4 New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing Your School in 2018

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2018—have you made any marketing resolutions for your school? If not—we’re here to help! Setting resolutions or goals for your school (and sticking to them) can be as daunting a goal as sticking to your own personal resolutions. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals at once. Try picking a couple of the school marketing resolutions below and sticking with it for a solid year or half year (if you’re feeling courageous) before adding any more onto your plate.

#1 – Make your website your #1 marketing tool.
Take a look at your site and answer the following questions: Does my website do a good job of informing our target audiences? Is my site mobile friendly and responsive?  Would a prospective family, a current parent and a donor all go to your website and easily find the information they are looking for? If so, that’s a huge step in the right direction. If the answer is no, you have some work to do. Sometimes it can be as simple as updating information and making sure everything is current and relevant. Other times it can be a matter of rearranging your site to make sure the content is well organized and easy to find. And sometimes, you may be in need of a complete overhaul! Remember—most people will visit your website and make a decision on whether or not they will visit your school. First impressions are key whether or not it’s in the real world or virtual world.

#2 – Keep up with your social media accounts.
Whether your school has a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram account (or a combination of several) make sure they are getting used and up-to-date! Social media platforms are an excellent opportunity for you to engage your audience and show off your school. It’s also a way to start conversations, inform and connect with all of your target audiences. In addition to your website, these outlets should be your parent’s source of up-to-the-minute information. How often should you post on social media? 

Facebook – Post 14 times per week at a minimum… and not all on one day!
Twitter – Tweet or retweet 5 times per day, or more.
Instagram  – Post at least 10 times per week.
YouTube – Upload a new video at least twice per month.

What time of day should you post on social media?  This HubSpot blog post does a great job answering that question and backs it up with research.

#3 – Schedule a photoshoot.
If you’re using stock photos, it’s time to stop.  Please.  Stock photos are good for a lot of things but representing the personality of your school shouldn’t be one of them.  Visitors to your website can tell if you’re using stock photos and it lacks authenticity.  Budget for a professional photographer to visit at least once a year to capture the essence of your school and what differentiates you from other schools.  If a photographer isn’t in your budget, you probably have a parent or faculty member who is interested in photography.  You’ve heard the cliché, a picture speaks 1000 words – it’s true!  Having the best photos in your communications makes all the difference in the world for your marketing success.

#4 – Create a brand standards guide for your school.
A brand standards guide will help your school get organized and set ground rules as to how your brands (logo, crest, mascot, etc) can and cannot be used. Your standards will include the Pantone colors for your brand as well as your secondary color palette. You should also have a section in your standards that shows your brand in full color down to one color as well as how your brand looks reversed (on a dark background). Ground rules are important to insure consistency in your school brand. The standards are meant to be a reference for everyone within your school community. Most importantly, your standards should be given to your graphic designer, printer, embroiderer or anyone else who reproduces your brand to ensure and protect the consistency of your logos.

Need help with your New Year’s Resolutions or just a little encouragement?  Contact Bullpen Marketing and we can help you accomplish your 2018 marketing goals for your school!