A Digital Approach to Educational Enrollment
A case study on the use of omni-channel digital marketing to increase enrollment for educational institutions.
The Atonement Academy is a classically based Catholic educational institution serving all grades from Pre-K 3 to 12 in San Antonio, Texas. The Atonement Academy is traditionally known for its 100% graduation rate and ability to help its students enter prestigious colleges across the nation.
Challenges & Objectives:
The Atonement Academy found itself at the center of negative media attention and declining enrollment and retention when the Vatican made a pastoral decision to change its parish status and move it from its Archdiocese to a new Ordinariate - a new kind of diocese for former Anglican Church communities who had newly entered the Catholic Church.
The subsequent changes left great uncertainty in their community as to their future, sports leagues participation, accreditation, and more. Their current parents were truly unsure of what to expect for their children. Desiring a smooth transition, better communication with their community, improved PR response, increased enrollment, and overall improved retention - the Atonement Academy turned to Mastic as a digital partner to creatively facilitate those functions.
The Proposed Solution:
To achieve their desired goals, a comprehensive white-label solution was implemented spanning key areas of digital marketing and public relations. The areas of service purchased were:
- Branding and Graphic Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Video Production
- Web Development
- Business Consulting
- Public Relations and Crisis Management
The white-label solution (a solution where we implemented all campaigns and assets under their brand alone) was chosen for its tact and discretion.
- The first and immediate service implemented was an improvement and clean up of their current brand including new fonts, cleaned up logo, graphics refresh for all social media pages, and more. The complete refresh of their online image garnered new attention from their current community and tangibly improved consumer confidence and credibility. Fast response times to messages on social media showed the current community that educational standards and service would not decline and eased fears.
- Secondarily, social media campaigns with a preset monthly budget immediately went live. New posts, videos, discussion threads, community pages, and ads went out to both current families and new prospective families via our targeted software and strategies. The school quickly saw improved viewership, engagement, and enrollment within the second month of service. Via social media alone, the school saw an average 9x increase in viewership. Over 150,000 views per month on their social media and 30,000 views per video. A 2.67% conversation rate meant of those views 3,871 prospects per month were viewing key capture assets like the website. This viewership and engagement translated to the conversions discussed below.
- Next, Search engine ads, back linking, and SEO optimizations were used to improve ranking on pages with keywords prospects use online to search schools when actively looking for the right options for their child. In this way, we ensured the school maintained its presence before prospective parents. In this area, the school often achieved the top rank on searches for “private schools in san antonio”.
- Next, Public Relations services crafted a PR crisis management plan to ensure a competent response if ever difficult situations arose in the future. In addition, a press kit and official press release templates were prepared to engage traditional news media in case the occasion arose.
- These combined efforts resulted in 66 new students in four months, at a tuition of $8979 per student, the effective gross receipts from our efforts were $592,614 confirmed by the school’s business manager. The method used to verify funds were counted via questionnaire per each new enrollment with the question "how did you first come to hear of our school". 90% of prospects responded they came to hear of the school via a digital format implemented by Mastic at the time.
The Atonement Academy has used their receipts from their annual contract to continue advancing their school community and is currently in the process of a large capital campaign to furnish their newly built school building that will accommodate their growth as a school community.