Lead Generation & Lead Nurturing For Independent Schools

As a school marketer, it’s most likely your job to create content that attracts your dream families—and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you know that requires putting your audience first in your story in order to make your school’s mission relevant to their wants and needs, their concerns, their challenges, their hopes and dreams.

But it’s not enough to simply attract your dream families. You also need to get them to take action. 

That’s the core of successful content marketing: there’s a measurable goal attached to all of that great storytelling you’re producing.

So … is it working? Is your content helping you reach your marketing and admissions goals? And if not, how do you get dream families to go from reading your marketing content to enrolling at your school?

It starts with generating leads, and it continues with nurturing those leads until they absolutely know that your school is the perfect place for their family.

Let’s look at exactly what that means.

New: Audience-First School Storytelling Kit

Want to learn exactly how to win over dream families with breakthrough school storytelling? This on-demand kit includes instant access to:

  • In-depth video workshop
  • Workshop workbook
  • Family survey template
  • Email template
  • Voice of Customer research spreadsheet
  • Audience persona template
  • Sample dream family persona

What is lead generation and lead nurturing, and why do they matter for independent schools?

  • A lead is an individual who has expressed interest in your school
  • The process of turning your invisible, not-yet-interested dream families into leads is lead generation
  • The process of converting your leads into students is lead nurturing

In other words, your dream families might be a faceless, nameless group, but they don’t need to remain that way.

Leads are members of your audience who want what you have to offer—and they’re giving you an opportunity.

When someone makes the move from being an invisible member of your audience to providing you with their information, they’re telling you they’re interested in your school and are open to learning more about you.

That is good news, my friends. This is the convergence of admissions and marketing, where the business case for content becomes so clear: with the right elements in place, you can use your content to bring people into your admissions funnel and increase inquiries, applications, and enrollment.

Lead generation establishes a unique connection point.

Once a visitor becomes a lead (through taking an action such as filling out a form on your website), you have the opportunity for a direct, one-to-one connection with the individual. Previously, you were communicating to this person through your website, blog, or social media—in other words, they were accessing general content that you hoped would resonate.

Now you have the opportunity to share content that’s directed to them.

This connection also establishes the beginning of a relationship between you and your potential student or family where there is no intermediary. No Facebook algorithms messing with your reach. It’s just you and your lead.

Leads turn nameless visitors into trackable, individual identities.

This allows you to get specific insights into who they are and control how, when, and where you communicate. The leap from visitor to lead allows you to gain insights into who this person is—everything from their student’s name and interests to what they care about as a parent. This provides you with an incredible opportunity to deliver content that meets them where they are.

The goal of lead nurturing is to help each lead make the shift from interested-but-uncertain to confident-in-their-decision.

You can do that by answering questions before they ask them, and by providing content that addresses their main concerns. As you nurture your lead, you want to send them focused content based on multiple factors, including:

  • Their student’s specific interests
  • Their biggest challenges or decision-making barriers
  • Their stage in the school search process
  • The topics in which they’re most interested
  • The content they’ve already accessed

These continued, targeted communications will strengthen the relationship between the lead and your school—and continue to move them forward in the admissions process. But it all comes back to one thing…

To attract leads, you need great content.

No, you can’t simply add a form with a big old arrow that says “Enter our admissions funnel here!” to your website. To generate leads via your online presence, you need more than just a place for visitors to submit their information. You need to give them a reason to do so.

What can you offer visitors in exchange for your visitor’s information? It can be as simple as:

  • Free resources
  • On-demand tour or webinar
  • eBook
  • Downloadable worksheet

These are just a few examples of types of gated content that your audience might be willing to provide their information to access. Just remember: the focus, as always, is on the audience. And the reward for that focus is a healthy audience pool and a growing school.

For more tips on crafting content that will engage your audience, sign up for FREE access to our Resource Library

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