We have been working closely both within and outside of the independent schools sector during the lockdown in terms of re-engagement with potential students (or clients) once the lock down begins to lift.
Often many two heads are better than one so we have put together some ideas we have implemented with clients that have seen meaningful impact.
No doubt some may be familiar, others not so much but during this lockdown, motivation can falter! It is easy to lose direction a little and there may be some ideas in this education specific marketing toolbox that have fallen by the wayside but used to deliver results, or some new tools you can utilise in your marketing plan.
1. Have you ‘Hybrid’?! Something many people are struggling with is impact, email marketing is beyond saturated for example. From a school perspective enjoying the open day and the the impact that can have, along with a face to face meeting are where many parents are able to really engage with a school and it’s ethos. Virtual tours go some way to show people what schools have to offer, but have you considered a hybrid for the follow up meeting? Sending an open day brochure, which you can then discuss and work through in a Zoom meeting gives you the best of both worlds to achieve the personal touch, answer questions and with the printed brochure, exemplify the tangible quality your school has to offer – literally placing your school values in their hands. Things to consider:
- Use your brochure to direct prospects to your online platforms. Make sure you’re including any social media handles and addresses so that you can begin to create leads as a direct result of your print.
- Link blog posts and videos into the text of your brochure and also upload it as an e-brochure or e-magazine to a site such as ISSUU. This way you can drive traffic through to your website in the hopes of capturing contact details, and start to push these prospects through the conversion funnel.
2. Adjust your Social Media messaging – From the current starting point – potential students and families are in a very different place to 12 months ago. The key addition to your school values will be the assertion of safety at school post Covid19 – The expectation we would be bouncing back to normal has long since gone, so important clear messaging through social media feeds can tip the balance and reassure students will not only enjoy an incredible education at your school but safely in the current (new) climate. Things to consider:
- Use Facebook to help create a sense of community, and not just as a platform for news and updates. Host a live Q and A video on Facebook to answer any questions about how your school may adhere to certain regulations etc.
- Use polls to gather the opinions of parents and prospects. This could be useful in decision making and will show that you value their contributions when it comes to reopening the school gates.
- Generally make an effort to engage with your following as much as possible. This will be a confusing time for parents and prospects, and providing as much clarity as possible may help you stand out above the rest.
3. Video Welcome – could you utilise video more? stepping down slightly from a corporate video, is there opportunity to engage with parents and students will some realtime video, this can be edited easily and with minimal cost, again a quick way to show parents, students both new and old that you have social distancing in place, this can be followed up with a small booklet containing all the steps in place – your school’s critical plan for learning in this new era. Emailed video link can drive traffic to a landing page – coupled with a follow up document – this can only further cement your school as going ‘over and above’. Things to consider:
- Use a smartphone if you do not have immediate access to a higher quality camera. Most modern day smartphones are capable of shooting in 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second and if not, higher than that.
- Something we have found success with is the use of a lapel microphone so that the audio quality is better than it could be, as the average smartphone will pick up a lot of background audio. These can be very reasonably priced and can really make the difference when throwing a simple video together.
- You can download the iMovie app if you are using an Apple product. This allows you to pull in the video clips in the order you’d like them to appear and edit them together, adding any transitions or even subtle background music. This app is free and very simple to use and definitely one we can recommend.