If you are reading this, the possibilities are you have taken your Nigerian School online and are looking to improve your digital marketing strategy. Or, you are totally new to digital marketing and hoping to push that “Share button” that’ll make your school’s brand goes viral. This tour will help clear the roadblock so you see which digital marketing strategy works best.
How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Nigerian School
- Define your offerings, mission, audience, etc
This stage is where you truly do all your homework as the pupils do after school.
Before moving your school online or even creating a website, ask key questions:
- “What does my school really offer parents and pupils?”
Be sure the questions also provide relevant answers that are relevant today. For instance, digital transformation is changing the face of society and industry. Is your school working to inspire pupils who will be competitive in a digital future that started today?
- What is your school’s mission statement?
Having a mission helps you understand this is not just some business venture to meet enrollment targets. Your school’s mission statement focuses on what change you are about to make in the lives of kids and their parents through reliable educational services. Schools that solve this riddle of “offerings, mission statements, and their “about us” sections never have issues marketing on any platform. What educational services do you offer kids and their parents? Are there some unique icing on the cake like mentorship, bilingual classes, after-school features, daycare bonuses, unique extracurricular activities, a robust curriculum, and so on? Your offerings should position you in such a way that parents will have more reasons to choose you above other schools.
This will also lead you to research your school’s target audience.
- Knowing your target audience helps you create more targeted marketing messages. E.g. You may want to target say 9-5 parents if you have an appealing daycare facility. But this will be difficult if you do not know who your target audience is in the first place.
After audience research which we do for free by the way, you can create little fictional profiles for your target audience.
E.g. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Azikwe live and work a 9-5 job in Lagos. They have 3 kids.
So do your market research or hire a consultant for better results who will do an extensive study on your target audience along the lines of:
- Who are these parents?
- Where do they live?
- What are their occupations?
- What are their motivations?
- What is quality education for them?
- What is their idea or example of an educated child?
- What aspirations have they linked to an educated child or education? You may want to do your research. It’s a world of modern innovation. Many Nigerian parents are likely to wish their children to become high flyers and lead the next generation in their respective fields.
- Is educating a child a social status or is there a deeper motivation thing for them or a necessity?
Why find out all these? Your messaging remains consistent because you already know who you are, and what you are out to offer using education as the tool.
Once the mission statement aligns with the offerings, then your school’s management is able to pursue them.
Importantly, is the mission statement evident in the teaching style, growth on pupils? Can parents feel it once they walk into the school’s premises? Can new teaching staff already sense the standards as they walk in? Are the kids also ambassadors of these ideals represented on the mission statement?
Really, parents want to be 100% certain of quality education.
If your school is able to tick the above off without hesitation then you are indeed ready to broadcast your school’s brand on any platform.
Are you a Nigerian business?
- Define your online goal
Moving your business online is not a fancy move. It is a business move that should be strategic and can guarantee a return on investment if done right. This is why you need to define your digital marketing goal.
- Do you want more prospects who are likely to enroll their kids?
- Do you want to advertise a new offering, facility, or course (subject) that has improved your school’s offerings?
Chances are you want your school to be known with the hope that parents online will start talking about it.
Parents and guardians go online searching for different things and this includes “the best primary or private school in Lagos” or “the best daycare in Lagos.” According to Google, new parents google twice as many search queries as nonparents.
Speaking on new parents, in a UNICEF press release over 25000 children were born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day in 2019. In Africa alone, Nigeria will account for about 40% of babies born in West and Central Africa. Reports like this also help educational institutions gather insights to make better decisions.
Most times, for parents, when they are not searching for answers they are unwinding on social media or checking LinkedIn while at work. Statista proves our prediction right with this report showing online parents spending more time on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
You want your marketing messages and your school itself to be visible at the right time.
You will learn how to do this in the next number. Knowing your school’s goal online helps it select the right online channel to join. It also helps it select the right places to place adverts.
So the question is what is your online goal? We can crack this riddle together. Send our team a mail at email@example.com or just click here to send a WhatsApp message. Let’s move to the next number.
- Choose the appropriate channel
With goals defined, you move to select the right channel. Social Media remains a very popular channel for digital marketing. It is great for brand awareness more than it is for those heavy on urgent targets to meet on enrollment.
Whenever parents and guardians need information on schools, where do they go to? The online journey of your parents (your target audience) is likely to begin on search engines like Google. Google does an excellent job of filtering search results to locations. So if they search for “Best secondary school in xxx city” will your school be found on the first two pages?
Hence, Nigerian schools more concerned about enrollment should invest more in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). While both are great, we advise schools to begin with the first which is Search Engine Optimization.
A good way to begin is creating relevant & well-researched content on your school’s website with the right keywords. Parents may not go looking for “We are five years in education.” While this is cool, things like “neat environment” “conducive learning facilities” “home of the winner of xxx spelling bee competition” sound like it.
Adding features like relevant blogs that answer parents’ questions, or sharing researched commentary or tips on parenting can take your school many places. You can feature news from parents, teachers, or pupils. Just be sure your school is maximizing its online presence & online resources well. It’s not just about owning a website or being online. Are you using them to drive brand awareness and revenue generation?
Also, creating a Google My Business Page, and having other websites talk about your school’s achievements is one way to be more visible on Google.
Search Engine Marketing on the other hand allows you to pay to show up when parents search for certain keywords.
On the other side, Email Marketing works a bit similar to Social Media Marketing. However it feels more intimate. Both social media and email marketing help you grow the brand awareness, trust, the sense of community and intimacy needed to convert potential parents into a parent with an enrolled child. The email and social media channels are great for retention. However, email marketing is great to target parents who tend to check their emails like workers, entrepreneurs. This means you can keep engaging your parents and student community even after enrollment so they become ambassadors of your school’s brand.
- Invest in branding
Stop thinking colours, logos, and uniform. According to Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, your brand is actually what people say in your absence. Well, you may not have physical products to sell like Amazon, but this Jeff’s definition touches all business. Your pupils and parents are your ambassadors and will keep spreading your word (be it + or -).
So investing in branding for us at Persuasion Network goes beyond colours and shooting crispy photos and ads. It is more about the quality of products and services, customer services, staff, business leadership, and customer experience as well as relationships.
What do parents feel about your school? What do pupils feel about coming to your school? What about the teachers? What are your school’s code of conduct? How’s hygiene and sanitation on the premises and straight to the rest rooms? Are you high on instilling excellence right from non-academic staff to academic staff? How does your school manage school-parent conflict?
These are the values and feelings that will linger more in the hearts of parents and staff. These are the things they will feel when they see your school’s logo or crest or even a child wearing the uniform.
After addressing this, you can invest in online branding. Ensure all the channels that broadcast your school’s messages and photos are visually appealing. Let the colours be consistent too. Humans are more visual beings. Before booking a tour, parents are likely to measure your school’s excellence by merely looking at your photos or other visual representations of your brand. Let those symbols echo quality.
- Leverage Content Marketing
With audiences losing their attention span, traditional advertising may be losing its touch. Again, the abundance of information means audiences like potential parents have access to information. They know what it is like to be in a good school. They can watch YouTube videos of your competitors celebrating highflyers. They also have access to social media to see school environments. Virtual and video tours are possible today.
The idea is your school needs to do more than just scream “We are the best.” Content marketing is the deliberate creation and sharing of consistently relevant information, and entertainment with the aim of moving your audience from observers, prospects to customers, and even fans. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing must be strategic, consistent, valuable, and relevant.
Incorporate more of “people-focused marketing forms” that answer parents’ questions, or content that showcases your school in its truest and authentic form. Examples are schools that own blog sections or e-magazines. Schools like Yale and even Stanford have gone the miles to share clips of their class sessions on YouTube. Content is the new way to truly engage and attract your kind of audience. Why is this so?
Audiences search for solutions on search engines. Google and YouTube are search engines for answers displayed as words and videos. The answers search engines provide people are actually content from businesses, schools, and brands that have devoted their time to creating content for their audiences.
Imagine your school having its own YouTube where students share their thoughts on relevant issues. Or a podcast where parents can also share development tips beyond parenting to finance, and even career development for other parents.
When you do this, you capture and engage the interest of visitors who come searching for the best schools in their neighborhood. Your content moves them to make better decisions and provokes them to either share their details with you or book an appointment.
This is why your social media pages and websites must have a landing page to enable visitors to take desired actions that move them closer to your school. What actions do visitors take when they visit your online channels? It definitely needs some audit if it does not drive them towards your online goal.
Are you ready to take your school online in a better way? Beautiful. Then send a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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At Persuasion network we do more than help Nigerian businesses attract customers online. We believe that every Nigerian business should have all the support services and tools they need to grow their businesses fast, empower their staff and make impact! their environment.
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