How to use social media to promote a virtual school open day

With over 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone, social media’s ability to engage and influence audiences cannot be denied. The most successful users of social media are those businesses who serve up content that is relevant and useful for followers and subscribers.  Social media should be an integral part of any school marketer’s digital marketing strategy. Not only is it a means of engaging with current parents and students, but it also offers access to prospective parents who are interested in learning more about what you as a school can offer.  In this guide, Digithrive for Schools takes you through exactly how to use social media to promote a virtual school open day.

A vital part of a successful digital strategy is mapping your upcoming posts on a social media calendar so you have a good mix of content relevant to various persona groups (ie Existing Parents, Pupils & Prospect).

You should also investigate which social media channels best suit the demographics you’re looking to appeal to and how they prefer to digest information.

Once you’ve collated all the information on your virtual open day, make sure there is a dedicated pop-up on your home page and landing page with clear CTAs that you can lead your followers to. This hub will act as the main forum for those looking for information, so make sure it is relevant and provides adequate detail about your open day.

This in turn will allow you to devise a post on your chosen social media channel with bite-sized information. Think about the highlights of your virtual open day. Do parents get a chance to speak to the Headteacher one-to-one? Is there a live Q&A session where prospective parents can hear each others’ views and suggestions? Succinctly mention this in your caption in order to have the biggest chance of conversion. Don’t forget key information like when the open day is taking place and how prospective parents can join. You can hyperlink on a Twitter post, but make sure to update your bio link on Instagram.

Remember, it’s not enough to merely upload a post stating the facts of the virtual Open Day. Consider the reasons why people should give up their time to learn more about your school and incorporate these findings into other posts and stories.

For instance, upload short snippets of pre-recorded videos of the following:

  • Department heads discussing their achievements and curriculum
  • A video from your headteacher
  • A 360 tour of your school and its facilities
  • Videos from pupils talking about lockdown life and digital learning, as well as what higher education institutions they expect to move on to. This is key in conveying to parents how you nurture and help students progress after they’ve enrolled in your school.

In other posts you can also provide:

  • A link to a downloadable/online prospectus
  • A link to a booking system where parents are able to book meetings/interviews with Heads of Houses and other members of the senior team
  • A link to your ‘News’ page, which should be regularly updated as lockdown continues

You can also use Facebook and Instagram to find more leads who don’t already subscribe to your school. Read our guide on using Facebook ads to generate virtual open day leads. 

We hope you found this guide to using social media to promote your school's virtual open day useful.


how to use email marketing to boost school admissions

3 clever emails to increase open day attendees and admissions

There are two main reasons why schools must send emails to their contacts. Firstly, to update current or prospective parents and pupils on key event dates, and secondly, to move prospects further along the customer journey towards enrolment. While other types of content such as social media and blogging are important too, emails remains highly effective, allowing you to personalise the content depending on who (which persona group) is set to receive it. Here are three clever emails to send to increase open day attendees and admissions for your school.

A foreword

The way to ensure you are sending the right content to the right people is to collect the correct information through sign-up forms. This is an easy way to see what kind of content each person is interested in receiving. Make sure you ask: ‘Are you a pupil,  student or parent?’ and: ‘Do you already attend the school?’. It is important to not ask too many questions on form fills (this leads to reduced conversion rates) but rather to focus on asking the right questions. For more advice on creating effective forms for conversions, read our guide about questions you should ask on forms.

Once you have effective form fills, you can use them to segment your contact list and send appropriate emails to each group. For the purposes of this blog, we will be focusing on three effective emails to send to prospects.

1. Informative resources

These emails are ideal for prospective students and parents who are early on in their journey to signing up to your school and would benefit from more information on the syllabus, course material and subjects offered. Advice-led content such as 'How to choose the right prep school for my child' will be relevant here.  You should also think about downloadable content such as ‘Choosing a Prep School: FAQs,’ and include information about financial aid initiatives, bursaries and scholarships.

If you know that a student has spent a lot of time on your drama and theatre page, then sending them some links to videos of previous shows or details of past productions will be relevant. If a prospective parent has shown interest in your alumni page, they may be looking to see what kind of opportunities your school will create for their child. Send them a link to an article about your students’ acceptance rate at Russell Group universities, or you could even send them research written and conducted by your alumni. These emails are great for prospects who are at the top of your funnel, answering questions they may already have in their mind, or even questions they didn’t know they had –  and thus pushing them further down the funnel.

Here's an example:

2. Pre-event: emails to increase virtual open day show rates 

If a prospective parent or student has already signed up to attend your virtual open day, then reminder emails are a great way of increasing show rates. Not only are you reminding them of the date, but you can also send useful content that may further persuade them to attend. Here are some examples of emails you should send before your virtual open day:

  • Confirmation email to thank them for signing up to our virtual open day - this confirms their place and makes things feel official. Don’t forget to include a link, such as your zoom link,  to the event here too.
  • Save The Date links to their online calendars - this ensures they won’t forget about the event.
  • Attach digital versions of your prospectus.
  • Video greetings from the Head - a simple video from the Head saying, "we look forward to seeing you at our virtual open day event" can be extremely powerful, especially if they have the time to personalise it for each attendee.
  • Invite people to send in their questions - in this email, make it clear that questions sent in will be answered at your virtual open day - this is likely to boost attendance rates of those who asked questions.
  • Event agenda and checklist - having a clear agenda encourages attendance and sets expectations. Provide a list of everything that will be discussed at the event to be sent a day or two in advance, along with a link to access it. 

Here's an example:

3. Post-event emails to increase admission rates

Post-virtual open day emails remind parents of the admissions deadline and give them a chance to send feedback. Encouraging parents to confirm their place in advance of the deadline is proven to boost admission rates, as well as helping you improve any further events. In addition, sending useful follow-up emails (automated sequences) about the process with ‘soft deadlines’ such as when to ask for references or when your children should begin preparing for entrance exams can also be very helpful and bring your school to the forefront of their mind. For  anyone who was unable to make the event, you may want to offer a private one-to-one zoom call. As prospects move further down the funnel, you may want to offer meetings with an admissions officer, head of year, subject teacher, the school board or even the headteacher.

Here are some ideas of post-event emails you can send:

  • Thanks for attending - include useful information such as deadlines, financial support info, links to admissions applications and prospectuses. You can also include a post-event survey here. 
  • Sorry we missed you - send this to those who didn't attend. Include a link with the recording, or invite them to join you on another day, whether it’s a personal call or another virtual open day event.

Final note

Make sure your email includes a call-to-action (CTA). Example CTAs include ‘book your place’, ‘find out more’ or ‘download our prospectus’. This strengthens the relationship  between your institution and the prospect and gives you further information on what kind of content they want to receive more of. If executed correctly, this should increase open day attendees and admissions.

We hope you found this article useful. To read more like this, click here.

If you would like to find out about our lead nurturing service to help you get increased open day attendees and admissions, book a free consultation.


6 Essential videos for your school's website

Did you know that video content is favoured not only by readers but also by search engines? To ensure you are capturing the interest of prospective families and driving traffic to your site, it’s imperative to ensure that you have these 6 videos on your school’s website.

1. A virtual tour of your campus

A picture may be worth a thousand words –  but videos are even better. However great the images on your site, a virtual tour of your school grounds is a much more powerful way to show off your campus and give prospects an in-depth look aroundl.

2. Current student/ parent testimonials

Current families are your best ambassadors. As we know, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, but nobody can speak to as many people in real life as they can on video. Interviews with current students and parents give your school a face; invite them to talk about their favourite subjects, achievements, extra-curricular activities and clubs. This will make your school much more memorable. 

3. Interview of key staff members

Prospective families are keen to know about your school’s teaching talent – so showcase it in staff interviews. This is an opportunity for connection on a personal level as well as the chance to shout about your staff’s achievements and what makes them unique.

4. Videos on daily school life

Schools are busy places, with countless things happening every day. Video is a great way of capturing the essence of daily life in your school. Make it your mission to capture a couple events every month, from a drama club rehearsal to a music recital to an exploding science experiment. These videos will make for great entertainment for all your prospective families. If you are a boarding school, make sure to showcase what boarding life is like too - showcase the rooms and how your pupils live.

5. Capturing the local area

Just as prospects want to see what life is like inside school, they also want to get a better understanding of the local area, especially if your school has international students or boarders. Create virtual tours of local attractions such as shopping centres, parks and restaurants and tourist hotspots. Make sure to highlight any outdoor or unique studying spots too. This will exhibit all the advantages of going to your school.

6. Mini orientation videos

These are  not only great for prospects but also for new students coming onboard. How-to videos are all the rage - make mini tutorial videos on things like ‘how to sign up for classes,  where to get your timetable, 5 things you should know before joining the drama club or  even how to secure your spot at the best university’ You could have a mixture of current students and staff members explaining each one. 

Video marketing is one of the best ways to engage prospects and have them stay on your website for longer - don’t miss out on the benefits of this powerful tool.


How to create an SEM strategy for your school

Ensuring that your school appears prominently in online searches is a continuous process requiring multiple strategies. In this blog we discuss search engine marketing (SEM) which includes search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Both these strategies can be used to direct traffic, generate new interest and acquire leads.

Each strategy has its own benefits, so it’s important to use a combination of both to maximise your time, resources and spend.

The difference between SEO and PPC

SEO is a long-term investment focused on building your reputation. Promoting your school by answering questions and solving problems for prospective parents and students will raise your online search profile. Though its cost is relatively low, SEO requires investment of a lot of time and resources before results begin to show. Once you are producing high quality content regularly, there comes a point when SEO optimised digital assets start to provide exponential returns. The value of your content doesn’t reside in one or two great posts, but rather in your digital existence as a whole, and this collective value starts boosting newer content as you go too. Eventually your SEO optimised pages will create a continual flow of traffic to your website, landing pages or school blog. 

PPC, on the other hand, is a fixed-time campaign with high upfront costs (such as payment for advertising) but returns are quick, highly valuable and specific – such as sign ups to your virtual open day. PPC campaigns are designed around a keyword strategy just like SEO, however they only bring returns as long as you are paying for the campaign - so there's no exponential growth or long term benefits as with SEO. Because of the high upfront costs, PPC should be used wisely and you’ll want to pick the right spots. 

How and when to use SEO

You’ll always want to use SEO to push your website higher and higher in search results organically. It’s important to use long tail keywords (LTKs), in language that your ideal audience/ personas will be using for their queries online. The more relevant your LTKs are to your personas, the more interest you will attract. Once your research identifies a list of keywords that are relevant to your ideal audience, you can begin with ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ SEO.

On page SEO

This is where you have the most control. You can carefully embed your keywords throughout your page, including title, subtitles, meta description, tags and paragraphs. However, it’s important to write naturally – the days of meaninglessly repeating keywords are long gone. Other tactics to remember include making sure the page has a fast loading time and including social sharing buttons - the more your content is shared, the more google will know it is valuable, which will in turn push it higher on search results.

Off page SEO

This is when other sites (ideally high authority ones) link to your content. You don’t really have much control over this, other than producing great content that people will search for, share and link back to. Again, ensure that you have plenty of sharing options and subtly remind readers throughout the content to do so - either in text or with calls to action. You might want to add some clever copy such as: ‘Know someone who is looking for a school that specialises in music? Share this page with them now!’ 

How and when to use PPC

Since PPC campaigns only run for as long as you’re willing to pay for the advertising space, it’s best to reserve them for events and open days - specific things that you really want to promote. With virtual open days, you’ll want to achieve two things - create awareness and get real sign-ups, so a PPC campaign would be a great choice here. Other reasons to launch PPC campaigns are to attract particular kinds of students or to increase admissions numbers for the upcoming school year. With these campaigns you just have to bear in mind at what stage of the funnel the prospects are that you are targeting – are they at the awareness stage, consideration stage or decision stage? – and you’ll want to choose the keywords you pay for accordingly. 

To summarise, you should think of SEO as your always-on SEM strategy, whereas PPC is reserved for special events. As we hope to have shown in this guide, you need both.

Is your school looking to incorporate an SEM strategy for an upcoming virtual open day? Get a free 30-minute consultation with one of our digital experts to find out what the best approach is for you. 


What schools should ask on forms and landing pages [with examples]

One of the best ways to save time and effort for your admissions department is to send them pre-qualified admission leads. In order to determine whether a prospective student is ready to go to your admissions team, you’ll need to capture the right data and ask the right questions on your forms and landing pages.

You’ll want to ask questions that can allow you to target each prospective pupil with the most relevant content, which in turn will help them make a decision about your school. In this guide, we explore the list of questions you should be asking on your forms and landing pages to determine where students are on their admissions cycle.

Mandatory fields

You’ll want to ask the following to ensure that you can contact the student again and supply them with the right information and content. 

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Age

 

Other fields

  • Date/ year of entry

This is useful: knowing the entry year of your prospective students will allow you to focus your efforts on the more timely leads. Parents often enquire about very young children who are nowhere near school age yet, while others are looking to enrol their child for the following semester. This can help you know what content to send and whether to alert the admissions officer straight away.

  • Subjects and activities of interest

Although not necessary, this information is useful in order to tailor content to each enquiry. It’s a great way to segment data too  - you can group students interested in a particular subject or extracurricular activities and add them to a relevant email sequence. Also, don't limit the fields to just one option - you can have multiple tickbox fields so they can subscribe to material for any and all of their interests. 

  • What event they would like to attend

This one depends on the form - a general inquiry form may not need it, but if this form is on a landing page about your virtual open days, then a drop-down option showing different dates and times can improve your chances of attracting attendees. You can also use this information to send reminders nearer the time. 

How else can you figure out what to ask?

The best approach is to talk to your admissions team and find out what the most qualified leads look like. Figure out what they want to know and prioritise what’s most important. The optimal amount of fields in any form is seven, so rather than trying to get all the information in one go, consider ‘progressive forms’ which gather data on a lead over a period of time. You can do this by gathering slightly different information on each form. For example, you can require applicants to fill in mandatory fields as well as their proposed year of entry in order to download your prospectus. When they do, you can target them with an ad for your open day which gathers information on their proposed year of entry and subject interests and so on.

Here are some examples of forms and landing pages we have created for clients for their virtual open days, hosted on targeted Facebook ads and landing pages:

Getting your forms right is important since you’ll be able to gather helpful data to qualify your leads and market to them accordingly. In return, they’ll receive the right content for them which will help them make their decision about attending your school. 


How to Generate Virtual Open Day Sign Ups using Google Ads

Open events are a great way of showcasing what your school has to offer to prospective parents and students alike, so building interest and buzz around such events is tremendously important. However, getting people to show interest and sign up for open events is an immense task in itself, and marketing departments at schools across the country are increasingly turning to online advertising platforms to help promote their schools and events. Here, we will look at the different ways you can advertise using Google Ads as well as how to build an effective campaign using these methods.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a platform that uses the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model, and it is the single most popular PPC platform out there. Essentially, Google Ads allows you to pay for traffic to your website or landing page through a range of different advertising instruments including search engines, video and display advertising. We will look at the main three methods of advertising on Google Ads: Search, Display and YouTube.

Search

As the world’s largest search engine, Google is crucial for business. On average, Google Ads convert 50% better than organic traffic. Keywords associated with schooling and education are becoming increasingly competitive, making it difficult to rank high on search results – so search advertising allows you to quickly and effectively get your adverts and school seen by an engaged audience that is actively searching for relevant keywords. Keyword research is essential and there are many tools that can help with this including Google’s built-in Keyword Planner as well as third-party software such as SEMRush. Targeting only the most relevant keywords will not only improve your conversion and click-through rate (CTR), it will also improve your cost-per-click (CPC).

Display

Display advertising follows the same PPC model whereby you pay for visitors to your website or landing page, but rather than search engine advertising it utilises images and GIFs. The Google Display Network (GDN) is made up of over 2 million websites, and you can feature your display adverts on these sites by filtering your target audience to specific locations as well as key interests and demographic information. Allow display advertising to showcase what your school has to offer using striking images and snappy headlines to attract visitors.

YouTube Ads

YouTube is now the second-biggest search engine after Google and with the popularity of video advertising on the rise, YouTube advertising is definitely worth considering for your school’s marketing. You can advertise on YouTube in a number of different ways – you‘re not limited to advertising using just videos, as you can also make use of display and search methods (similar to Google).

 

 

Landing pages

At the start of every successful campaign is a good landing page built around your key campaign goals. All adverts will lead back to this landing page, so it needs to highlight exactly what the open event is and the relevant data capture information must be included in the form. We recommend not overpopulating your landing page with information and keeping the form as short and concise as possible. Information overload, including excessively long forms to complete, tends to discourage potential sign-ups – the aim of the landing page is to convert interest, so it’s important to keep it brief.

Tracking

In order to measure a campaign’s effectiveness, you will need to know and understand key metrics as well as make sure that the campaign is fully trackable. Google Ads allows you to track conversions through tags set up within the platform that then need to be attached to Google Tag Manager (GTM). On your landing page, you can also add UTM parameters to URLs. So, for example, you can include a link to the school's main website for further information, and if your conversions are set up correctly within Google Analytics you can also track conversions on the main website where the source of the traffic was the landing page. Google offers lots of analytical data as part of your campaign, so it is important that you understand the basics, and where possible, go the extra mile and track conversions accurately. 

How to build an effective campaign using Google Ads

With Google Ads you can build highly effective campaigns using a range of different platforms, methods and adverts, capturing potential leads at every step of the buyer journey/marketing funnel. 

  1. Awareness - at the top of the funnel, a potential lead may simply be looking for information, and through the use of display advertising, you can successfully serve them with information that’s engaging as well as relevant. The aim is to showcase your open event to a large number of interested people, and display advertising can successfully do this, whether online or offline (using traditional media such as print). 
  1. Consideration - At the middle of the funnel we have the consideration stage, where a potential customer is considering their options before entering the decision-making stage. As this stage is all about engagement, YouTube is an excellent platform, since we are watching online videos more than ever before (each of us is set to watch 100 minutes a day by 2021). Video marketing on YouTube is a great way of engaging with your target audience during the consideration stage, enabling you to showcase your school’s selling points visually to a relevant audience.
  2. Decision - The decision-making stage is the key to any good campaign and in order to be successful you need to ensure that your landing page is built with the key goal in mind, ie. attracting open event sign-ups. Your Google Search campaign should include keywords that will not only attract clicks but that will also be relevant to the information on the landing page. Clickbait isn’t helpful here I’m afraid as the ultimate goal is a lead form competition.

 


Personas: what you need to know [with FREE template]

Customer personas are a great way to analyse your target audience, allowing you to create content and communications that will be relevant to their needs and desires. In this guide we will cover exactly what personas are and why they are necessary for success in your marketing efforts. We will also show you how you can go about identifying them, with a free template to help you work this out.

What is a customer persona?

Each persona should be a profile of the ‘ideal’ person you want to appeal to with your marketing. The profile should include the person’s demographic, interests, goals and any challenges they face. Within the current climate it's also worth considering how different families are responding to the coronavirus, what their expectations are and how your school can accommodate them.

Here are some good places to start when building your persona:

  • Current pupils and families
  • Prospective pupils and families
  • Applicants for vacancies at your school

Since the needs of each group vary, creating unique and specific messages for each of these groups is essential.

How do I find out the key attributes of my target audience?

You probably already have an idea of what types of families are already at your school, so this is a good place to start when completing personal work. Look at the data you have and analyse it for any key trends such as household income, careers, interests and more. You can also gain insights into your target audience by:

  • Creating forms (on your website and on your application process) to capture this important persona information. You can even ask questions like ‘ what social platforms do you frequent most?’
  • Creating surveys to try and identify the key challenges and considerations prospective and current parents have when looking for a school for their child. For example ‘what’s more important to you – location or extra-curricular offerings?’ You should also ask about their preferences for learning during the coronavirus. For example, ‘would this family be more comfortable with classroom teaching or online lessons?’
  • Making educated guesses as to the kind of families that would be interested in what your school has to offer. 

Personas have many benefits and are a real asset to any school marketer. They can:

  • Help you understand what platforms are best for delivering your message to different groups
  • Guide you on what kind of language you should use
  • Clarify what content your personas are interested in receiving
  • Simply put, personas are the foundation of effective school marketing. Without them, you may struggle to get your message across and attract quality leads and prospects to your school.

Due to the COVID19 crisis, you may need to update existing personas or create 'temporary' ones to match the current concerns that your prospects may have during this time. For instance, current challenges your prospects may face could be paying school fees, or objections to online learning.


generate leads

How to Generate Virtual Open Day Leads Using Facebook Ads

An open day is the perfect opportunity to proudly showcase your school to prospective parents and pupils. However with the current COVID-19 crisis, it’s unclear as to when open days will become possible again. So, schools are tackling this problem by embracing virtual open days.

While digital open days have been around for a while, particularly favoured by universities, the current challenge schools face is how to actually reach prospective parents and students. In this blog we will explain how to use Facebook to drum up interest for your virtual open day and get real leads.

What is a paid Facebook ad?

According to Facebook, “You can create targeted ads to reach different audiences and meet your marketing goals.” Facebook Paid Ads are a simple and effective strategy for your school to reach the kind of prospective parents you really want. 

The more niche an audience you can target, the better results you can achieve. Facebook targeting allows you to specify your audience’s interests, age, gender, age of child, location, employment status, marital status and more. Once your campaign is set up, you can use the ads to collect data that will help you improve the ads and in turn, increase their effectiveness.

How to build an effective Facebook ad

When you’re building your ad, there are a few important factors to consider:

1.1 Create an audience

Deciding which demographics to target is one of the most important parts of optimising your ad. For some schools, a broad target audience is more effective. For example, if you’re a boarding school, you may want to target families from all across the country, or even the world, as your boarding facilities can accommodate them. 

However if you’re a day school, it would be much more effective to target those who live within a five to ten mile radius of your school. You can even target multiple specific postcodes or areas as shown above.

1.2 Install a Pixel

A Facebook generated pixel is a piece of code that can be installed onto your website or landing page to track any visitors that come to your page. From this you will be able to retarget those visitors with Facebook and Instagram ads and collect vital data to help you analyse and optimise your campaigns.

1.3 Create a Lookalike Audience

You can also create a ‘lookalike audience’ which will allow you to find people who are similar in interest, demographic and behaviour to those that have already visited your website.

 

 

2. Craft a clear message

Your Facebook Ad has limited space, so make sure your messaging aligns with your marketing goal and influences action. Think about what will draw people in to attend your virtual open day. Are you showcasing a virtual tour of your school? Are you one of the leading schools in the area? Will you have the headmaster and other important speakers at your virtual open day? Make your message relevant to your audience and give it a call to action.

Don’t forget to add an image and/or video, too. Ads with video are much more likely to attract attention than those without. Finally, don't forget to make the time and date of your virtual open day clear on your ad. Otherwise, how will people show up?

3. Create multiple ad sets

When crafting your campaign you should try to create multiple ads for A/B testing. Creating more than one ad gives you multiple sets of analytics so you can determine which ads are performing the best. If your ads are working well, you know what to spend the majority of your budget on.

However, it’s still important to switch them up every so often so the message doesn’t stagnate. People get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, so keep it fresh. If your ads aren’t working, try adjusting the imagery, copy or call to action.

 

Need help setting your Virtual Open Day campaign on Facebook? Get in touch.

A final word

Facebook Ads are a great way to get your school in front of prospective parents and students, and Facebook has some great resources to help you get started.

Although Facebook advertising is extremely important, building and managing ad campaigns can be extremely time consuming and overwhelming. If you need help with your Facebook campaigns, book a discovery call with one of our experts.

To read more like this, click here.

 


Working from home for the school marketer

With partial closures of schools set to continue, now is a great time to complete the daily administrative duties you may not have time for during the usual busy term time. Not only will this help you drive leads and admissions during this period, it will also set you up with a great framework when normality returns. Digithrive for Schools round up the top things you can do when you are working from home as a school marketer.

Website improvements

Now is a great time to work on improving your schools website. Go through each page on your website and make sure everything is updated with correct information and dates, as well as recent images. This is of vital importance when parents aren’t able to easily visit or call the school for more information. 

You can also work on improving your website SEO - For a free health check on how your school's SEO, social media output and more is currently performing, click here.

Social Media strategy planning

Another facet of your school's marketing you can work on during this time is your school's social media pages - now more than ever people are spending a lot of time online, so being on social media will help you stay at the forefront of prospective parents and pupil's minds. Start by analysing all past posts and seeing what worked best, so you can create more of the same successful content. Post updates continuously to show people that you are still a functioning school even during lockdown. Make sure to promote any and all online lessons/ activities your school is holding. You can even make these lessons accessible to prospective pupils as well as current pupils, so they can get a feel of your school's teaching’s style.

Working on your blog

Like with social media, getting a blog content strategy and calendar together will be very helpful to keep your school at top of mind. Write some new content such as what measures your school is taking to continue educating during lockdown. Or write about resources pupils can use to learn from during this time. Having a great blog will mean that people continue to come back to your schools website over and over again, allowing your school to become a trusted informational authority in people's minds. At Digithrive for Schools we are experts in writing content - get in touch for a free consultation on how we can help you create effective content for your school.

School newsletters and email sequences

You can also use this time to improve upon your school’s newsletters or email sequences. Go through and update old templates, or create new ones and send them out regularly to keep current and prospective parents and pupils updated about your situation. 

Newsletters should include updates, useful dates, links to material such as prospectuses, as well as links and times of any online classes  or virtual open days your school may be holding. For sequences email newsletters we would recommend Hubspot, Mailchimp or GetResponse.

Virtual open days

Are you worried that your inability to host a physical open day may lead to a decrease in interest and, in turn, school admissions? If so, why not consider a ‘virtual’ open day or one to one Zoom with the admissions officer or head of the school? Set a time aside where the headteacher, class teachers and pupils can jump on a Zoom call and talk about the school and subjects as they would during a regular open day. You can invite interested parties to watch the call, participate and ask questions, or simply make a recording for future use.

Marketing training

This is also the perfect time to brush up on the latest training for marketing. There are plenty of free and paid online courses to help you learn new skills or refine current ones. From website optimisation to content writing to effective social media strategy, there are plenty of courses available so you can get ahead of the game before lockdown is over! Start by discussing with your headteacher or head of marketing what you need - hint: focus on your digital marketing! Hubspot provides a plethora of digital marketing courses after which you can receive a certification by taking the online exam. Simply create an account and get access to all of their free courses here.

Digithrive for Schools is a full service digital marketing agency and we can provide you with advice and tips on all the above. If you have any questions, get in touch.


Quick Wins to Help Your School's Website Convert Better

Your website is your strongest online asset and for most prospective parents, the first place they look to find out more about your school. With trying to make your school’s website as informative as possible, digital marketers forget that it’s a 2 way street - as well as giving information to your prospects, you should also be trying to get information! 

With the social distancing and isolation caused by the coronavirus outbreak, more than ever people will be rushing online to get information, especially since they can’t attend open days. We’ve compiled our top tips to help your school website convert better during this time.

Keyword Optimisation

It's most likely that a lot of your school services have been suspended and you are working from home. Using this time away from planning busy open days can be handy for general ‘housekeeping’ as it were. Use this quieter time to optimise your keywords used in your website as well as any PPC campaigns. Take time to research and figure out the best keywords for your websites content pages, clarify what message you are trying to get across in each page and make sure the keywords reflect this.

CTAs

Another really great thing you can do for your website is conduct an audit of what CTAs you have on each page (if any) and think about adding in some more. Make sure every page has a CTA, from simple things like ‘read more’ to ‘sign up to our newsletter’ or ‘download a prospectus’ or ‘sign up to an open day.’ Just remember to not scare them away - think about what kind of prospect would be viewing this page - for example a prospect who reads your blog about ‘how to choose the right school’ will only be very early on in the journey, so there is no use putting a CTA like ‘sign up to our open day.’ Instead, you should be using CTAs like ‘read more blogs like this’ to continue to build authority.

Refresh current content

Now is also the time to go through current content on your website and update it. Not only will this ensure prospects have the most up to date information on your school, but it will also put you higher at the top of Google and other search engines when you are shown to be consistently updating and refreshing your information. Google will see your website as a more trustworthy source, placing you higher above in the ranks over other schools. This will ultimately lead to more conversions  - the higher up you are in search results the more likely you are to get a click on your website.

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