The Nigerian private school sector is highly saturated and as such, it is becoming increasingly difficult for school owners to grow student enrollment consistently. Parent, guardians and decision makers are becoming more sophisticated and selective as they look to settle down with an institution which caters to the immediate educational needs of their wards and most importantly sets them on the right path to a successful career and future.
While there are many uncontrollable factors that affect the growth of enrollment rates, here are some of the most effective hands-on strategies that help your school leverage its strengths to stand out in a fully saturated market and boost enrollment rates for your private school in Nigeria.
Create and Communicate a Strong Brand
In order to establish your school in your community and successfully market it far and wide, it is important to create a remarkable brand. So much more than just a catchy logo and great graphics, your school’s brand is that defining factor that differentiates you from the crowd. It describes your story, your unique advantage and communicates why your school is the top choice amongst the rest.
To craft a strong brand that sets your school apart from the other private schools in Nigeria, find out what it is that makes your school special; what influenced parents in selecting your school as final choice for their wards; do you have programs that help struggling learners; are there counseling opportunities; what special extracurricular activities to your offer enrollees. Responses garnered from this come together to define your school’s unique selling point(s) which helps you form a solid brand identity and as a result boost enrollment rates.
Build a User-friendly Informative Website
Your school’s website is one of the most important marketing and communication tool at your disposal. Parents will look to the web to research every school online before settling on their final choice. An easy to navigate website must be populated with all relevant information regarding the school, a parent needs to make a decision. Your website should communicate your brand effectively, display school programs, show testimonials and present enrollment information. Most importantly, for your website to help drive enrollment rates for your school it must reflect your brand as well as your unique approach to learning and guidance for students at all stages of their life.
Launch a Parent Ambassador Program
Word of mouth is by far the most effective strategy leveraged by Nigerian schools to boost enrollment rates. Take advantage of your existing pool of highly satisfied parents and access their networks by recruiting them as Parent Ambassadors for your school. These parents boost your grassroots marketing efforts by reaching out to other parents in their family network, church network, neighborhoods, and workplace.
The ideal Parent Ambassador is selected as a result of their visible passion for the school, their reputation and credibility within their network, relevant connections in the community and most importantly their willingness to join the program. To support this program, an active forum should be created – preferably online with a Facebook Group – where important information is shared and the Parent Ambassadors are constantly inspired to be active. Incentives for the Parent Ambassadors may be decided upon based on your discretion.
Every parent desires the best education for their child; however, most are unable to meet up with the financial implications of enrolling their child in a top performing school. Offering financial aid to such parents is a great way to attract and retain more students in your school. Financial aid can come in the form of flexible fee payment, access to school loans, and access to grants and scholarships.
For schools using services such as School Credit*, their parents are granted access to collateral-free loans to meet their tuition needs at an affordable interest rate. These loans are processed with minimal documentation and disbursed within 24 hours of approval. Financially savvy parents will naturally gravitate towards these schools, and as result enrollment rates begin to grow. The added advantage of this service is it also allows schools to take out loans to invest in the infrastructural development of their schools which in turn also delivers a positive effect on enrollment rates.
Increasingly, schools are taking advantage of the internet and social media to create a wider reach in the market. Your first step should be to create a social media account, most importantly Facebook and Twitter, and share special events, stories, accomplishments, and announcements with the general public; if setting this up is too tedious to add to your overwhelmingly full to-do list, AllPro Tech can handle this process at no cost. Encourage students, teachers, and parents to get involved on these platforms. Parent Ambassadors should be encouraged to leave positive and educative reviews on the school’s social media pages.
Online and social media adverts must be well designed, direct and engaging. With the use of social media platforms advertising tools, schools are able to hyper-target their adverts, thereby delivering tailored promotional messages to a specific audience. This is a great and cost-effective way to boost enrolment rates.
Generating and consistently growing enrollment rates is arguably one of the most daunting tasks faced by the school administrator in Nigeria, adopting the right strategies and implementing them in a timely and effective manner is the difference between a constantly struggling school and a highly sort after top performing school. Feel free to try out the strategies listed in this article and leave a comment on your progress below.
First published by Allprotech.