Needless to say, you probably already have the majority of your school’s next Open Day marketing planned or in progress. But there’s always time to add a few last-minute marketing tactics to add to the mix and boost your registration numbers…
Add Your Open Day to Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business (GMB) is an important part of any school’s SEO strategy. By claiming your GMB page you increase your chances of showing up on Google Maps and in organic search results. Your GMB profile also shows up in your Knowledge Graph (the box to the right of Google search results) and on Google Maps. Included with your GMB business page is the option to add ‘Posts’. Think of Posts like mini ads. You can add everything from a blog post to an event such as your Open Day. The post will last 7 days and you’ll be sent a reminder when it’s about to expire, prompting you to post again. It’s really a no brainer to take advantage. A client recently had over 6500 views of their Open Day post in one month alone!
Visit Google’s support for instructions on how to add a post to your GMB page (or ask me about some one-on-one training).
Maximise Your School’s Social Media Platforms
There are countless ways to promote your Open Day on social media including the following:
- Create an Event in Facebook. If you have a Facebook page for your school you might want to start by adding your Open Day as an Event, including a link back to your website for registration. You can then share the event on your Facebook timeline and even promote it as an ad. 2020 Update: Make it easy for parents to confirm their attendance directly in Facebook. Use the ‘Confirm Attendance’ feature that allows guests to reserve a space and provide additional details, confirming their attendance.
- Use Instagram’s Countdown Sticker. With Instagram why not add a Countdown sticker to your Story! This new animated sticker counts downs to the big day and can be saved to use over and over. Then when someone views your story and taps on your countdown, they’ll have the option to get a reminder of the event or to re-share it to their own account. And the best part is you’ll receive a notification whenever someone selects the reminder option.
- Share Feedback and Video from Last Year. Go through your photos and comments from last year’s event and share those across both your social media and on your Open Day landing page (more on that below). Create some easy to read testimonial images using a tool such as Image-to-video to turn last year’s photos into a video. Think of these as your digital word-of-mouth.
- Update your Profile Headers. Another option to promote via your social media is to update your profiles images to an Open Day banner. Facebook and Twitter are perfect for this choice, with Facebook giving you the option to include animation making it even easier to get the attention of prospective parents. You’ll most likely already have artwork created for your advertising that you can repurpose, but if it’s not appropriate, both Canva and Crello are two great tools for quickly creating branded header images for your social platforms.
Polish Your School Website
Your website is your shop-window and will always have an impact on your Open Day numbers. Below are a couple of updates you may want to consider …
- Add a Pop-Up Message on Your School Website. A pop-up message on your school website can effectively alert prospective parents of your upcoming Open Day and guide them to the registration page. If you have the ability to manage the pages your pop-up shows up on, consider the other webpages that visitors are entering your site on. Not every visitor first enters on your homepage. Check your Google Analytics ‘Landing Pages’ for those entry pages. But go easy on the pop-ups – too many can be too much. Make the pop-up automatically disappear or easy for the visitor to close down.
- Make Your Open Day Page Your Best Advert Yet. Think of your Open Day page as an ad to promote your school. Don’t put your entire website on that page but do sell yourself! Don’t just send your audience to a form. Take a moment to update and optimise your Open Day page for maximum engagement. Some content to consider:
- Why they should choose/visit your school (use bullet points to make it easy to digest)
- What they can expect at your Open Day – will they get a tour? Meet the Head?
- Testimonials – both video and written are great options here
- An abbreviated form. Try filling out your own form. If you find it annoyingly long, so will a parent
For those that are one-step ahead of the game, add a Google Analytics destination goal to your Open Day registration form in order to track where your audience is coming from. This information will prove itself to be invaluable when promoting next year’s Open Day.
Run an Open Day PPC or Social Media Advertising Campaign
- Look-alike Audiences. Use your existing parent list to target those that are similar
- Remarketing. Target those who may have visited your Open Day page but have yet to fill out the form (you can even exclude existing parents depending on the platform you’re using)
- Relocating Families. Most schools tend to market to a limited radius around their school. But if you’re in a desirable location you may want to broaden your reach to those looking to move to your area. Expand your target to include those that have shown an interest in your area.
- Your Converters. Visit your Google Analytics to get insights into the age, gender and location of those that are already converting on your website (assuming you’ve set up some goals). It makes sense to target a similar audience.
No matter if you have two weeks or two months to promote your Open Day, your efforts can make a difference. But whichever tactics you try, make a point to track your efforts and learn what works best for your school and your audience. One-size doesn’t always fit all…
Good luck with your Open Day and if you’re in need of an extra pair of hands, you know where to find me!Contact Me