What is lead generation and why is it essential to your school’s marketing plan?
Zig Ziglar, the famous author and sales guru once said, “You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect.” His statement goes to the heart of why lead generation is so essential to the success of your school and why it must drive your overall marketing strategy, whether you are in higher ed or an independent school.
But first, what is lead generation? Lead generation is simply the marketing process of creating and capturing interest in your school so that you can develop a consistent enrollment pipeline.
Marketers often describe this as getting people into your “sales funnel.” For example, when someone responds to one of your ads they are entering your funnel at the “TOFU” (Top of the Funnel).
If you have captured their contact information they have now become a solid lead that you can follow up with. Most prospects aren’t ready to enroll in your school right away, so that relationship needs to be nurtured for when they are ready to make that decision.
In future blog posts we will share great tips for nurturing these leads and building interest and trust in this “MOFU” (Middle of the Funnel) stage. Lead nurturing is a powerful long term strategy to boost school enrollment and needs to be a key component of your overall marketing plan.
Online advertising as a powerful lead generation strategy for your school
An effective lead generation marketing strategy combines both inbound and outbound marketing approaches. In this post, we are focusing on one very powerful outbound marketing strategy—online advertising. Many schools aren’t taking advantage of this huge opportunity to attract highly targeted prospective students consistently and predictably.
There’s a saying that if you want fish, go where the fish are. In terms of lead generation for your school, your prospects are online. As a result, paid search (SEM/Google Adwords) and paid social advertising (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat) must be a part of your overall advertising, outbound marketing strategy.
With online advertising not only are you reaching your prospects where they already are, it also gives you an incredible opportunity to create highly targeted ads and split test your ads so that you get the highest possible ROI. Unlike print, radio, tv or display advertising, you get to decide exactly who sees your ad. This maximizes your ad spend and makes your advertising campaigns more effective.
If you haven’t committed to online advertising on a regular basis because either you can’t afford to hire additional staff or you think that the cost of outsourcing to a digital advertising agency is cost prohibitive, it’s time to realize that you can’t afford not to.
In our next blog post, we are going to share with you some great tips on how to outsource your online advertising in a way that is not only extremely effective, but also within your budget.