Love your school, Promote your school!
Article By Kelleher
Are you a parent? A teacher? A student? It doesn’t matter, what is clear is that you want to learn how to promote your school in Ireland! Firstly, congratulations, you are online right now, doing something very constructive with your time. In 2017 and how many representatives of the other 898,929 other schools, are researching ways to promote their schools? Not very many! In fact while you are reading this valuable article, most of your contemporaries are scrolling through nonchalantly the various media that can help you with your task at hand!
Firstly, in the spirit of academia, it is worth noting that “the use of an emotionally driven branding concept has positively impacted business development and brand likeability within a UK university” (Durkin, Mckenna, Cummins 2011). Ok, you are not trying to raise awareness of a university, you are not even based in the UK – however, the same applies. Emotionally driven branding is the key driving force that will help promote your school. You school is different than every other. You need to really drive this – drive your unique culture and “community”! In this digital age, your school is a brand! With that, you need to nurture your brand and cultivate your community.
"Brand communities on social media enhance brand loyalty through brand use practices” (Michel Laroche, Mohammad Reza Habibi, Marie-Odile Richard, Ramesh Sankaranarayanan 2012). Social media. One of the many, but arguably most accessible tools available in the area of digital media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, the list is endless. However, like the school curriculum, these “subjects” in “real-life” in full effect, may go hand in hand, or indeed used separately – it depends on the situation at hand! Ask yourself the question, what do you want to gain, what do you want to say, what do you want to do, when promoting your school? That unfortunately is just one element. You need to also figure out, who you want to absorb this message and what forms of media works best for this audience!
Irish figures according to statista.com read that “In 2021, the number of monthly active Facebook users is projected to reach 2.8 million individuals. This would be an increase of approximately 0.32 million new users from 2.49 million users in 2016.” It makes sense to promote in a place that is continuously growing its numbers. In this blog, it is assumed that you have an active Facebook account for your school, if not please click here for the “how to set up a Facebook page for your school”. I would wager there is not a team of marketing aficionados at your disposal, therefore you need to be top of the class at managing your Facebook page and bring in new modern social media elements to help with your endeavours of endorsing your school within your community. So let’s look at some…
Content is king. Content on your page is what will engage your audience. Content is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience” states the Content Marketing Institute. To create a successful engaged community, you need a Content Strategy – a structured communication plan - through, visuals such as imagery and video or copy and text. If this seems scary, or time consuming even the professional businesses are challenged with this. Keep in mind - 79% of marketers consider content marketing to be important, with 76% saying they have a content marketing strategy. However, only 48% have documented their content marketing strategy, according to the Marketing Institute of Ireland.
Keep the page easily identifiable. Build your fan base – do you have more than 25 Likes on your page? Yes? Well then customise your URL as URL’s are heavily weighted within search engines. Use the “about section” of your page to encapsulate what you want to achieve in this domain. If you have a dedicated website – backlink the page! As mentioned, copy and text are key content strategy tactics, pin a FB post weekly and provide relevant posts daily. Top tip – the first 18 characters of your post will serve as SEO key wording.
Brendan Maguire stated that in 2017 69% of all website traffic will be video. Video is not all about big business, video is able to create emotion and feelings words simply cannot. YouTube usage has increased year on year. For successful YouTube videos, you need include relevant title, a detailed description, a call to action and ideally of HD quality. Try to drive subscribers to the channel, include well thought out key words, external links (perhaps to your Facebook or webpage) and get involved in the comment sections – drive the community spirit. If this is all in place your school will rank higher in the index, and will improve the awareness of your school.
Your school is unique, and there is not a one size fits all plan unfortunately, Why don't you get in touch with us, we would be happy to help you conjure up a great promotional plan for your school!