Let me start by stressing this point: it is not easy to use digital marketing in order to get schools excited about your product/service. Most schools are still ‘old school’ in how they do things and aren’t the most susceptible to change or open to new ideas.
Having said this, it is still very possible to use digital marketing effectively to reach schools. You just need a few key things in place and you need to have the correct strategy. And, if you get it right, digital marketing can be one of the most successful and cost-effective ways of reaching schools.
To help you understand exactly what I mean, I am going to share some of the very best tips and strategies that we have used.
Our digital marketing experience
SchoolAdvisor is primarily a platform that schools use to get quotes from reputable school suppliers. However, we also have significant experience in marketing to schools. We have been offering marketing campaigns to school suppliers for over 2 years now and have seen what works and what doesn’t.
Okay, let’s get into it. We’ll break down the various mediums available along with examples of how we have managed to use them successfully to reach schools. Look out for our ‘Top Tip’ for each medium.
Adverts vs Blogs – Editorial vs Static
Ads can be effective when attempting to expose your brand or hit a pain point that you can solve. However, our experience has proven editorial-style blogs to be a much more effective and meaningful means to tell schools about your product/service. We have found testimonials and relevant topics to work the best.
We find testimonials to be one of the most (if not, the most) effective type of article to use. Why? Because schools are much more likely to purchase your product if they know other schools also use it.
Here is an example of an article we wrote for a company. The article is written from a teacher’s perspective on how she uses the company’s game-based platform to teach Maths to her students. View the article here.
Using hot/relevant topics is another effective type of article use. A great example of this is an article that we re-posted on behalf of d6 Education titled ‘Do you have to use SA-SAMS? We have the answer.‘ This article was originally posted on the 18th of April 2016 and still continues to receive daily reads to this day.
The title of the article is what attracts schools to read it. If the title is catchy and relevant (like the above example), schools will read it.
Next, you want to focus on a writing an exciting intro that tells schools exactly what they are about to read – keep it short and precise.
From there, chat about the topic, detailing the current dilemma.
Go on to explain how your company can solve the dilemma and how you are the experts in that particular field.
Top Tip: Even though you are selling something, do your best to not make it sound like you are trying to sell them something. Rather, pitch yourself as the experts and convince them that you are.
Call to action
We have seen so many great articles that don’t give the reader the next step. To make the article a success, you have to finish with a clear call to action.
The key to a good call to action is not to sound like you are selling something. Here are a few good examples: 1) Leave your contact details at the bottom of the article; 2) Ask the reader to leave their details with you; 3) Send the reader to a webpage where they can learn more (make sure there is contact info available on the page you send them to).
When it comes to social media, we dabble with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Our media partners (who’s platforms we utilize when running marketing campaigns for companies) regularly use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
The 4 major social media platforms and who uses them
- Facebook – Lots of educators. You can post anything that will encourage engagement (e.g. funny GIFs, images of what goes on behind the scenes, etc.)
- Instagram – Fewer educators than Facebook. Instagram is a visual platform. Post images that pop and will get educators to engage (competitions are a good example).
- Twitter – More businesses fewer educators. Tweet about things that will interest other businesses and public figures. This way, they will retweet your tweet.
- LinkedIn – Very few educators but lots of business owners. LinkedIn is a networking platform. Use it to connect with and find potential partners to collaborate in the future.
Paid and organic social media posts
We have found that paid advertising on social networks only really works if you are looking to gain more followers.
Boosting a post will get more people to engage with your post. However, narrowing your audience to target school educators is nearly impossible. We have found that most educators are reluctant to share their personal info (like their job title, etc.) on social network platforms.
Posting organic posts are also no good unless you have 10,000 plus followers.
For these reasons, we decided to partner with social media experts who have managed to grow successful social media pages that school educators actually engage with.
The key to a social media post that schools engage with
The tricky thing with social media is getting educators to engage with your posts.
You need the right strategy. The last thing you want is a social media page that becomes stagnant. If this happens, it’s better to not have one at all.
However, many school educators are on social media (especially Facebook). And, if you have a strategy that works, you can make social media a powerful sales tool.
The key to creating a social media post that schools will engage with is ‘tone’.
Top Tip: The tone of your post is the key to a successful post. If the tone of your post is boring or too serious, the chances are that schools are not going to be interested in it. If the tone is upbeat, exciting, funny, or very interesting, the chances are that schools will like, comment, and share it!
To date, our most popular social media posts have been competitions. A simple image with the product that schools can win and short text saying “like our Facebook to win” or something similar.
Other successful posts include a relevant topic (e.g. ‘do you have to use SA-SAMS in your school?‘) and eye-catching images with clear text explaining how an exciting new product/service can truly help them.
Schools are very loyal to companies that treat them well and offer great service. By pairing great service with regular email updates about the latest happenings with your business, you are keeping your brand in school’s minds.
What content should be in your newsletters?
As you know, inboxes are always full of emails from companies trying to sell you something. School educators inboxes are no different. You need to make sure that, much like your social media posts, the copy in your newsletters is exciting and different to all the other ‘promo’ emails they get.
Top Tip: You need to ensure that your newsletters have a clear purpose. Don’t just send a newsletter for the sake of sending one or because everyone else is doing it. Your newsletter needs to add value to your schools or contain info they want to read.
The day we included our latest quotes, we saw an increase in open and engagements.
Through trial and error, we have discovered that our most read newsletters have been those with images and the details of our most recent successful quotes. Including an image of a company visiting the school or installing the product at the school is a major bonus! Schools love to see what other schools are doing. So, show them what your company is doing in other schools.
How often should you send a newsletter?
Now that you know what to put in your newsletter, how often should you send one? This can vary from business to business, but we have personally found that a monthly mailer works best for us. It helps us focus on putting only high-quality content into our newsletters and makes it easier for us to manage.
Tailormade Digital Marketing Campaign
We trust that the above info has given you some industry insight and helped you understand how you can effectively use digital marketing to communicate your message to schools.
Are you interested in using digital marketing to reach schools but don’t have the expertise to create an effective strategy? You have come to the right place. We will work with you to create a digital marketing campaign tailored to your company’s needs.
See what we did there? Call to actions all over the place! 😉☝👇