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school marketing news

SMC podcast 23: the end of school expos?

Posted by Fiona Hood

In this episode Brad and Scully discuss five tips for email communications; a change to Google’s search algorithm focusing on mobile; how to ask for testimonials; two popular videos produced by Hootsuite and Eton; and are school expos dead?

Show notes

News you can use (1:48)
In their regular review of marketing and communications news, Brad and Scully discuss Solomon Poretsky’s five tips on email marketing that all aim to grab a reader’s attention. Scully points out that schools rely heavily on email communication and these tips can apply to any email piece: do your research; craft an effective subject line; personalise your email marketing content; tap into a trend; and utilise responsive design and content.

In other news, Brad and Scully examine the announcement that Google plan to change their search algorithm. From 21 April Google will place greater emphasis on mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This will have a significant impact on search results worldwide as searches in all languages will be affected. Having a mobile-friendly website should already be a priority for schools due to the rapid adoption of mobile devices and expected continued growth. If your school’s website is not mobile-friendly it will cost you site views and therefore, enrolments.

Brad and Scully finish up their look at the news by talking about an excellent new book, Beyond Referrals, by Bill Cates. For schools, this book is applicable to seeking testimonials. It is hard to ask for testimonials without appearing pushy and, sometimes, even be bold enough to ask. With content marketing, testimonials are becoming even more important. Brad advises that testimonials provide the ‘food’ for word of mouth. How you ask for a testimonial affects your chances of receiving one. Brad talks about the VIPS system that Bill has developed, which you can think about when asking for a testimonial: V stands for value, I stands for importance, P stands for permission to brainstorm, and S stands for suggest what to say.

School marketing frequently asked questions (12:44)
In this regular segment that aims to answer common school marketing questions, Brad looks at the topic of ‘are school expos dead?’ He has been asked this a few times recently and it is because the buying behaviours of prospective parents is rapidly changing. However, a simple fact remains: if you are at a specific school or boarding expo, you can safely assume that every parent is there because they are in the market to purchase an education for their son or daughter. Prospective parents are there to learn something – something about your school. Brad goes on to discuss seven reasons why school exhibitors fail.

Marketing example (17:20)
In this episode Brad and Scully look at a great online magazine produced by Newark Academy. It has good imagery, a simple editorial message and editorial theme. From it, you get a good idea of what the academy is about and the personality of the place. It is also worth looking at the software used to display the magazine, Issuu, as it works really well with school publications and it doesn’t cost much.

Rants and raves (19:38)
Finally, in the regular rants and raves segment, Scully and Brad take the opportunity to rave about Hootsuite’s video,A Game of Social Throneswhich has gone viral. Hootsuite is a piece of software that helps you manage social media accounts. The video has made something that is already popular even more popular by ‘riding on the back’ of something wildly successful, Game of Thrones. The video had nearly a million views within a few months. Contrast this big software company to Eton College in the UK. Eton did a video based on the popular song and video clip,Gangnam Style. They have also tapped into a trend and don’t take themselves too seriously. It is simple and fun. As long as you have lots of other messages and people know what you really stand for it is fine to create some fun, lighthearted content now and then.

Episode links

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Have a question?
Don't forget that if you've got a question for Brad and Scully you can email us: smc@imageseven.com.au


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This blog was written by Fiona Hood

As Brand Marketect, Fiona is responsible for imageseven’s corporate marketing communications and business systems. When she is not doing that she is exploring the great outdoors.


Topics: Education, imageseven, Communication, Podcast, Marcom