1. Branding. Branding can be seen as an invitation to what you have to offer to your audience. A school’s overall branding helps parents understand how the school will provide the education they want for their child. It helps them sense how their child will be nurtured in that school.
It also increases the value of an institution in many other ways. It provides students and teachers with direction and motivation. It keeps the alumni connected to the school, to each other, and to values they picked up in school. It becomes a connecting point for all the stakeholders – parents, students, teachers, board members, and society at large.
2. Over-all communication strategy. Which platforms will your school appear in? What will it say? What will be the tone of voice? How will it talk to parents, and how will that be different for the students?
A school needs an aligned communication strategy to send out its message effectively.
3. Brand retention. From overall communication and branding to text and fonts, captions and colours, you need to communicate in one language with your audience. Or else, it’s like talking to them in Japanese one day, and in French, the other day, while Spanish the rest of the week.
4. Content. Schools need to create content that adds value to the lives of their audiences. Content comes in all shapes and sizes. Content strategies mostly involve using the media to deliver messages key to the school’s mission and vision. The content should be different on different platforms when engaging with prospective parents for new admissions, existing parents, students of higher grades, and finally with the society at large.
5. A good website. Your primary audience is the parents of a generation of digital natives. Schools can no longer afford to only communicate with parents when they visit the school. A parent’s first impression of the school today is via its digital platforms. The easiest way for a school to stand out is to communicate its USPs through the digital medium, the most important being the school website.
6. Social media strategy. Social media is a great way to build up a business. There’s no doubt about that, but it can tear the business down quickly. There has to be a strategy behind what goes on your social media and when. For instance, replying to a tweet in your individual capacity can go wrong for your school’s brand image. How your school appears on LinkedIn is not how it should look like on Facebook. Now, imagine being an American school and using British English on social media.
7. Outreach communication for Alumni. Alumni love to stay connected to their school. Regular communication helps keep the ties strong, and different programs can be initiated. Interactions with them can help current students. This also helps the alumni connect to each other, and continue the friendship that started off in your school grounds.
8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It helps extract a steady stream of qualified leads as well. It takes more or less four months for a well planned and executed SEO campaign to start paying off. Anyone telling you differently is up to no good. So, for example, if someone types in “Best schools near me,” your site will only come up if you’ve put some work into the SEO.
9. Google Ads. One can get traffic overnight with Google Ads, a paid traffic solution that shows ads to people when they search for keywords relevant to a website. However, 90% of websites using Google Ads crash after their first promotion as the website may not be built to handle that traffic. It is necessary to check all parameters before Google Promotions.
10. Out of the box solutions. Although you know your school best, this can often (and understandably) lead to a biased view that may not be best for the future and growth of your school. An outsider’s objective viewpoint can open your eyes to different potential solutions that you would have otherwise not even considered. They can also encourage you to test out new ideas and try new avenues digitally.