Digital Marketing trends in Dubai Schools – 2019

Digital Marketing trends in Dubai Schools – 2019

February 26, 2019 / blog / Comments (0)

Digital Marketing trends in Dubai Schools

Gone are the days when a school in Dubai would think the scope of advertising their school would be; book a few online banner Ads with GNews or KTimes to announce their School ‘Admissions Open Day’. Spend AED 500/- to ‘boost’ a ‘Meet the Principal day’ post on Facebook. Upload a School Sports event video clip on YouTube. These days digital Marketing for Schools has moved on.
Much has changed in Dubai’s private school sector in the last few years, not just with the school regulators and KHDA inspections. The arrival of new International Schools offering thousands more places for students has resulted in greater competition. Competition is so great some schools may be forced to close if they cannot attract, or retain their students. This increased competition sharpens the focus on school marketing efforts. In particular building up online presence or brand awareness through comprehensive digital marketing plans.
In the past a conversation with most mid to premium level private schools in Dubai about marketing activities would be quite basic and entail a few online web banners and some social media event posting. Spin the clock forward to 2019 and Schools are much more commercial aware of professional digital marketing for Schools strategies. Furthermore recognition of the importance of building and maintaining online presence to help drive sales leads to their site. School’s in Dubai today appreciate the value of how digital marketing impacts enrollment more than ever before. This dawn of reality has largely come about by the emergence of measuring tools like google analytics. Now they see the numbers.
Analytics
The Benefits of Google ‘analytics’ provides all the proof a School in Dubai needs to believe in new level digital marketing. Before this data was available school’s relied only on what professional marketeers would tell them. Now they can see and believe for themselves the advantages of spending online and seeing the results first hand. Next step is for the enrollment staff to convince the school head on the benefits of digital marketing. Traditionally the older wiser School Principals are more analogue when it comes to marketing. Their comfort zone is ‘Meet the Principal’ events and school tours and preparing for KHDA inspections. 
Shift in focus
In the face of fresh competition from new school opening all the UAE in the last 12 months enrollment and registrars have managed to convince Principals and Bursars to provide more funding towards digital marketing. As they have now have the numbers (analytics) to show the return on investment.
The modern trend is data-driven reporting. 
Enrollment and Registrars can now generate data for every action taken online so they can prove to School Heads where their investment goes and what kind of return it gave. Data is now the norm among school marketing personnel are expected to deliver targeted results. This means social media community will have to make sure this is implemented and not just talked about. If you need to get your message to your target audience then social media channels are still more popular than any other form of marketing. Facebook, Instagram linked in and Twitter are the most popular channels for audiences that are typically new parents. 
2019 changes in School digital Marketing 
Today alot of debates are had over how best to reach new parent/audience. Paid Ads or organic marketing?
We all know how instant online advertising can reap fast results, but today we are having more long term conversations about the benefits of organic content marketing. Mixing paid media with organic marketing is the trend today is combining the best of both worlds. This means it mixing paid ads with an organic social media strategy to achieve better engagement levels. Better engagement means better ranking by search engines.
 

Sponsored Ads on Social Media.

The days of the ‘boost’ approach to social media have been replaced with more targeted social media strategies that are more relevant to audiences and channel delivery. A typical school’s social media spend for paid and sponsored ads is now focused on the social networks, that  best reach the new parents (audience) and the goals that are set. 

What is budget for a social Ad campaign?

This is a still a common question arising from Schools in Dubai when planning their digital marketing budgets.
 

There’s not an easy answer because of so many considerations. However we can follow the guidelines below:

Calculating Social Media Budget and spend on paid social media
a-Annual revenue spent on marketing: 10%
b-Annual marketing budget for digital marketing: 30%
c-Annual digital marketing budget for social media: 20%

Note: Some studies forecast Social media will increase up to 90% by 2022

What is budget for a social Ad campaign?

This is a still a common question arising from Schools in Dubai when planning their digital marketing budgets.
 

There’s not an easy answer because of so many considerations. However we can follow the guidelines below:

Calculating Social Media Budget and spend on paid social media
a-Annual revenue spent on marketing: 10%
b-Annual marketing budget for digital marketing: 30%
c-Annual digital marketing budget for social media: 20%

Note: Some studies expected Social media will increase up to 90% by 2022

Because sponsored ads rely on a bidding structure, the more you pay, the more impressions your ads will get. So it follows the more impressions, the better chance of clicks.
Start off with a small trial budget and monitor your cost-per acquisition* (CPA). The CPC (Cost per click) formula is calculated as follows:

*CPA = cost-per-click (CPC) ÷ by conversion rate.
CPA can help set a min and max cost before your conversions begin dropping off.

Schools and Google Ads.

In the past a typical school in Dubai would set a budget for Google Ads. Followed by spending that budget and generate a Google invoice. Nowadays every Dirham needs to be accounted for by measured results across ‘Ad Words’ and ‘Display Network’ campaigns.
 
School’s are learning when to use use Adwords or Display network.

Google Search and Google Display have their distinct benefits and characteristics but when to use depends on your target goals. Both can be use together working effectively to meet your marketing goals.  

Google Search Ads are great for targeting new parents. They appear (or display) at the moment (or split second) a potential parent hits return on their keyboard after entering a search word(s) for a school. They may be making a search inquiry or browsing websites and blogs for reviews and opinions. At this point the Google Adwords are revealed which will help prompt them to click on your ad. If done correctly we know schools can achieve over 20-50% click-through-rate, which is 1 of 100 people who sees your ads. therefore 20-50 will click on your ad and visit your website.   

Are School’s in Dubai optimizing their content?
Fact: 75% internet users never scroll past the first page. Did you know 75% of users ignore paid /sponsored ads at the top of the page and instead look at the organic listings. 
School’s in Dubai are beginning to see the advantages of SEO. They know its about using specific words and terminology that relate to your content. Whether its online content like a blog, webpage text, social media post it should have a specific subject focus which requires relevant keywords. Selected keywords should be highlighted to help both the user experience (read it) and search visibility (discover it). 
 
These are the tips for Digital Marketing for Schools we offer.
 
1. Why is SEO so important? Over 90% of online activity starts with a search on a search engine (Google, Youtube, Facebook, etc). Therefore to improve and enhance your content’s online presence it’s imperative to use the best words and terminology to enhance visibility (page ranking) to increase visitor traffic.  
 
2. How do we begin to optimise? 
Start writing list of common words related to your content subject matter. Use commonly searched terminology to embed into your page content.  Spending time on SEO (regardless how tedious and time consuming) it will reap huge benefits for online visibility and optimal user experience. 
 
Optimizing your web Content  SEO and Content Enhancement for 2019 
3. How does it work?  Once the terminology and keywords are identified they are added into the appropriate spaces or boxes found in the CMS page of your site.  
 
Tip# for schools.
Avoid guess work and follow some best practices to achieve optimum results. Keep it relevant Your content should be concise and relevant. If your site has too many pages of heavy text it puts people off reading. Writing style should be simple informative without verbosity. Where possible keep content to a minimal number of pages. Use a link shortened tool like Owly to condense extra long URLs.  
Keywords for Schools
 
It use to be a short list of a few keywords, which will do for the year. Nowadays School’s in Dubai are using advanced keyword planning strategies and search tools.
Research your keywords properly using the web tools like google keyword planner, SEMRUSH (there are many). Avoid shoe horning your best guess keywords as this will reduce your optimization. Keep it simple Remove long titles and long descriptions in any link. Apply some modifiers  These are heavily-searched words, modifiers are ‘common words’ that appear in most searches, E.g ‘great’, ‘top’  ‘best’, or ‘what is’ ‘How to’ ‘Latest trends’ ‘super’ etc. Try writing a title that combine both modifiers and researched keywords, you can optimize your visibility and reinforce your SEO. Long or Short copy? 
 
School’s and Blogs articles.
 
Teachers generally have a lot of great educational knowledge and experience to share. With the benefits of SEO and good quality content, schools in Dubai are now tasking their senior leadership teams write regular blog articles so they can by published on the schools own blog page. 
The guide for an article Education is to aim for between 750 and 1000 words. Ensure you proof it and edit out waffling then make sure its laid out well with text pull outs (italic, bold, underline) paragraphs indents and bullets. Ideally broken up with relevant thumbnail images and infographics where appropriate. Write it like you would want to read it. 
Content Enhancement for 2019.
 
We advise schools if they are creating content to be mindful about plagiarism. Urging them to be sure their content is not similar to an article previously written or published. It goes without saying avoid plagiarizing others people’s work; because search engine algorithms are cleverly programmed to detect similarities and will penalize your page by down ranking. 
Content Enhancement for 2019.
 
We advise schools if they are creating content to be mindful about plagiarism. Urging them to be sure their content is not similar to an article previously written or published. It goes without saying avoid plagiarizing others people’s work; because search engine algorithms are cleverly programmed to detect similarities and will penalize your page by down ranking. 
Write for your readers or SEO? 
The short answer is both. With some practice an average writer (not talking about a professional author) can incorporate SEO in a subtle way. The topic or subject matter, terminology and researched keywords* can be incorporated smoothly, keeping the flow and tone natural. 
Note*: Remember to research and use the correct terminology for your ‘topic’ then write your content according to these pre-selected terms, try to avoid retro adding terminology into your article after it’s completed. Remember these top 3 tips: Write relevant copy incorporating a good mix of modifiers and researched keywords for optimal results. Fact: 75% internet users never scroll past the first page. If you have well written, interesting content then don’t be afraid to write over 500 words. Our guide is to aim for between 750 and 1000 words. Ensure you proof it and edit out waffling then make sure its laid out well with text pull outs (italic, bold, underline) paragraphs indents and bullets. Ideally broken up with relevant thumbnail images and infographics where appropriate. Create it like you would like to read it.

www.TheSchoolAgency.com

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peter caush

Director The School Agency

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