How Students Choose Their Language Schools: The Influencing Factors

While there are only two specific young millennials being shown in the image used for this article, I would like to point out that “how students choose their language school” is an article about ANY age and ANY demographics, not just young millennials alone.

Before Understanding Influence You Need To Understand Demographics

When it comes to presenting your business in the right light and in the most appealing way to your best language customer you might realize that there is a problem: your language school addresses multiple demographics and types of students.

The Dilemma of Demographics

Buyers groups are constantly being monitored, labeled, and sorted. Do younger traveling Millenials spend more money (or better: their parents’ money) when they book a 2-month summer language camp than business professionals in their 40s who like to book professional training for four weeks and earn a diploma while getting a paid travel city-vacation language package?
Interestingly enough looking into the raw data of one demographics alone, like young traveling millennials alone is not enough. It also depends on what different products and services can be offered. There might be an affluent segment of millennials that will book a trip to the Caribbean in order to study English there, while another segment is only able to book a language travel trip to a big European city like Paris or Madrid with the help of European sponsored student program such as Erasmus.
All those elements have to be taken carefully into consideration when starting and comparing demographics against each other.
Of course, it is vital to have clear defined demographics.
For efficient online advertising, you need to have clearly defined demographics in place. You can’t show the same piece of information on Facebook to the 40-year-old business professionals and the 20something millennials alike. You will get poor click-throughs and in fact, will pay higher prices not just on Facebook but also on Google and Bing to compete with other advertisers.
But let’s step back for a moment and look at SEO at first, the natural ranking mechanism that works without direct paid advertising. If you do not know your demographics and don’t concentrate on them extremely well, you will be in trouble with SEO for lack of focus and trying to use multi-keywords-pages.

The Dilemma of Having Multiple Demographics

Most businesses will say that they serve different groups of customers and most often it is nothing unusual. However, you can’t advertise a generic message to all audiences at the same time. It does not work like that online.
The problem with having multiple demographics and customer groups is that you need to address each different demographic with their own dedicated area on your websites and social media.
There is a reason why Google will not rank you #1 for a term like “improve your English” as it is so generic the evaluation of Rankbrain (the artificial intelligence behind Google) for example will have a very difficult time to say that your page is better than another one.
For this generic search term aimed at “all demographics alike” you only have a chance if you provide EXCELLENT CONTENT. If you try to look up that term you will quickly see that the search results are never about a language school, but are all informational content pieces like “100 Things You Can Do To Improve Your English” and similar topics.
Ranking for this generic term might bring you a great number of website visitors – but it is very unlikely that the majority of them are actually ready to spend money on English language training.

Multi-Focus-Pages Work Very Poorly For Search Engines and your SEO ranking

SEO, search engine optimization, the art of optimizing the content of your web pages so you are more visible in a more prominent higher position is often VERY technical.
There are hundreds of factors that count together if a website is being shown on the first 10 positions or the first page at all.
One of them is “keyword bleeding”. What does it mean? Simply this: one page can have one keyword and can be only optimized for that keyword only. If you are using two pages both talking about the same keyword, Google and other search engines will be confused and will just randomly select ONE of them to be displayed on search engine results. They will never show multiple pages with the same keyword.
While this might not sound practical it is the harsh day-to-day online reality. While you obviously will use the same words on different pages like the phrase “learn French in Paris” over and over again – it is not possible to optimize more than just ONE page on your whole language school website if you try to rank for that term (which is, by the way, a very generic term and another example of a non-specific demographic keyword that has not given value for making a sale).
“How Students Choose Their Language Schools: The Influencing Factors”.

Common Traits Everyone Shares Being Influenced Toward Making Buying Decisions

Here is where it now gets interesting. It seems that the trust-building process across all different demographics is the same, no matter what age, profession, or level of income.

Trust-Building: How Influence Works Together

In order to gain the trust of your potential language students and influence them towards buying language services from your company, there are several aspects that need to be met. And they are independent of the above-mentioned demographics.
Those elements have been fully taught and introduce by Robert B. Cialdini in his classic work “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” and his sequel “Pre-Suasion”.
Here are only three selected proven aspects from his works, but they are highly relevant for any language school business: Social Proof, Liking, and Authority.

Influencing Insight For Language Schools: Social Proof

In order to make people trust and buy from you need to have strong social proof, and here is an important insight: you need specific demographic like social proof. If you target lawyers, you need to have reviews and testimonials from lawyers and providing lawyer specific information that can be confirmed via social media where lawyers hang out and share their insights for advancing their careers.

Influencing Insight For Language Schools: Liking

It is not enough just to have social proof alone – you also need to appeal and be liked by your potential customers. You need to fit their style and the way they behave and mirror their own expectations. To be liked is one of the most important selling points for anything. Sometimes people buy something from salespeople just because “they like them”. For your language school, it means that you need to present your teachers in a specific style for your audience. Obviously, for teaching lawyers, your teacher needs to look much more professional as for teaching young Erasmus students you need to emphasize a more fun profile.

Influencing Insight For Language Schools: Authority

All your website information needs to be believable and verifiable for the potential demographics. That why specific social proof is so important online. On the Internet, it is even verifiable by how many other companies and websites link back to your company website and landing pages. The more people link to you, the more authority your website gains.
Again: this is all specific to each demographic. A good review on Tripadvisor Or MyLanguageBreak.com is only relevant if they come from the same peers of people and confirm that your language school actually delivers what they promise for a specific demographic.

Optimize Your Online Influence With Targeted Landing Pages Addressing Your Favorite Demographics

As already addressed in the article earlier, it a key online marketing concept that you need to segment and separate each demographic you want to address in everything you do online.
Only then you can fully engage in positive persuasion by social proof, liking, and authority.
You really DO need to have different landing pages that are specifically designed and focused on one customer group only – using specific images, language, and catering to everything this specific customer needs to know, in a way this customer prefers to communicate.
In order to optimize your online presence, it is essential to analyze what the desired demographic you want to attract is already doing online. Learn as much from your competition (in a friendly way – see also the article How To Spy On Your Competition LINK LINK) and then use the language you find that your desired customers are using and reacting to.
While it is obvious that a professional 40-year-old lawyer wants to have a believable and trustworthy explanation why your language school can provide the needed guidance and special know-how to help him to achieve a business English language training – it might be not so obvious how to talk millennials 20-year-old millennial depending if THEY THEMSELVES or THEIR PARENTS might pay. You even might need to create a page and content for their parents instead.
Don’t know where to start? We are here to help with our Language School Marketing packages.