How to market your school when parents can’t come to visit

Continuing to maintain marketing momentum and interest in your school during Covid-19 is a challenge every school is facing, particularly when relationships and experiences are a key part of creating a full picture of what it would be like for a student to attend your school.

Tackling your marketing with social isolation in place

Now that Queensland schools know where they sit for the next 3 and a half weeks we thought it was the right time to share some of our advice on what to do in Term 2 to set your school up for marketing and enrolment success for the rest of 2020. We believe it’s an opportune time to do some innovative, cost-effective marketing initiatives, whilst also getting your ducks lined up.

Our top 5 key recommendations for school marketing during Covid-19 restrictions are:

1. Talk to your community effectively and regularly

We understand your current school community is your Number One engagement focus during this time – fostering their connection to your school through effective and regular communication must be your main priority. We can’t think of a better example than NZ’s Prime Minister – transparent, candid and regularly updating her community. At the very least we recommend you plan for a bi-weekly video update (can be shot on iPhone) from your Principal to your community, that you share on social media.

2. Continue to market your school externally

You have a captive audience online – possibly more engaged than ever before with social media/the internet. Use this opportunity to get in front of your prospective families. We recommend devising a targeted digital campaign with digital advertising, remarketing and more, to:

  • Raise brand awareness – put your school’s name and unique offering out there!
  • Give them an understanding of your school either through a video or a well written piece of engaging content (a brand story)
  • Drive prospects to an online enrolment event – see below point.

3. Set up an innovative online enrolment event

This could be one of many clever, low-cost ideas to showcase your school such as:

  • A Zoom video meeting with your Principal to talk about your school (get people to register and you may have to limit numbers). You could use video and powerpoint to share key points, images and concepts with the audience.
  • A Facebook Live or Instagram Live Principal’s Q&A session from the Principal’s Desk or another part of the school
  • Online Open Day – a day where you get people to register (just like a real open day) and then they can be part of a series of online events that they decide to participate/log in to (this could all be done via Zoom). You simply set up a schedule and timetable – e.g. Video Tour with a student/teacher, Talk to Head of Primary/Secondary, Listen to the Principal talk about the school’s unique features and benefits, See the Hospitality Centre etc. The ideas are boundless. Most importantly you can obtain email addresses and send participants information to follow up.

The key is don’t delay – work it out and make it happen ASAP! Set up your website landing page and digital marketing campaign to facilitate it.

4. Focus on brand foundations

Now is an ideal time to continue to get your brand foundations planned out, set up or ready to implement. Elements could include:

  • Brand identity refresh – is your school logo legible, impactful and consistently applied
  • Brand Style Guide – do you have one to protect and explain all of your brand assets, as well as tell your brand story
  • Photography and Video planning – now is an ideal time to plan out your photography and videography needs
  • Content for your stories – take the time to focus on your key brand content – what stories can you tell across social media (including video), website and school publications that differentiate your school and reinforce your positioning?
  • Website refresh – do you need to update elements of your website or plan for a new one?
  • Prospectus and other collateral – does it need a rewrite/update?

5. Map out your marketing implementation for Semester 2

It’s likely that things may return to normal in Semester 2 and if that is the case what is your plan for:

  • Open Day/Tours/on campus experiences – map out some dates and advertising plans now
  • Digital marketing schedule for events, brand awareness and enrolment driving towards the end of the school year
  • Implementing your brand foundations mentioned in point 4.

The new normal

This is the new normal for now. We encourage you to continue your school marketing efforts during Covid-19. Look Education can help you with ANY or ALL of the above.   We’re here to help our education clients deliver on their marketing objectives and specialise in brand strategies and content, digital marketing, websites and prospectuses. We’re available over the phone, email and can set up a ZOOM meeting with you to discuss your requirements.