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7 Takeaways from School Marketing Day

Finalsite’s School Marketing Day was packed with brilliance—as always. Experts shared topics from recruiting talent to sharing your unique story in a virtual environment and plenty in between. Selecting sessions was difficult—too many choices—but here are seven takeaways from some of our favorites: 

1. Turn parents into brand evangelists. Parents want schools to know and care for their children. Risa Engel, Mia Major, and Kristen Doverspike advise communicators to use the 70-20-10 rule. Your content should be 70 percent engaging, entertaining, or educational. Share 20 percent of content from other sources. The remaining 10 percent of content can be self-promotional. 

2. Identity loyalty leads to true loyalty. Dr. Americus Reed challenges brands to aim for identity loyalty: when customers perceive the values of the brand as in tune or aligned with their own. This level of emotional connection allows customers to feel that they represent the brand. “Creating deep and emotional connections will create true loyalty.”

“Creating deep and emotional connections will create true loyalty.” – Dr. Americus Reed

3. Keep it simple. Many communicators struggle with creating engaging content in the virtual environment. You can repost user-generated content and ask those around you for help to make managing social media easier. Amid all the negativity circulating our nation, Andrea Gribble reminds us, “We need to make the positive so loud that the negative becomes almost impossible to hear.” 

“We need to make the positive so loud that the negative becomes almost impossible to hear.” – George Couros

4. Differentiate your communication. As Lesley Bruinton explains in her session, not every student will learn the same. Why do we think every parent and community member will communicate in the same way? You widen your audience when your information is available on multiple platforms and in different mediums. 

“If differentiation is good for learning, why wouldn’t it be good for communication?” – Lesley Bruinton

5. Have a strong structure for your story. You need a strong structure for your video story to cut through the noise. Jake Sturgis shares his three milestones for developing a story structure: Define your purpose, choose your characters, and pick the right moments to emphasize. 

6. Google your brand. Janet Swiecichowski explains, “Parents who are shopping schools or looking to relocate will Google your school and visit your website before they ever contact you. Google your schools. Do the images and reviews show children joyfully learning? Claiming and enhancing your schools’ Google business page is an easy first-step in enrollment marketing.” 

7. The key to success is to start before you are ready. As Chelsea Janke shares, “the process is just as important as the end result.” Your long-term success depends on it! Whether it is a school marketing plan or website redesign, start planning before you are ready to execute or even commit. Chelsea is happy to meet you for coffee to talk you through what to think about in your process before you get started. Celebrating your website’s launch day is exciting, but it shouldn’t be the best day of your website’s life.

“The process is just as important, if not more, than the end result.” – Chelsea Janke

Published on: November 4, 2020