Technical schools give students the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed in technical fields and prepare them for specific careers.
Now that an increasing number of students are choosing to go to technical schools, and much of the baby boomer work force is retiring from these fields, there are more positions than ever available in these in-demand careers. But how can you make sure students choose your program when they decide that technical school is the right choice for them?
A digital marketing strategy can help you reach potential applicants with the information they need about your programs and school. It’s the best way to make it easy for new students to find you where they’re already researching their options: Online.
If you want to attract new students to your school and remain competitive with other schools, you can benefit from the strategies on this page. Call us at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist, or keep reading to learn more about how your technical school can benefit from a digital marketing campaign.
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Why digital marketing matters for technical schools
Digital marketing is the best way to capture prospective students’ attention.
Traditional marketing doesn’t have the same impact as it once did. People rarely pay attention when a radio ad comes on, and many throw out any promotional items they receive in the mail.
It’s also important to consider that your target audience is now primarily made up of a generation that grew up with the Internet. Most of them will begin their searches for technical schools online, and many will only use online research to select the school that’s best for them.
Your potential audience tends to tune out traditional methods and head straight to search engines like Google for information, services, and products. Searching online for a technical school is convenient and fast, which are the two things your target audience wants.
At WebFX, we have years of experience creating custom digital marketing campaigns for our clients in the education field, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today to speak with a digital marketing expert and receive your free evaluation, or continue reading to learn more about the channels you can use to promote your programs online.
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5 digital marketing channels for technical schools
There are many channels you can use to reach prospective students, but these five are some of the most effective, and a great starting point if you’re not sure where to begin.
1. Your website
Your website is often the first place someone will go to learn about your school, so it needs to make a good impression. If your site is outdated, unappealing, or difficult to navigate, your visitors will be unlikely to want to apply.
Since first impressions are 94% design-related, the layout and design of your website have a major impact. Your website needs to be both engaging and aesthetically pleasing. Use colors and graphics that match your branding, but aren’t distracting from your content.
One of the first things to focus on for your website is navigation. Information on your website should be easy to locate. The fewer clicks a visitor has to make to get to the information they want, the better.
Students have lots of technical schools to choose from, so if they have to waste time clicking through multiple pages just to get to the one they’re looking for on your site, they’ll most likely move on to another option. Organize your content and navigation system in a way that’s straightforward and attractive to the eye.
Another important aspect of your website is the content itself. The content on each of your pages should be up-to-date and accurately reflect the programs and services your school offers. You don’t want to mislead your visitors if a program or service has changed since you last updated your site, and you also need to include any new information that may be beneficial to a prospective student.
Finally, be sure to include your contact information on each page of your site. A student shouldn’t have to dig through multiple pages to figure out how to get in contact with you – and they won’t. Every page on your website should contain your email address and phone number in the footer. The easier you make it for visitors to get in touch with you, the more likely they will be to do so.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
With so many technical schools competing for students’ attention, you want your school to be among the first students see in the search engine results.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher and be more visible in search results for keywords and phrases related to your programs.
One of the first steps in any SEO strategy is keyword research.
The more relevant Google determines the content on your page to be to a searcher’s terms, the higher you’ll rank in search results. As you identify the keywords your target audience uses (like “technical school in Harrisburg PA” or “electrical technology programs Lancaster PA”), you can incorporate them throughout your site to boost your rankings in search results for those keywords.
When you optimize your site to rank higher for the keywords potential applicants search, you improve your chances of attracting them to your site and encouraging them to apply.
3. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is a cost-effective online advertising model.
When you use traditional marketing methods, you pay to get your message in front of people, but you don’t know if it’s reaching your target audience. For example, a radio ad might sound like a great idea, but if people change the station when ads come on, it’s a waste of your budget.
PPC gives you control over who you market to, because the ads show up in search engine results based on the keywords a user searches. You just bid on the keyword or phrase you want to show up for, and if your bid is one of the highest, your ad appears above the search results and links to your website. If, and only if, a user clicks your ad, you’ll pay your bid amount.
PPC ads are easy to track because you can monitor the number of clicks you receive from them. So as you run your campaigns, you can determine which ads are the most effective, and pause the ones that aren’t working as well.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the first forms of digital marketing, and it’s still around is because it works. In fact, for every $1 you invest in email marketing, you have the potential to earn an ROI of $44.25.
If you want to start using email marketing to reach students, your first step is to build a list of subscribers. Add a sign-up form to your website and encourage students to join your email list.
Once you’ve built a list of subscribers, you can start sending emails that contain helpful information they’d be interested in. For example, you could send information about specific programs you offer, tips to prepare for technical school, news about industries you offer programs in, and other useful information.
5. Social media
Your target audience spends over six hours a week using social media. This means that these platforms present a significant opportunity to reach and engage with potential applicants.
Being active on social media allows you to establish your brand and build relationships with students. Rather than being seen as just another school competing for their tuition, you can show that you’re dedicated to offering valuable education and preparing them for their careers. This is great for the reputation of your technical school, too.
You can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with prospective and current students. Engage with students and respond to any questions, comments, and concerns. You can also post new information about your programs, photos of events and projects on campus, and share news about industries that you offer programs in.
The more active you are on social media, the more loyalty and trust you will build among students.
WebFX knows digital marketing
In a tech-savvy world where virtually everyone has the Internet at their fingertips, your school needs to be online if it wants to remain competitive. And if you’re ready to start using digital marketing to reach more students, WebFX can help.
Our team is made up of over 500 digital marketing experts, and we’ll work with you to will create a custom digital marketing strategy for your technical school.
Contact us today to speak with a strategist and get a free quote!