In part 1, we covered the first four steps of our Back to School Action Plan for school marketers. To quickly recap, those were:
- Step 1: Review data from your previous year
- Step 2: Set your goals for the year
- Step 3: Update your customer personas
- Step 4: Choose your channels carefully
This week, we’re going to move on and look at four more high-impact steps you can take to start this term off on the right foot & have a much easier time achieving your goals.
We particularly think that Step 8 is a powerful one, so be sure to check that one out!
Step 5: Consider Working With An Agency To Reduce Your Workload
The life of a school marketer is hectic, to say the least. Whether you’re in the midst of planning a new campaign, adjusting advertisements to meet the standards of internal stakeholders, or liaising with media outlets to get the best price, you have a lot on your plate.
The biggest challenge you face as a school marketer is finding the time you need for everything you want to do. One of the biggest ways you can save time is by choosing to work with a specialist education marketing agency.
For instance, we work with schools all around the country to research, design and deploy their advertising campaigns. We specialise in creating high-performance open day campaigns and securing great prices for our clients’ media purchases.
As a school marketer, your workload is substantial… but by choosing to work with an experienced agency partner, you can reduce it dramatically.
Step 6: Invest in Other Time-Saving Solutions
With everything that’s required of you as a school marketer, any tool that can save you a little time is worth considering. So here are some different ideas you should think about
- Consider investing in project management tools.We’ve found that options like Asana or Monday are perfect for school marketers, as they make assigning tasks and adding team members a breeze
- Use a tool like Canva to streamline the design process
- Use page builders like Thrive Architect, Divi or Beaver Builder to simplify the creation of new pages for your website
- Use social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to automate your posting and manage your accounts
To be an effective school marketer, you need time. And by implementing these tips, you’ll be able to earn back more of your time, saving your energy for the things that really matter.
Step 7: Test Your User Experience
As a marketer, it’s your job to ensure that people have a positive experience any time they interact with your school. Optimising your user experience is key…
And one of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure that using your website is as simple and straightforward as possible for parents.
As your website is their first stop whenever they have a query, issues here are sure to prove troublesome for your users if they’re left uncorrected. It’s easy to think that things work well on paper – but until you test it for yourself, you won’t know how well it actually works!
When testing your site, here are some things you should look out for:
- Broken links – does everything go where it’s supposed to? Or are their links that lead nowhere?
- Out of date pictures – do your current images reflect how your school is now? Or do they need an update?
- The accessibility of important information – can they find what they’re looking for themselves? Or will they need to call someone to help with their enquiry?
Optimising your site can be tricky… but avoiding big usability issues is as simple as testing the website yourself and searching for problems like the ones listed above. Doing this will allow you to easily spot what needs fixing and improve your user experience by leaps and bounds.
Step 8: Cultivate Relationships With Local Press
Here’s the final (brief) step of this action plan – cultivate good relationships with local press.
As a school marketer, having positive support from local newspapers and news outlets is a great help in spreading your message. Whether it’s celebrating a sports team’s victory, reporting on exam results or catching up on the new facilities your school has to offer, positive press goes a long way in helping you reach your target audience.
Something as simple as a “coffee and catch up” morning can be an effective way to nurture relationships with local press, so consider reaching out to them and scheduling something like this.
Having a great academic year doesn’t happen by accident. To succeed in achieving your goals, you need to start as you wish to go on – and that means you should take the time now to:
- Review the previous year
- Set your goals for the year
- Update your customer personas
- Choose your channels carefully
- Consider working with an agency to reduce your workload
- Invest in other time-saving solutions
- Test your user experience
- Cultivate relationships with local press
By following all eight steps outlined in this Action Plan, you’ll make a ton of progress towards having a great term. Achieving your goals as a school marketer is much easier when you have a concrete plan of action to base your decisions on.