What Digital Marketing Techniques Can UK Language Schools Implement to Attract International Students?

11 June 2024

In the competitive world of language schools, attracting international students is a challenge. The United Kingdom, rich in its history and diverse culture, offers an attractive destination for students looking to learn English. However, the competition is fierce, with many schools vying for the attention of these students. This begs the question: what digital marketing techniques can UK language schools implement to attract international students? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into five key strategies: social media marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), content marketing, website optimisation, and online recruitment strategies.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Social media platforms have become a powerful tool for reaching out to international students. They offer a platform for schools to showcase their unique selling points, engage with students, and build a strong online presence.

The first step for schools is to identify where their target audience is most active. Asian students, for instance, are more likely to be found on WeChat or LINE, while European students might be more active on Facebook or Instagram.

Next, schools need to create engaging content that resonates with their audience. This could be anything from testimonials and success stories, to behind-the-scenes photos, or even live Q&A sessions. The key is to create a sense of community and make students feel they are part of something bigger than just a language school.

Schools should also consider working with influencers or student ambassadors who can provide authentic, relatable content. This not only humanises the school but also leverages the power of peer influence, which is often more persuasive than traditional advertising.

SEO: Attracting Students through Search

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. It involves optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engines, thereby increasing visibility and attracting more prospective students.

To start with, schools need to conduct keyword research to understand what potential students are searching for. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush can be helpful in identifying popular search terms related to language education.

Next, these keywords need to be incorporated into the website's content, meta tags, and URLs. However, it's important to remember that SEO is not just about cramming your site with keywords. Search engines prioritise high-quality, relevant content, so it's crucial to strike a balance.

Backlinks also play a crucial role in SEO. These are links from other websites pointing to your site, and they can significantly improve your search engine ranking. Schools can build backlinks by partnering with other educational institutions, local businesses, or even alumni.

Crafting Excellent Content

Content marketing is all about creating valuable, relevant content that attracts and engages your target audience. For language schools, this might include blog posts about language learning tips, videos of life at the school, or even downloadable study materials.

A successful content strategy begins with understanding your audience. What are their needs? What questions do they have? What kind of content do they find engaging? Schools can use this information to create content that not only attracts students but also establishes the school as a trusted authority in language education.

Another important aspect of content marketing is distribution. This involves promoting your content through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, or even guest posts on other websites. By doing so, you can reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your website.

Website Optimisation: The Digital Storefront

Your school's website is often the first point of contact for prospective students. As such, it's essential that it makes a good impression.

Firstly, the website should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. Information about courses, fees, and admissions should be easy to find. There should also be plenty of visuals, such as photos or videos, to give students a sense of what life at the school is like.

The website should also be optimised for mobile devices. With the majority of students likely to access your site on their phones, a mobile-friendly design is a must.

Lastly, the website should be designed with conversions in mind. This means making it easy for visitors to take the next step, whether that's requesting more information, booking a consultation, or applying for a course.

Online Recruitment Strategies

Online recruiting strategies can be a powerful tool for attracting international students. These could involve participating in virtual education fairs, hosting webinars, or even offering online courses as a taster of what students can expect.

A key aspect of online recruitment is personalisation. Schools should aim to provide personalised communication and experiences for each prospective student. This could involve tailored email marketing campaigns, one-on-one virtual consultations, or customised content recommendations. By doing so, schools can make students feel valued and encourage them to choose their institution.

In conclusion, digital marketing offers a wealth of opportunities for UK language schools looking to attract international students. By harnessing the power of social media, SEO, content marketing, website optimisation, and online recruitment strategies, schools can reach a global audience and stand out in a crowded market.

Maximising Email Marketing for Student Recruitment

Email marketing remains an effectively powerful tool in the arsenal of digital marketing strategies. It provides a direct line of communication to international students, allowing language schools to personalise messages, share important information, and nurture relationships with prospective students.

Before initiating an email marketing campaign, schools should segment their audience. This could be based on factors such as geographical location, language proficiency, or desired course of study. Segmenting allows schools to send targeted messages, moulded to the specific needs and interests of different student groups, thereby increasing engagement.

The content of the email should be compelling and tailored to the recipient. It should include a clear call to action, whether that's signing up for a webinar, downloading a prospectus, or applying for a course. Remember, the objective is to guide prospective students through the application process and ultimately convert them into enrolled students.

A successful email marketing campaign also requires regular tracking and analysis. Schools should monitor key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This data will provide valuable insights into what's working and what's not, and allow schools to continuously improve their email marketing strategy.

Expanding Reach with Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, a strategy that attracts prospective students through the creation of valuable content and experiences tailored to them, can also be a potent tool for UK language schools. As opposed to traditional marketing methods, inbound marketing is about ‘pulling’ the audience in, rather than ‘pushing’ out messages.

The first step in an effective inbound marketing strategy is to create and share high-quality content that resonates with international students. This could be blog posts, instructional videos, ebooks or social media content. The aim is to solve problems, answer questions, and provide value, subsequently positioning the school as a trusted resource.

A key component of inbound marketing is search engine optimisation. By strategically using keywords throughout the content, schools can improve their search engine rankings, making it easier for students to find them online.

Social media also plays a crucial role in inbound marketing. It offers a platform to share content, engage with students and build a loyal following. Schools can also make use of social media advertising to increase their reach and attract more prospective students.

Finally, inbound marketing should involve a strong lead nurturing process. Once a student has shown interest, schools should maintain regular contact, providing further valuable content and personalised interactions. This helps build a relationship and keeps the school at the forefront of the student’s mind when it comes to making their final decision.

In conclusion, attracting international students is a multifaceted approach that requires a blend of various digital marketing strategies. UK language schools must remain innovative and adaptable, continuously refining their methods to stay relevant in the ever-evolving digital landscape. By leveraging tools like social media, SEO, content marketing, website optimisation, email marketing, and inbound strategies, these institutions can effectively reach out to and engage with potential students, thereby bolstering their international student recruitment.

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