Content that Connects: Crafting Stories for Private School Marketing

In the realm of private school marketing, the power of story cannot be overstated. In my conversations with school leaders and through my experiences with Enrollment Catalyst, I’ve observed a profound truth: relatable, authentic stories are not just content — they are the heart and soul of effective school marketing.

I believe in the power of storytelling.

Consider this: What draws a family to your school? Is it the list of programs, the facilities, or the location? While these are important, they are not what truly resonates.

It’s the stories — the unique experiences of students, faculty, and staff, the milestones of your school’s history, and the day-to-day educational journey. These narratives provide a window into the life of your school, offering prospective families a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of your community.

Prospective parents are searching for stories that they can relate to and connect with.

Let’s delve into the why and how of crafting these stories:

Authenticity is Key

Authentic stories foster trust and connection. They go beyond the polished marketing pitches to reveal the genuine spirit of your school. Whether it’s a student’s journey of personal growth or a teacher’s innovative approach to learning, these stories should reflect the true heart of your school. Real people sharing their real stories should drive your content marketing strategy.

Student, Parent, Faculty, and Alumni Voices

Encourage students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share their experiences through their voices. Their perspectives offer invaluable insights into life at your school. These narratives can be powerful testimonials to the impact of your educational environment. Whether you utilize a simple interview-style approach or create a compelling video, your marketing should be focused on sharing the voices of your community.

Pacifica Christian High School in Santa Monica, CA, provides a compelling story section on its homepage, “In Their Own Words.” Featuring five video vignettes of students, these stories provide the voice from each of their own experiences. The site also includes a Story Section that highlights stories from a cross-section of their community. This is a strategy that I have coached many school leaders to implement on their websites. Then, from the website, the stories can be posted on social channels, published in newsletters, and included as links in lead nurturing emails.

Storytelling Across Platforms

Utilize various platforms — from your website to social media — to share these stories. Each platform offers a unique way to engage with your audience. A video reel on Instagram, a feature article in your newsletter, or a series of stories on your website — each format offers a different angle to your storytelling. You should also utilize your content in multiple ways on all of your channels. Gone are the days of sending countless press releases to the local media hoping for a feature article. Schools can publish stories 24/7 on all of their channels. And, your content should be used in multiple ways on all of these mediums.

Consistency and Relevance

Maintain a consistent narrative across all your marketing materials. Your stories should align with your school’s mission and values, reinforcing the message you want to convey. In addition, you should focus on implementing a consistent storytelling strategy. Can you commit to crafting three, five, or more stories per week? The more you can implement, the more potential you will have to connect to your audience.

Stories are a powerful tool in the private school marketing arsenal. They provide a compelling and authentic narrative that goes beyond facts and figures, touching hearts and minds. As you craft your school’s stories, remember, that it’s not just about what you offer; it’s about the lived experiences of those who are part of your community. Let these stories be the focus of your marketing strategy, attracting families who resonate with your school’s people and programs.