#BackToSchool: Marketing Checklist


It’s back to school month here at Interactive Schools and schools in the UK. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

The doors are once more open! Pupils and staff, old and new, are filing back in. Classes, which stood so eerily quiet only a few weeks ago, are open again for business. Yes! Welcome #BackToSchool. πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

Here are some of the best moments from schools getting back to it this week!

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Let’s get straight into in then, with the @intSchools #BackToSchool Marketing Checklist for 2019-20. πŸ’ͺ

What marketing trends should I be looking at?

The realms (and channels) for marketing are changing at an incredible rate. To stay ahead, schools and their marketing teams need to adapt too.

Social media is constantly evolving. What worked well last year may prove to be less impactful this year. Here are the marketing trends you should be making a note of this academic year:

  • #ContentStrategy:

    • Does your school make use of a content strategy?

    • Do you use scheduling tools to plan ahead?

    • Do you use both proactive and reactive content?

  • Google My Business

    • Do you have the perfect SERP?

    • Are your logo and photos up to date?

    • Is your address correct? You do not want visitors on an open day lost in a farm!

  • Voice OS:

    • Test your school on voice search.

    • Does Alexa, Google, Siri know your school?

    • Can you ask "Alexa, what time does the school concert start tonight?". If not, find out how we can build an Alexa Skills App for your school - email alexa@interactiveschools.com.

  • Virtual / Augmented Reality:

  • ChatBots:

    • Have you thought about utilising ChatBots to help your community find answers on your website / parent portal / apps / social media?

  • Google Analytics:

    • Do you track goals / conversions from your website?

    • Do you have a dashboard set up to monitor key metrics and visitor behaviours? Do you receive these reports weekly?

    • If no, how can you best understand your audience and refine marketing and site content appropriately?

The #BackToSchool Strategy

How about the big part… the strategy that leads all this?! This is the most important part to implement and maintain.

It will undoubtedly change as the year goes on - meeting the demands and changes of your school - so we have 5 Interactive Schools inspired actions to take, that really kick off the new year:

1. Does your marketing STAND OUT? What will make you different from your competitors? Social is BIG! You can't afford to be a needle in the haystack. To have impact, you need to have emotional impact on every stakeholder: parents, pupils, prospective families, teachers (plus future staff!), alumni, and the wider community. 

2. Does your social naming match throughout? Your social handle is your new .com domain - it’s how people will find you, and what you will display on your advertising. This becomes a direct representation of your brand on social media. Have a consistent name across every channel.

3. Do you have a content strategy framework ready to use at your school? This should cover all the details such as:

  • what to post

  • when to post

  • who posts

  • where it is posted

  • ratio of school-related posts to non-school-related posts

  • who oversees the profiles.

If you don't have one then make sure you define one. This will essentially be a one-stop guide for you to refer to when considering the coming social media marketing plan.

We can also help with this! We offer social media training to at both a marketing and school-wide level - how about inviting us in for an INSET or school training day?

Here are some examples of schools who have recently been trained and are now #InspiringSchools to share their #SchoolStories.

4. Is your process to communicate with parents streamlined? This isn't just about responding to queries raised by parents on social media. It is about how you get information to them. Take your school email newsletter. Does it take ages to put the newsletter together? Do you use analytics to determine the impact of your newsletter? Do parents even read the newsletter, or does it go straight through to spam? All a parent is interested in is a mention of THEIR child - how can you deliver these personalised stories?

5. Do you have an audit process in place to make sure content is only published once? Nothing looks more unprofessional than duplicated content. We often see schools link their different social platforms (such as Facebook and Twitter, or Facebook and Instagram). While this does save time it does take away social authority. People don't want to see the same stuff, they want to be engaged with lots of different media!

Need more help? Speak to our team

We hope that this guide has aided you in your #BackToSchool preparations. We'll be keeping our ear to the ground for all your #SchoolStories.

We'd love to hear from you, please leave comments or thoughts about social media marketing and this article below.