Contrary to what many in the education field believe, banner ads and online sponsorships aren't the only way to market your tutoring service, educational software, or private school online.
You can find unique inbound marketing opportunities for any one of these services. In addition, there is one sure-fire inbound method that will work for all three. Here’s what you need to know about inbound marketing for your education company – no matter what form it may take.
Inbound Marketing for Tutors and Tutoring Providers
If you provide tutoring services, there are several opportunities to market to your audience specifically – including question-and-answer websites like Quora, WikiAnswers, and Yahoo! Answers.
These sites are full of people who want answers to questions in specific categories, which give you an excellent opportunity to show off your skill while increasing your visibility and creating valuable links back to your own site.
Question and answer sites typically have “bonus features” that will help you out even more, if you'll take just a few minutes to use them. Quora, for example, allows you to follow your topics of interest so that you see new questions soon after being posted. You can also write a short description on why you follow that topic (mentioning the tutoring services you provide). You can also mention the topic in your profile – and grow your profile as an expert in the field.
Other good question-and-answer sites include:
- Answers.Yahoo.com (Good answers really stand out here!)
Inbound Marketing for Educational Software
As a software provider, you have a high number of education inbound marketing opportunities at your disposal. All it will cost you are the time and effort to distribute your software to the right sources and some complimentary software licenses.
No matter what kind of software you're producing, shareware sites and software review sites can help. Shareware sites give you a broad reach and allow potential customers to use a trial version of your software. Software review sites can also provide backlinks and can give you some really good publicity.
You shouldn't just stop at sites that specialize in software, though. What online publications does your target market read? Where do they go to school? What are their other interests? A good customer profile will help you decide which online magazines, blogs, etc. should receive a review copy of your software. Even a casual mention on a handful of these sites can improve your visibility and your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Inbound Marketing for Private Schools
How can you create inbound marketing opportunities for a private school? The best way is to leverage your students' love for your institution via social media.
Many school administrators, both public and private, choose to take a conservative approach to social media. Unfortunately for them, they're costing themselves enrollment when they do so.
Fortunately for you, it's easy to step up to the plate and outdo competing schools. Post quick notes about exciting events on Facebook. Share links to news pieces and other articles about your institution on Twitter and Facebook. Share photos of your school on these two sites, as well as sits like Tumblr and Pinterest.
You might be surprised at the number of shares you get. Students love to brag to their friends (and their younger siblings...and their siblings' friends) about how much smarter, cooler, better at sports, etc. their school is. This works across age groups whether you're talking about high school, junior high, or college.
And whether you're spreading the word about your private school, educational software, or tutoring service, keep in mind that there is one online method that acts as both outbound and inbound marketing. That method is blogging. Regardless of how you help students, a well-written blog that is updated at least once a week will give you some of the best PR and visibility you could ever wish for.