Avoid The Summer Silence: Use The Summer Holidays To Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Published on 15/07/19
The school year may be almost over, but for many staff members, especially in departments like Marketing and Admissions - it's a crucial time for planning and creating strategies for the year ahead.
In our experience, we know that it can be hard to think of things to post over the summer and there is a constant challenge to ensure that the school blogs and social feeds don't become barren and empty.
If you're looking for inspiration to keep things flowing throughout the summer break and ways to avoid the summer silence, then you're in the right place!
1. Introduce Yourself
September is often a time for new staff as well as new students! Ask all of your new staff to write up a short introduction that states where they came from previously, what they enjoy doing in their summer holidays, what subject(s) they teach and anything else they think will be worth knowing. Putting a name to a new face can be a positive experience for parents and students - and it'll help your new starters to feel welcomed too.
2. Summer Activities
Find out if any of your staff are doing anything particularly amazing over the summer holidays. Are they doing any charity fun runs, visiting faraway lands, experiencing different cultures or climbing mountains? If they are - see if they'd be willing to share their experiences and/or send through a few photographs that you could use to highlight their achievements. These types of stories will be great to highlight in September too and could even tie into the curriculum. Real life examples are brilliant for emphasising a point or showcasing how something works/looks in the real world.
3. Reading Lists
Make suggestions for some great books to read over the summer. Make sure to include a variety of genres and reading abilities so that everyone has something that suits them. Don't forget to mention audiobooks and graphic novels - these are reading too, and may help to appeal to those who may find conventional reading methods a little difficult.
Remember - this reading list should be fun first, academic second. It's all about encouraging reading and getting your students to widen their horizons and find their own favourites.
You could also suggest some films to watch or musical playlists to listen to as well - especially if they can be tied into your reading list (soundtracks, movie adaptations or interpretations).
4. Oh Hi, Alumni
Summer is the perfect time to engage and interact with your alumni, especially those who are leaving you after results day. For existing students who are about to leave, find out their next steps and write a blog post showcasing destinations into university, apprenticeships or employment. For alumni who left a long time ago, why not put together a "Where they are now?" section that emphasise their achievements and career choices. Human interest stories are excellent ways to connect on social media due to the shareable nature of the content.
5. Throwback Thursday
Look back over the last academic year and compose a "Top 10 Moments" post along with images and testimonials of staff and students. Plan an exercise in the classroom for students to write about their most memorable moments to give you some material to seed out over the summer and first few weeks of the new term.
6. New Developments
Keep audiences up to date with any developments at the school; are there any new buildings or facilities being built over the summer? What changes can students expect when they return to school? It's important to share any investments or developments in advance with parents, as they will want to know what is happening and how this will impact their child upon their return to school in September. They will also want to know how the school is changing, growing and developing - as well as spending its financial allocations.
7. Plan Ahead
The 6 weeks holiday is a great opportunity to build up your content marketing calendar for the next academic year. Think about seasonal topics, sports days, open days, and parents' evenings and make sure they are all in the diary, so you never miss a moment. Work out your key moments for attracting new parents - when do you need to be promoting your events or sharing that 'Request a Prospectus' link the most?
8. Ease the Transition
Starting a new school can be daunting, especially when you're going from the big fish in a small pond, to a small fish in a very big pond.
Make the transition easier by putting together a comprehensive guide to 'Life at __ School' that you can share with new students and their parents. Include useful hints and tips, a map of the buildings, timings of lessons, breaks and lunch, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions so that the first day of school isn't the worst day of school!
9. Refresh Your Website
As so many parents start their decision making journey online, your website should act as the 'shop window' of your school and first impressions really count on this one.
You need to make sure that all of your content is fresh and up to date with the latest information available on admissions, uniform and term dates.
Don't forget that your existing parents will be using your website more too in the run up to September, to check they have everything for the new term, know when their child will be returning and to find out more about their child's next phase of education.
One final thing... If your website appears dated or is difficult to use, your website visitors won't hang around long enough to hear about your wonderful values, ethos and offering. So make sure you have a user-friendly design, a menu structure that is clean and simple to navigate and functionality that helps, not hinders, your parents and students.
If your website is looking tired and you're thinking of getting a refresh, then don't hesitate to get in touch with our lovely team today to see how we can help.