Client Services Director, Ambleglow
Marketing is still a relatively new concept in education, but an increasing number of schools in both the the state maintained and private sectors are now embracing the need to market themselves to prospective pupils and parents.
Where funding is mainly governed by how many pupils you have, schools need to be actively promoting themselves to the local community.
Like any business with competition, it’s important that schools look at themselves critically. Why would someone choose this school? What makes you different, and are you telling your story? Any external communications should always be able to answer these questions.
Marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth. Agree what your overarching message is and ensure that this is woven through all of your marketing efforts. Use social media to highlight achievements and promote key events.
Parents can also be great school advocates and will have a multitude of skills, from design to photography and video production – so use them!
Finally, try and set realistic goals to start with and make sure you can measure the results of your efforts.
Founder, Chameleon Training and Consultancy
With the significant challenges facing our schools, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your own school is best placed to attract new talent and investment. Here are my top tips for ensuring your marketing hits the spot.
Firstly, try to define your values and key messages – what makes your school an attractive proposition? Marketing begins at home, so focus on defining your brand and bring to life those things that make your school what it is.
Once you’ve articulated those messages, you’ll then need a plan. This needn’t be complicated, but a coherent approach will help you focus on what you’re looking to achieve and ensure that resources are allocated effectively.
Introduce digital media, and remember that short video clips are far more engaging than pages of text. Short clips of pupils introducing the school are particularly effective. Social media is a good way of saving costs on promotion, as most of your audience will be inclined to follow you on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Finally, produce some case studies to help bring those pupil and staff success stories to life.
Grow pupil numbers with videos
Videographer Rebekah Nangle offers some tips on how to engage would-be parents and pupils through the medium of video…
1. What’s your goal?
The point of video marketing is to tell a story in order to achieve a goal. You will need to be clear about what it is you want to achieve. Tell a story, don’t make it a sales pitch.
2. Creating messages through visuals is tricky
Using certain angles and lighting can help to portray the school’s ethos through visuals. This will give the opportunity to convey the ethos and atmosphere that words can’t communicate. Staff and pupils voiceovers are a bonus.
3. Keep it short
With videos up to two minutes long receiving the most engagement, it’s important that the length of the promotional video is kept concise.
4. Don’t be boring!
Keep it light and be creative. Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing – being a little different can give you the edge.
5. Your messages get through
Uncertain about why you should use video marketing? Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to only 10% of written content.
6. Make it mobile-friendly
Not sure you will reach your market? Smartphones have become the hub of our daily lives and are now in the pockets of two thirds (66%) of UK adults.
7. Transparancy is good
Take viewers behind the scenes and show them your school. Don’t just sit in front of a camera and tell them about it – let them see it in action.
8. You get what you pay for
A school video will reflect on your school as a whole and the personality inside. A video will be a representation of your school’s image and reputation.
9. Highlight what you do
Video allows you to give viewers a real insight into your school and the kind of teaching environment parents should expect when visiting. Bring forward your strengths – your school is unique, so show it off.
10. Think ahead
Video has a longer lifespan than traditional literature, meaning you can use it to advertise upcoming open days or other events.
If you would like to speak to Rebekah to see how video can benefit your school, contact 07852 299 294 or visit fireseedfilms.com.