School marketing is a tough job. As marketers we’re often pulled in many different directions, trying to do it all with little resources and even less time. But as school marketers, you have it even tougher! That’s why it’s so important to be strategic with our marketing efforts. However, when we think strategies we’re often thinking bigger picture. Yet, if you break it down there are a lot of activities that can be accomplished in just 15 minutes that can have a substantial impact on your school marketing efforts.
So the next time you have 15 minutes to spare, why not choose a task from the list below and improve your school marketing ROI …
Increase Your Social Media Engagement
Uncover Your Best Posting Times
Posting when your audience is most frequently online or engaging with your content only makes sense. There are plenty of articles out there with insight into the best times to post (like this Sprout Social article for instance), but I’d suggest you use a simple spreadsheet to track your own stats. Take 15 minutes a week over the course of a few weeks to uncover the times that your audiences engage the most. To get a true sense of this you’ll want to share the same post over multiple times and multiple days. Before long you’ll see a pattern emerging as to the time – and day of the week – that your school posts get the most engagement.
Find the Right Content for the Right Channel
As each of your social media channels will potentially have a different audience, what engages on one platform may not necessarily on another. You may want to take another 15 minutes out of your week to see which posts get the most engagement on each of your social platforms. Again, track to see if there is a pattern that emerges. Do videos do better on Facebook than on Instagram for your school? Do your school blogs get shared more on Twitter? It might be that you share the same content but delivering it in different ways on the various platforms. Spend 15 minutes reviewing your social analytics to determine the content that works best for each of your social channels.
Get Creative with Gifs
We’re all aware by now the impact video has on social engagement, but with research showing that the majority of videos aren’t watched beyond 15 seconds, gifs can be just as powerful in getting the attention of potential followers. The best part is gifs are easy to create, cost much less than video and yet are far more engaging than simply posting a photo.
There are all kinds of free gif tools that make it easy for even the most technically challenged. Boomerang – an Instagram app – is great for creating gifs directly from your mobile. EzGif is an online tool that works well for creating gifs from either existing photos or video. It may not be the slickest looking tool but it’s actually really quite good. And of course, you have the old standby Giphy which is a great option for the novice gif maker. Here’s a quick article by Social Media Examiner that simplifies Giphy for you: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-make-animated-gif-guide-for-marketers/
Why not take 15 minutes this week to set up a template that allows you to easily create an animated gif for sharing your next school photos? It may take you more than 15 minutes on your first attempt but once you get the hang of it you’ll be creating gifs in no time!
Improve Your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Rankings
Update Your Meta Titles and Descriptions
Your website meta titles and description are the copy that is seen in search results. While meta descriptions have no direct influence on your search rankings, they can inspire searchers to click through to your website.
Have a look at your both your meta titles and meta descriptions. Are the descriptions all the same? Are your titles too long? If the majority of your audience is on mobile, you’ll want to ensure your meta tags aren’t cut off on a mobile view. This handy tool by SerpSim allows you to see how your meta tags look on both a desktop and a mobile.
15 minutes spent reviewing and updating your meta tags will be 15 minutes well spent! Remember you’ll want to have unique meta titles and descriptions for each page of your website – or at the very least, your top-level pages.
(For more SEO tips read my blog: 5 SEO Tips That Every School Marketer Can Implement)
Add Testimonials to Your Website
Many schools already have great testimonials on their Facebook page or Google My Business page. Why not take those and add them to your website as well? Testimonials are a great way to gain the trust of potential parents or students and are the type of content that moves a visitor through your admissions sales funnel. Take 15 minutes and copy and paste your testimonials throughout your school website, reinforcing the messages your school is wanting to convey.
From an SEO perspective reviews on Google My Business carry the most weight so if you haven’t got any there, perhaps spend 15 minutes to email a few key parents asking for their reviews. (Not sure you have a GMB page – pop me an email!)
Remove Obsolete Website Pages
Pages on your school website that are no longer viewed (if they ever were!) can hinder your site. Not only can they slow it down, but they also indicate to Google that your website is full of meaningless information, which in turn can affect your SEO.
Take 15 minutes to look at your Google Analytics and discover the pages that haven’t been looked at for ages and remove them. Not only can it improve your website’s performance but it will save you hours of work down the road should you redesign your school website at some point.
Build Your Links
Both backlinks (links from other sites to yours) and internal links (links within your own site) remain a big component of SEO. Review your backlinks using Google Search Console. Do you have links from authoritative sites or those that attract a lot of traffic? Look to expand your reach by building on your backlinks. Are there directories you can be listed on? Can you guest post a blog for an education site? Take 15 minutes to find new opportunities to grow your backlinks. With internal links, create links from pages that already show up in search results to those that don’t but you’d like to be seen. Leverage the visibility of one page to get exposure of another.
Develop Better Communication
Build Your Persona Profiles
Understanding your audience is crucial to being an effective marketer. Building strong profiles of both your current and prospective parents (and in some cases pupils) is key to connecting in a way that matters to them. When you have 15 minutes to spare why not gather some intel on your audiences to develop your profiles.
Google Analytics is a great place to start. Here you can learn:
- their age
- their gender
- where they’re located
- the devices they use
- the content they read the most
- the times of day they most visit your website
- the keywords they’re finding you on
The list goes on…
Spend 15 minutes each week to expand on your profiles. In addition to both social and Google analytics for insights, you may even want to do your own market research with current parent focus groups and surveys. Remember the more you know about who your target audiences are, the better your chances are connecting in a meaningful way.
The above is just a handful of ways you can improve your school marketing with 15 minutes here and there. Why not grab yourself a coffee and tackle one now!
As always, if you have any questions about my blog or digital marketing in general, please don’t be shy — just ask!