In a post-2020 environment, higher education marketing is more competitive than ever—and marketers need to be nimble to adapt to ever-changing tactics and strategies. Language school marketers, especially, may be looking to stand out from the crowd and make an impact with their marketing strategy—but not know where to start.
We’re here to give our top strategies for driving qualified student inquiries to your language school, standing out from your competitors, and making a real impact. Here’s how to market your language school.
1. Define your language school student personas
The first step to any successful higher education marketing strategy is to define your student personas. This allows you to have a clear picture of exactly the type of individuals you wish to attract in your recruiting efforts. Your personas should provide detailed descriptions of the most important characteristics of these prospects, and can be used to inform your messaging and marketing tactics. Here are some qualities to consider including:
- The prospect’s motivations and goals for learning a new language
- Concerns or potential roadblocks the prospect might face
- Where you ideal prospect is likely to do research about language school
- Background information like age, location, level of education, financial status, etc.
- People who may influence your prospect’s decision (family, peers, guidance counsellors, etc.)
Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch—you have a wealth of data already in your possession! Start by analyzing your current student database and your alumni network. Group this database into broad categories and start analyzing. Then connect with current students to fill in the gaps. Gather additional, more personalized information through interviews to really understand the type of students you’re looking to attract.
Learn more about creating student personas in our guide: How to Create Data-Driven Student Personas for Higher Education Marketing [+ Examples!]
2. Boost your online offerings
It comes as no surprise that online learning is still a trend in higher education, and that remains true for language schools. 2020 truly shifted the landscape of work and education, offering previously brick-and-mortar-bound professionals and students the freedom to structure their lives in a way that worked best for them. This is unlikely to change, and it actually gives your language school the opportunity to reach new markets and attract new students—with the new value proposition of flexibility.
So if you haven’t already, it’s time to expand your online and hybrid learning offerings. The world of online learning has gotten competitive as schools nationwide have implemented innovative solutions. Stand out by providing exceptional online learning experiences.
At Thinking Cap Agency, we’ve invested in cutting-edge marketing data science tools and expertise that apply your student persona attributes to anonymized Personally Identifiable Information with the TC Student Data Center. We know everything there is to know about your future students, and we have them in our database already.
Read next: How to Recruit Online Students
3. Improve Your SEO
Organic search is the number one driver of traffic to higher education websites, and with nearly 400 language schools in the US for prospective students to explore, an SEO strategy isn’t something your institution can afford to ignore.
Our research has indicated that your prospective students are researching your school between six months and two years in advance. That’s a lot of search queries! SEO for higher education is the practice of implementing a number of SEO best practices so your website comes up in your prospective students’ relevant search queries.
So where should you begin? First, start with a technical site analysis and audit. This is the process of essentially checking under the hood to ensure the motor is running properly. If there are major site errors (like 404 error pages, or very slow pages), they will inhibit your progress from the get-go.
The second step is to create a master list of keywords you want your institution to rank for. Your prospective students are searching for your school, and they’re using keywords to do that. Each of the pages on your website should rank for 5-10 relevant keywords so that your language school will appear in search results when your prospective students are searching.
And finally, gain insights from your competitors. Your competitors may be ranking for keywords that you should be ranking for, and analyzing their keyword strategy will help you improve your own. Try tools like SEMRush, UberSuggest, or Ahrefs to get a comprehensive list of the keywords your competitors are ranking for, how much traffic each are driving to their site, and which strategies you can implement yourself.
To learn more about improving your language’s school SEO, check out our guide: 5 SEO for Higher Education Tips to Boost Your Traffic
Are you ready to increase your qualified student inquiries? Thinking Cap Agency is here to help. We leverage our 30 years of experience, data-driven omnichannel solutions, proprietary research, team of specialized experts, and proprietary social media video marketing solutions to drive exceptional campaign results. Contact us today to get started.