EMG Blog

3 Don’t-Miss Digital Trends for Schools and Nonprofits

Sep 21, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Jake Youmell

In this ever-changing digital landscape, it is increasingly difficult to keep up with trends. Going into the admissions cycle of a new year, what do schools need to be most mindful of? Enroll Media Group (EMG) and other sources are seeing what is the most valuable to keep on your digital marketing radar.

1. The Dominance of Voice Search

voice search graphic

According to Search Engine Land, 20% of search inquiries on Google's mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches.

While voice search and smart assistants might not have been on your list of priorities this year, many organizations are missing opportunities using this technology. 

To ensure your school or organization remains ahead of the curve with voice search, make sure that you have claimed your Google My Business property (really, it’s important – check out this resource for a great rundown by our partners at HubSpot). This is the easiest way to ensure that Google provides your voice searchers with relevant responses to common questions like your admissions office phone number, address, business hours, grades offered, and more.

Frequently asked questions pages (FAQ) on your website are extremely helpful in this regard. They work seamlessly in answering common questions while improving your chances of ranking the top choice for voice searches like “best private day schools near me” or, “best online school with on campus meetings”.


2. Continued Investment in Social Media (Paid and Organic)

social media infographic

76% of adults use Facebook daily. Furthermore, 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks.

The folks at Sprout Social have done an extraordinary job with their “15 Tips to Building a Better Social Media Presence” blog post, which we encourage you to check out. Additionally, take a look at this Social Media post from Milton Academy on their accepted student Revisit Day –


While this is a unique event, this is a prime example of a school that is providing a specific audience (in this case, accepted families) with a tangible sense of the community. Social Media allows this authenticity and personality to be visible to the rest of the community. Even if you think an event, class, presentation, or assembly isn’t worth covering or arranging, remember that these opportunities provide an opening for in-person visits, applications, and enrollments! Furthermore, they provide great social media content.

Ideally, your campaigns will attract relevant families to your website and social properties. Just as you use personalized visits and open houses to “wow” families once they’re in-person, go for the same impact when families browse your social channels, website, ads, and other digital properties.


3. Lead Generation and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

lead gen infographic

According to Marketo, strategic landing pages are used by 68% of businesses to acquire leads. Studies show using videos on landing pages will increase conversions by 86%. If that’s not reason enough to invest in a designated landing page, with an engaging video for every digital ad buy - I don’t know what is!

Home pages are engineered to be relevant to the widest audience possible. In a digital sense, it’s like the main entryway – or front door – to your school. On the other end of the spectrum, landing pages provide the unique opportunity of being focused on a singular message and objective.

If you find the majority of your enrollments coming from personalized one-on-one visits, consider creating a landing page with messaging that distinguishes your school from your competitors (just like your admission pages, or your viewbook), and offer families the opportunity to register for a visit using your landing page.

Landing pages see results, and that’s why we love working on them with our clients at EMG. All of this effort that digital marketers pour into landing pages isn’t for nothing, either. Unbounce reports optimized landing pages with a singular call-to-action (CTA) have a higher average conversion rate (13.5%) than pages with two or three CTAs (11.9% and 10.5%).

If any of these trends seem a bit overwhelming to consider in tandem with all of your other enrollment or marketing hats you wear, it’s because it is. Try and focus some time to one or two of these emerging trends as part of your digital marketing toolkit. And if you ever need a hand, we’d be happy to help! 

The statistics in this article can be found in this HubSpot article.

Topics: conversion rate optimization, independent schools, nonprofit, marketing, digital marketing, social media, voice search

Jake Youmell

Written by Jake Youmell

After starting his career in enrollment management at Boston University in 2006, Jake went on to pursue his passion for digital marketing and technology at Google in 2008. Since his early beginnings in digital marketing, Jake was driven by applying his experience building client solutions and teams at Google, Carnegie Dartlet, and DigitasLBi to make a measurable client-side impact at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Emerson College. As Co-Founder of Enroll Media Group, Jake brings his knowledge of digital marketing – and the unique challenges that schools and nonprofit organizations face each day – to help individuals and institutions thrive.