Businesses which supply goods and services to schools often have problems accessing the schools market, and expanding their school client base.

One option taken up by some suppliers is to exhibit at schools conferences or to take up exhibition booths. This provides face to face contact with key school personal but the effectiveness and ROI is often elusive. Moreover this is expensive especially at the larger more prestigious conferences.

An alternative is newspaper advertising which lasts for a limited period of time and once again, the effectiveness is difficult to measure.

The way of the future certainly lies with the internet. Listing on websites geared to niche markets such as schools, is relatively cheap and cost effective. However to be effective the website must be known to schools and the search function must be precise and yield results quickly. The last thing school staff wish to do it to spend hours searching for a supplier. Like everyone else, school staff are busy and need an efficient solution to the problem of finding school supplies.

The advantages of internet marketing are well known – the internet is accessible 24/7, it is accessible everywhere (almost) and it offers flexibility, so that businesses can take control and change their information when they need to. By including the URL in the advertisement, the internet also offers ready access to the website of the business itself. Compared to other forms of advertising this is most efficient.

Before listing your business with on an advertising website geared to the niche market of schools, you should understand how the website functions. Test it to see what businesses you can find when you do various searches. It is also advisable to find our how the website is advertised to schools – it is effective only if schools know about it. There is no doubt that the best such websites have multiple strategies to make themselves known to schools. This should include such things as SEO and social media campaigns, print campaigns, as well as face to face contact with school staff.

The world is changing at a rapid rate and so are schools – staff are quickly coming to appreciate that the best and fastest way to find providers of goods and services is websites specifically catering for schools… all the better if the providers have one or more testimonials from other schools!

About the Author

PhD in European Languages and Cultures (specialising in Literary Translation) Department of International Studies Macquarie University