Language schools are flourishing in the current education environment. However, with so many different options available to students, it’s more important than ever that language schools have a marketing strategy that aligns with their strengths and addresses the needs of potential students.
This article will help you formulate a marketing strategy that aligns with your strengths and addresses the needs of potential students. For example, if you are trying to reach an international audience, then focusing on how this school is internationally accredited may be helpful; if you want to attract people who already speak English as a first or second language but would like to learn other languages, focus on how we offer instruction in multiple languages; if your goal is primarily attracting children age 8-14 years old at least six days a week, remind potential students that we offer a fun, safe environment for children to make new friends and learn a new skill.
One of the key strategies to success is making sure your marketing materials are consistent with what you do best. The individuals investigating your school should be able to easily take in information about your strengths and also see an accurate picture.
Why do you need to market your school?
A language school needs to be competitive in the education marketplace in order to stay afloat. If students do not feel there is a need for them to go to your school, you will fail. First and foremost, it is important that you are good at what you do. However, it is equally important that your marketing efforts are aligned with your strengths and the needs of your potential students.
For example, if you run a language school that specializes in teaching Arabic and your marketing materials do not demonstrate how awesome your classes are, why would anyone want to attend?
How to create an effective marketing strategy for a language school
If you are looking to become the most significant player in your industry, you have to have an effective marketing plan. If you are running a language school that is catering to a smaller or overlooked market, this means that you need to create an effective marketing strategy that will help achieve your goals of being the best option for people within this niche. Here are some effective ways to make the most of your market, based on your strengths and also the needs of potential customers.
Take advantage of existing networks
One way to reach out to people is by tapping into any connections that you have that could be used as a link to people who could benefit from what you offer. This can include any related businesses or even individuals who have a connection to the type of audience you are trying to reach.
Focus on your strengths
When creating marketing materials for your school, it helps to focus on what makes you unique and better than your competition. What are you known for? What makes your school the best option for people who are interested in this particular niche? For example, if you have a high rate of success with teaching people how to speak Mandarin Chinese, emphasize that in all of your marketing materials.
Address the needs of potential customers
Even if you are the most famous language school in your area, that doesn’t mean people will automatically come to you. You need to understand the needs of potential customers and make sure it is evident how your business can address these needs. For example, if you are a language school for children, make sure there is a large picture of smiling kids on your website. This will attract parents whose main concern is the happiness and well-being of their children.
Remember that marketing takes time
It takes time to build up a reputation as an authority in your particular market, so don’t feel discouraged if you are not an overnight success. Focus on trying to create a positive brand image and you will find that people will come to know, like, and trust your school over time.
Where can I learn more?
If you would like to learn even more effective tips for marketing a language school in a specific area, visit our free course for language businesses.
Here, you will find a free video series that walks you through the steps to developing an effective marketing plan for your school. This is a great opportunity if you are looking for ways to make the most of your niche area.
Strategies for different types of schools
Not long ago, most language schools were seen as niche businesses that catered to a limited audience. Marketing was often word-of-mouth and traditional media advertisements in print and radio. But with the rise of social media, changing cultural demographics, and competitive education markets, this is no longer the case. In today’s world, language schools need to be more than good at what they do. They need to be able to market themselves well too.
In order to create a good marketing strategy, it’s important for language school owners to first figure out what type of business they run and who their primary target audience is. There are four types of language schools: general, regular, extreme, and hybrid.
General Language School
General language schools tend to offer the widest selection of courses, generally at lower prices due to their larger operation costs. They attract a diverse crowd of students, mostly using promotion strategies. Some examples of general language schools might be Berlitz or EF.
Regular Language School
Regular language schools are likely to be smaller than general language schools, but they tend to run more courses at higher prices. These schools usually attract a specific crowd of students looking for intensive study in their area of interest. Some examples might be RLS or Elite Academy.
Highly Focus Language School
Extreme language schools tend to be the smallest and most expensive of all language schools. They offer a very specific set of courses in an area of extreme interest for students, such as medical Spanish or business English. Some examples might be AMA Language School or ILA Boston.
Hybrid Language School
Hybrid language schools tend to target a specific type of student, but they also welcome other students. They might have a higher price point, and they make up for it by providing additional services beyond language instruction. In addition to marketing themselves as a language school, hybrid schools often use service-based promotion strategies as well. An example is ELS Boston.
Finding the customer who needs you
Once you determine the type of language school you are running, it’s time to figure out who would be most likely to attend your school. It might be tempting to try to serve every kind of student, but remember that each different type of school targets a specific type of customer. Your marketing strategy will work better if you zero in on who you are serving.
Find Examples of successful marketing campaigns from other schools
This is especially important as there are many schools out there, and you need to make sure that you stand out from the crowd to avoid being lost in the noise.
Search engines such as Google give preference to fresh information, so going online and adding relevant content can help you to show up in search engine results.
Referrals from satisfied customers and recommendations on social media platforms such as Facebook can help your school to acquire new students.
Offering discounts for early bookings, loyalty rewards, and ongoing support programs are ways of retaining existing students and encouraging referrals. When it comes time for them to recommend a language school to their friends or family, they are more likely to recommend one that they have had a good experience with themselves.