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How we Helped an Independent School Nurture Their Marketing

Private Schools Marketing

Hillfield Strathallan College (HSC) is an independent day school located on a 50-acre campus in Hamilton, ON. The only co-ed, toddler-to-grade-12 independent school in the area, HSC is made up of four schools, including a Montessori junior school. They provide a child-focused educational experience that nurtures the whole child for their whole childhood, providing stability and a sense of community while building students’ confidence as they grow and learn.

HSC approached Metric Marketing to help them find a new strategic approach to running their recruitment campaigns. They wanted to move beyond traditional marketing to attract prospects searching online. HSC had been using traditional media (outdoor signage, radio, open houses, etc.) and their website wasn’t configured with Google Analytics, which limited their ability to understand their online audiences and execute successful, trackable digital campaigns.

The school’s internal marketing team welcomed our brand and digital development and support. They understood their brand visuals were dated, and they also needed clear social media management guidelines to ensure posted content would be consistent with the school’s brand and values. 

We started with a needs analysis to inform the Analytics Configuration, Measurement Plan and Insight Reports that would follow. We also conducted a Brand Assessment, where we delved deeply into information about the school and its competitors through research and surveys, to lay the groundwork for brand and campaign development. Deliverables included a brand positioning and visual identity guide, as well as a social media guide with FAQ sheet to help train staff.

Finally, we developed creative and digital assets for HSC’s 2019-2020 recruitment campaign , which we will monitor and optimize throughout the campaign, which runs from Aug 2019 to June 2020. In preparation for this campaign, we created a Targeting Framework outlining how we would serve ads to online users based on demographics, intent and behaviours, as well as tactics such as remarketing and organic search. We then mapped out user paths that showed who would see what campaign ads or web pages, depending on what content they viewed and whether or not they took action. 

HSC now has a comprehensive Brand Guide as their go-to resource that outlines the school’s internal messaging, target audiences and identity standards, such as their brand logos, colours, typography and messaging. They also have a Social Media Guide to help them plan and post engaging, consistent and on-brand content online that will speak to their intended audiences. The most important outcome is the strong digital foundation upon which they can now drive their recruitment campaigns in a powerful direction that will anticipate, track and meet the needs of their target customers. By shifting their focus to include an enormous, untapped audience online, they have earned high marks in digital marketing.

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