A virtual open day is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your school to families when they cannot visit in person, whether that’s due to the current Covid-19 crisis or, more generally, because they are based internationally or live far away from the school.

But once you’ve planned your virtual open day to perfection by creating virtual tours and videos, how do you spread the word and get as many attendees as possible? This is where digital marketing comes in.

How to create a successful virtual Open Day campaign

Landing pages

Before you advertise your open day, create a landing page for when people click on your link. An effective landing page will guide people to either sign up or register interest for your open day. Below is an example of Maida Vale School‘s landing page. Make sure to include a form that collects their name, email address and basic information about their child so you can add the parent to your marketing database.

Facebook advertising

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. So, rather than advertising to thousands of random eyeballs, you can use Facebook ads to attract your ideal audience to your open day. Here’s our complete guide to Facebook ads for schools.

Google advertising

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. One type of Google advertising is PPC (Pay Per Click). This allows your school to appear at the top of Google when parents type in certain key phrases that you select. For example, if your school is in Gloucestershire, you could ensure that when someone Googles ‘best school in Gloucestershire’ your school pops up with a link to register for your open day. For more, check out our expert team’s guide to Google Ads.

Email marketing

An engaged mailing list is one of the most valuable tools a marketer can have. Thanks to your paid advertising and landing page, you should have the email addresses of lots of parents. Now you can send them email reminders about the virtual open day. Make sure that you provide the essential details including the date, time, what to expect and how they can confirm attendance. Here are 3 clever emails to send to increase open day attendees and admissions. Don’t forget to send an email afterwards to thank them for attending.

Social media

Aside from paid social media advertising, normal social media posts are a great way to spread the word about your virtual open day. In a previous guide, we explained how to create a brilliant school social media profile, with examples of schools who are doing it well. When it comes to virtual open days, try to get creative and think about why people should give up their time to learn more about your school and incorporate these findings into posts. For example, you could provide a video from your headteacher or pupils, or a link to an online prospectus.

We hope you’ve found these tips on creating a virtual open day campaign useful. For help with your digital marketing strategy, get in touch with school marketing specialists Digithrive for Schools.

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