by Dawn Doerr, Marketing Consultant
Many Catholic schools face uncertain futures and tighter budgets, with marketing being one of the first expenses to be set aside when funds are limited. Yet, marketing is a necessity, especially now, when enrollment is threatened by the unknown path forward in the coming school year. The good news Even without a robust marketing budget, you can take affordable and effective measures to promote your. Some of these ideas won't cost a thing!
Focusing on families with school-age children who already are registered in your parish is the most effective strategy now. Simply increasing the number of registered parishioners who enroll their children in the parish school by two or three families could make a significant difference.
After the chaotic and unexpected end of the last school year, your school’s strong community, excellent academics, and Christ-centered environment may hold a new appeal for the coming year.
Here are a few creative, low-cost ways to deliver more good news to the families who already call your parish home:
By Betsy Hicks, Marketing Consultant
You've created exciting new messaging to share with potential families. You've scheduled a Virtual Open House to showcase your incredible faculty, staff, and students. But how can you get folks to sign up for your Zoom event so they can consider enrolling in your school for 2020-21?
Put Facebook advertising to work for your school enrollment campaign! While the list of benefits of Facebook ads is long, three major advantages stand out:
1. Choose your advertising objective.
Navigate to your business page from your computer and click the blue button on the lower left. Then choose what you want your ad to help you do. The Facebook ad objectives are pretty straight-forward, but some common choices include:
2. Add images and text to your ad.
Next, add images and text for your ad. Facebook might suggest an image and text, but you’re free to change them to the most relevant and interesting photos and headlines. Keep in mind that text for your ad should be short, simple and catchy.
3. Create your audience.
In this step, you tell Facebook who you want to reach. Be sure to think about things like age, location, and interests that are common in your audience. For example, if you’re promoting a Catholic elementary school, target a 10-mile radius from your school’s location, younger parents ages 28-45, etc.
4. Choose your budget and duration.
The next step is your budget. Facebook ads can be successful with a modest budget, so don’t feel pressured to spend a ton of money right away. In fact, if it’s your first ad, try a smaller budget as a test. You'll never be charged more than the budget you choose, and you can even see an estimate of how many people your ad may reach. Then, select how you want to pay.
You’ll also need to choose an ad duration. For boosted posts, try a 7-day duration; if you’re running a event or page promotion, or going for website clicks, you might want to consider something that runs a little longer.
5. Launch your ad.
Once you complete your ad and press “Promote,” it will go through a review process to assure that it doesn't violate any Facebook ad policies. If it's approved, it should start running right away.
Be sure to check back once it’s live to see how your ad is performing. Remember that if you're not happy with the results, you can pause and edit it.
The Facebook ad process can be used in very sophisticated ways, but it can also be a simple and effective tool for your school or parish. Just be brave, get into the platform, and give it a try -- you’ll be surprised by who your ad can reach and what it can inspire!
All images courtesy of Facebook.