School competitor analysis empowers marketeers with valuable insights, enabling you to make informed decisions, refine your messaging, and make your School stand out in the education market.
In this article, you’ll find a detailed step-by-step guide to help you effectively conduct school competitor analysis. We’ll share illustrative examples along with some helpful tools aimed at streamlining and enhancing the entire process.
Step-by-step guide to school competitor analysis
Identify your competitors
Start by identifying your School’s direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are other independent schools with a similar student demographic, while indirect competitors can be state schools, online learning platforms, or homeschooling alternatives. For example, if your independent School specialises in a science-focused curriculum, your direct competitors might be other STEM-oriented independent schools, while your indirect competitors could be state schools with similar offerings.
Analyse competitor websites and online presence
Thoroughly review the websites and online presence of your competitors. Examine their website design, user experience, messaging, and unique value propositions. Utilise tools like SpyFu, Serpstat, and Moz to gather insights into website traffic, audience demographics, and keyword performance. This will help you understand how competitors attract and engage online parents and students.
Benchmark enrollment and demographics
Collect data on your competitors’ enrollment figures and student demographics. This information offers valuable insights into their reach and target audience. If a competing independent school boasts a higher enrollment rate among international students, you could explore whether your School can establish partnerships with overseas educational institutions to enhance your global appeal.
Evaluate academic programmes
Assess the academic programmes, extracurricular activities, and distinctive offerings of your competitors. Look for strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for differentiation. Tools like Absolutely Education offer insights into other schools’ offerings, giving you inside information on what matters most to them.
Analyse social media engagement
Examine the social media presence of your competitors on different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Evaluate the type of content they share, posting frequency, and levels of audience engagement. Social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social can aid in monitoring competitor activity and analysing engagement metrics.
Attend competitor events
Participate in events hosted by your competitors, such as open days, workshops, or parent information sessions. Observe interactions between school staff and attendees, and glean insights into their unique selling points. Attending these events allows you to experience firsthand the aspects that set your competitors apart in your industry.
Gather stakeholder feedback
Engage with your School’s current and prospective families to collect their perspectives on competing institutions. Conduct surveys, focus groups, or interviews to understand why families consider or choose other schools. Qualitative data can provide invaluable insights for refining your school’s marketing strategies.
Competitor analysis is a cornerstone of effective marketing for independent schools. By following a structured approach and utilising relevant tools, you can gain a deeper understanding of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Practical examples illustrate how these insights can inform strategic decisions and set your School apart. This process aids in crafting compelling messages, enhancing strategies, and establishing a distinctive value proposition that fosters a strong connection between your School and its audience. By following these steps, your School can effectively secure a strong position within the competitive education landscape.
If you have any more questions about competitor analysis or you’d like to learn more, we would be happy to help advise you. Book a free consultation here.