their online fingertips - and if your school doesn’t have a website, you’ll be overlooked. The same is true if you have an outdated website with old information, out of date calendars, or poorly done (or missing) staff photos.

Your website is an extension of your school , and should be a place to showcase your school’s unique identity and the amazing courses and activities you offer. But you can’t do that if it’s not regularly updated and maintained.

The site should be easy to navigate, clearly indicating where parents can find FAQs, information about the inquiry, admissions, and enrollment process, and how to contact the appropriate staff with any questions they may have.

Offer a better mobile experience

You’ll stand out from the crowded educational field if your website is mobile-friendly, since many parents check information on the go. They need to find things on their smartphones just as easily as they could from a laptop or desktop computer. Research shows that internet users are five times more likely to leave a website that’s not mobile-friendly.

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Create social media profiles on multiple platforms

While you may have a preferred social media platform, marketing to high school parents requires being on the platforms they and their students use. So don’t limit your campus to only one platform.

Branch out to as many platforms as your admissions and recruitment teams can manage. And, once you’re armed with demographic and behavioral data for prospective parents, you’ll know exactly which platforms to target.

Create Easy to Consume Content

High school parents are busy. They may not have time to hunt for information buried in a website or search for something that requires multiple clicks to find. So make your content as easy to consume as possible. Keep it simple, clear, and to the point.

Quick, informative emails

Any information you provide in an email , including first contact with prospective parents, should be short and easy to understand. Parents don’t want to read a paragraph when a sentence or two will do. Most of the time, shorter is better.

Push notifications

Enable parents to receive push notifications for the things they want to know about. It’s easy to set up on your site or mobile app, and gives parents control over the information they receive from your campus. And if your school has a regular presence in their digital lives, parents are more likely to think of you first when making educational decisions for their children.

Easy to find school details/website content

Don’t bury important information on your school’s website. Make it easy to find FAQs, school details, blogs, school calendars, and upcoming events. Remember, the more easily parents can find information about your school, the more likely they are to keep you in mind during the inquiry and application process.

Focus on Social Media Strategy

Successful school marketing is more than just being on multiple platforms. You need to have a strategy for how to use social media effectively . This could include creating (and sticking to) posting schedules, pre-planning content so it’s not written on the fly, and engaging current students in the process.

Engaging social media content

Do your homework and check out what other schools are doing to engage prospective students. Note the types of content that receive the greatest interaction and incorporate those best practices when creating your content.

For those schools willing to think outside the box, allow your students to help you create engaging social media content. After all, who knows how to market to parents better than their high school students?

Use social media to visually highlight school attributes

One of the most effective ways you can use social media to market to parents is to show images of happy students, engaged teachers, and your beautiful campus. This can be done through:

  • Videos of school events and activities
  • Professional-looking photos
  • Interviews with students and staff
  • Student-produced videos (that have been vetted by the school, of course)

Instagram and Facebook are great visual mediums to show off your school.

Show up in Google Searches

But all that social media savvy won’t get you very far if your school isn’t visible in Google search results. You’ll need to first ensure your website is searchable by Google.

Next, you’ll need to add searchable content , such as blogs, interviews, and articles. Optimize these as much as possible for web searches using relevant SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords for your particular niche, and for the parents you’re trying to reach.

Keywords can be a phrase or single word, but if they’re too generic, they won’t do you much good, since you’ll be competing with a much larger group of websites. Be as specific as possible, so your school can appear on the first or second page of search results for that particular term.

If you get stuck on choosing relevant, specific keywords, turn to the professionals for help. It will be worth it in the long run!

Utilize Digital Ads

To get the most out of your school’s online presence, it only makes sense to use Google and Facebook ads. Schools have a 13.5% conversion rate with Facebook ads, higher than the average conversion rate of 9.2%. For Google ads, schools have higher conversion rates than seven other industry sectors.

Facebook ads are incredibly customizable. You can target by location, interests, and demographic data, so you can see why gathering demographic and behavioral data on prospective parents is so important! Your school will need to have a Facebook account to use these ads, so set that up right away if you haven’t done so already. Remember, Facebook ads can be displayed on Instagram, as well.

A Google ad will get your school noticed. Users conduct an average of 3.5 billion searches on Google every single day. Just imagine the impact your Google ads will have with that type of volume! These ads rely on keywords, not user data, so be sure you have a good understanding of the best keywords to use for your school’s specific niche.

Which ad platform is right for your school? That depends on your goals and marketing strategies . But the worst possible strategy is choosing not to use digital ads.

Tailor Messaging and Copy to Parents

This is not the time for a one-size-fits-all message. Tailor your ad copy to the parents you’re trying to target. Once again, the demographic data and behavioral insights you gathered earlier will help you here. And don’t stick with just one ad. Create ads for each type of parent you want to target in order to have the greatest impact.

Utilize Traditional Print Ads

With all the emphasis on creating a memorable digital footprint, you may be wondering why we’d dedicate space to print ads. Believe it or not, 95% of those under 25 still read magazines. And, when print and digital ads are used together in a marketing campaign, those campaigns are 400% more effective .

Shockingly, even the online generation thinks it’s easier to read print content than online content. (A whopping 92% of 18-23 year olds agree.) So, don’t count those print ads out yet, and make the most of your ad strategies by incorporating both print and digital ads into your school’s next marketing campaign.

Help Parents Envision their Child Succeeding at Your School

Multi-channel marketing (print, digital, various platforms) is incredible, and goes a long way toward recruiting high school parents, but only if they can picture their student thriving on your campus first.

Don’t forget to personalize your school presence, and make it appealing to parents. They’re the ones who have the most pull in the educational decision, and it’s crucial that your school positions itself as the one their child will enjoy and excel in the most.

If you need help with marketing to high school parents or your overall marketing strategies, reach out to our education marketing team at SOLVED Consulting.

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