What is ELT marketing? 

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Social Media School Marketing

What is ELT marketing? 

ELT Marketing may sound like a new trend, however, it is a need and it is here to stay. But, what is ELT marketing all about? Why do ELT services and professionals need it?

The ELT (English Language Teaching) industry is a highly competitive market for all players, big or small, including language services. To survive and stay visible in this sector it is vital to make the most out of marketing. More importantly, it is essential to embrace ELT marketing because it understands the English Language Teaching sector’s dynamics, needs and cycles.

Why is ELT Marketing so important nowadays?

ELT Marketing is based on the same principles and uses the same tools used in general marketing. However, ELT Marketing has a different focus. It is specifically about marketing any service or product in the English Language Teaching sector. In the case of a language school, it means, for example, marketing adult courses, exam preparation, summer camps and much more. In the case of an ELT professional like a materials writer, it is about marketing their services or publications.

Why ELT Marketing and not just marketing?

You will certainly agree with me that marketing shoes, pasta or wine is not the same as marketing a language course. Why? Because learning a language means commitment, persistence and investment. It is an investment of time and money.  

Also, when people decide to learn a language what they need isn’t the language but what they can get through it. It may be getting a visa to live in Australia, enrolling on a master’s degree abroad or it could mean getting a promotion at work. The decision process of the potential student is different from the wine consumer.

On top of this, in some cases, the decision-maker is not the final user as happens with children’s courses for example. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the drivers to learn a language as well as the dynamics involved when choosing a language school. For this reason, ELT marketing plays an important role in language services because it understands the sector deeply. 

Generalist vs Specialist

The foundations of marketing are the same for everyone. ELT marketing can be done by a generalist marketer, however, it is with a specialist in the English Language Teaching sector that you will see better results.

A Specialist in ELT Marketing will not only be familiar with the sector but also fluent in both languages. What is more, the specialist in the English Language Teaching sector also has an in-depth understanding of education trends and needs for all players and uses a bottom-up approach.

ELT Marketing: traditional or digital?

Imagine ELT Marketing like an umbrella and underneath you will have both traditional marketing activities for schools as well as digital marketing. Traditional ELT Marketing involves brochures, flyers, posters, Open Days and so on.

Generally speaking, digital marketing is about:

  • Your website
  • Ranking on Google
  • Social media presence
  • Email marketing

ELT Marketing and Social Selling

Bear in mind that social media is for being social and it’s about building relationships. This is called social selling. Sales happen “ behind the scenes” and away from your feed.

Hootsuite defines social selling like this: “Social selling is the practice of using a brand’s social media channels to connect with prospects, develop a connection with them and engage with potential leads. The tactic can help businesses reach their sales targets

Social Media is a powerful marketing tool for the ELT sector. Language services and ELT professionals can gain visibility, generate trust and reach more students and parents and build a connection with them.

To make it successful though, it should be aligned with “off-line” marketing activities and it should be backed up by strong email marketing with sales-led messages. 

Think of social selling as modern relationship-building”



To sum up, ELT marketing is done by a digital marketing specialist in the ELT sector. When language schools hire a specialist in ELT marketing they save time, money and huge amounts of frustration. 

If you wish to have the support of a digital marketing specialist in ELT for your language services then contact me through the contact form or email me. I’d be happy to have a chat with you and see how I can be of help.

If you enjoyed reading this article share it with an ELT friend. Sharing is caring!

Comments (2)

  1. Peter Anderson

    Do you work with AISLi schools in Italy?

    1. Gina Rodriguez

      Hello Peter!
      Thanks for reaching out. Yes, I do. At the moment I have a language school that is part of the AISLI group.
      Should you be interested in finding out more, please drop me a line at
      Many thanks.
      Best wishes,

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