Prospective students with highly-involved parents have a greater chance of enrolling – if you know how to engage them! Here are 4 marketing strategies you can use now.
More and more we’re seeing how parents are getting involved in the college decision-making process.
There are many reasons for this, I’m sure. But among the top would have to be that college costs are rising. That’s reason enough for parents to get more involved!
If they’re helping foot the bill for an education that is becoming more costly, they’ll naturally want to help get their children into the right school the first time around.
In a previous blog, I shared how you can identify the prospective students who have highly-involved parents. Now, I want to move on to the obvious question: What do you do once you’ve identified them?
But how do you do that?
Strategies to Reach Parents
1. Create digital spaces for parents.
In the past, people came for a sense of community. Today however…
People join digital communities to be informed.
This is especially true for moms.
It’s no secret. Mothers tend to seek out good counsel and reviews from their peers before purchasing a product or committing to a course of action.
If you can provide these digital spaces, parents – most notably mothers – will have a place to go where they can get their questions answered by their peers.
One of the great things about this strategy is that you can take the lead in the conversation as a group administrator.
Digital spaces to consider creating:
- Facebook groups (Lots of moms are on Facebook)
- YouTube channel for parents (Live streaming and general video content that produce conversations in the comment threads).
2. Craft content specifically for parents.
As we’ve discussed before, content marketing is one of the best ways to build your education brand for the long haul.
Thankfully, this holds true for parents — who might even appreciate your content more than the students!
When creating content for parents, remember to produce both directly- and indirectly-consumed content.
Direct content is content that you’ll send straight to parents. This is content you expect only them to read.
In direct content to parents, you can dive deep into areas they’re concerned about, like..
- Paying for college,
- Campus security,
- Codes of conduct,
- Graduation employment rates,
- Spiritual development, and
- Testimonies from other student parents.
Indirect content is content you create for another audience (like prospective students) but you know parents will see the content from time to time.
Although the content isn’t created solely for parents, you know you need to put elements in the content that address concerns parents would have.
Here are some examples of how indirect content would work to cultivate parents.
- In an ebook for students on campus life, include caption boxes with campus security tips.
- In a video showcasing campus events, spend 30 seconds or so demonstrating spiritual life events.
- In a brochure on the various majors, show off your graduation employment rates.
The trick with indirectly-consumed content is to highlight the information parents will want to know. But with direct content, the idea is to dive into the details.
3. Put on activities for parents during recruiting events.
When preparing these events for prospective students, don’t forget to include activities for the parents. Here are just a few ideas for you:
- Host a parents’ luncheon with a Q&A.
- Stage a meet-and-greet with your school president.
- Put on a parents-only raffle where parents win prizes like golf accessories or Etsy gift cards.
4. Keep parents in the comm flow.
This is a creative strategy that the school my oldest attends used on me – and it works!
My son’s school intentionally included Mom and me in the comm flow.
We were cc’d on all emails, which caused us to talk about the school and the content more in our home than any other school.
Although our son didn’t choose this school simply because Mom and I liked it so much, the amount of time we spent talking about this school and his decision to attend there isn’t a coincidence!
Keeping parents in the comm flow is a brilliant way to spark these critical household conversations!
Reaching parents in your marketing has always been a good idea. But in today’s increasingly competitive environment, it’s more important than ever.
If you don’t have a clearly defined strategy to reach your prospective students’ parents, I encourage you to get your team together and brainstorm the many ways you can cultivate them through intentional content marketing.
And if you need help, feel free to contact us at Caylor Solutions to get the results you need from your education marketing.
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