Top your class when promoting your school
With the overwhelming demands placed on schools, marketing can become reactive, sporadic and easily get pushed to the bottom of the list. This ad-hoc approach results in mixed messages about your school brand and will make it harder for you to reach your goals. The following tips will help you prioritise your school’s marketing.
1. Plan ahead
It may sound obvious but for your marketing activities to be most effective, they should be done consistently throughout the year. A bit of planning will ensure these activities support your school’s overall objectives too.
A marketing plan helps to keep activity on track and ‘glue’ everything together – ensuring you spend time, energy and money wisely. Plan annually and then termly to ensure you capture key dates and deadlines.
2. Shout about your stories
Your wonderful students and children are the life and soul of your school or nursery and provide endless content! From sporting successes to improved performance, inclusion milestones to trips away, a steady stream of articles, videos and social posts about your students and staff will ensure the story of your school speaks for itself. Also, capturing the energy of your pupils with candid ‘in action’ photos will jump out to viewers and show your school at its best.
3. Your USP is your weapon – use it!
What is your USP? Is it the range of subjects offered, the extent of extra-curricular activities, the strength and success of your sporting teams?
Be proud of your academic offering and leave prospective pupils, parents and staff in no doubt as to why they should be part of your school rather than one on the other side of town.
“Your wonderful students and children are the life and soul of your school or nursery and provide endless content… capturing the energy of your pupils will show your school at its best.”
4. Invest in your marketing
If you treat marketing as a ‘bolt on’ to the already demanding responsibilities of a headteacher, administrator or school business manager, it will fall by the wayside and key opportunities will be overlooked and missed.
Find a way to dedicate resources to this important area. That could be through a full-time, dedicated marketing officer, or rather than relying on the expertise of one individual, partner with a marketing agency that offers a broad set of services for a competitive fee. You may find this is a more cost-effective route for you compared to a full-time employee who needs equipment, benefits, insurance and paid time off.
5. Ongoing review
It’s a good idea to frequently audit all your communications because what works well now might not be relevant in the future. Regularly stand back and take stock considering whether your website, newsletters, press releases, letters to parents and all your social media platforms are consistent and reflect your school’s brand voice, tone and style.
6. Stay social
A well-thought through social media and digital strategy which actually works for your school is really important. It should be the lifeblood of your school’s marketing activity.
In today’s fast-moving, social media-driven world, your target audiences demand and expect access to information at their fingertips all day. With so many platforms available, make sure you stay ahead of the game and keep your messages focused and consistent across whatever platforms work best for your school.