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10 Questions About Social Media Marketing for Schools Answered

Social media marketing for schools is a big deal and it is pretty tough. When you go online you will see schools competing for social media recognition. The highly active social media networks - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google are all available for schools to leverage to gain brand recognition. Most schools are understaffed and do not have a budget for social strategy. As a matter of fact, in our social media survey of 100+ schools, we found that one-third of schools don't have any social media budget, and another one-third don't know how much to spend. Additionally, only 5% of respondents have social media marketing as a full-time job, and 68% dedicate five hours or less per week to social media marketing. Now you know that you are not alone. Many schools like yours are in the same boat. However, there are many of your competitors who know the benefit of social media marketing to their business and have a strong budget for it. We know how difficult …

10 Ingredients Every Good School Website Must Have

Do you have questions about website best practices like: What information should go on our school’s website? Should we use videos? What layout will work for the homepage? How do we get the best content for the site? These are questions our website deployment team get to answer every day.

When it comes to building a school website, the questions are endless. But we will streamline it to the most common question: What makes a good school website?

A study by AMP Agency, a full service digital and experiential marketing agency, revealed that nearly 50% of consumers, report doing research before they buy. 94% of customers said that research influenced their decision to make a purchase and 36% said they bought a product following research results they got. In this digital age, the first port of call for every researcher is the internet, and the first place they will visit is your website.

In 2017, prospective customers are more demanding for content and tools than ever before. They are not easy to please, they demand you sell yourself convincingly before they patronize you.

Truth is, users expect your school’s website to be on par with that of major organizations. You will not be excused because you are a school. They expect same user experience they get while surfing websites of top brands in the world.

For many brands, when they consider making changes to their website, the emphasis is usually placed on the design. Design should not be prioritized when considering a website revamp.

Popular belief is that a few bright colors, glossy photos, decorated fonts or other design fads are what makes a company’s website the best-of-the-best, nothing can be farther from the truth. 

So, what are the ingredients that make up a good website?

1. Communicate to one target audience

Ideally, homepage content is meant to engage prospective customers. Do not feel pressured to communicate with various audience segments on your homepage. Focus on communicating with prospective families with your homepage messages.

An analysis of websites of top brands showed that the value propositions, testimonials, content, and calls-to-action are all geared towards engaging prospective clients.

Do not get it wrong, current clients are not alienated from reach, communications to them on the website are not as prominent as that of prospects. You can use smaller call-to-action buttons placed at one corner or other pages of the site.

2. Don’t keep your users waiting

Speed kills on the road but wins on the internet. Users want to find what they want and at the speed of light. Site speed is quickly becoming one of the most important components of the user experience. 40% of users will not wait three seconds for a site to load and 47% of them expect a website to load in two seconds or less.

Make them wait for more than 4 or 6 seconds and you risk losing them forever. Pages must download quickly; orders must be processed quickly; the search engine must return results at lightning speed.

3. Important information on the homepage

Useful information should be easy to locate. That means, every key information about your school should be on the homepage.

83% of search query paths begin with an unbranded term, such as ‘best Montessori schools in Lekki’, therefore, your school's homepage needs to easily answer four key questions right away to help searchers realize they are in the right place.

Your homepage should quickly answer four basic questions: 1) What do you do? 2) What makes you unique? 3) How can they learn more? and 4) Where they can find you?

4. Stay true to your brand

Your website should exude your brand identity. Every information on the website - design, content, and photos - should all represent the school's brand. Your website should be customized to fit your school’s personality. Do not make the mistake of trying to replicate a competitor's website or another website you think you like, rather focus on the elements of the website you like to try to adapt it to fit into your school’s brand identity.

5. Say no to dead-end pages

Avoid dead-end pages at all costs. Pages are called “Dead end” when there is no option to move to a next step through a call-to-action button, a form or a link. This could be very risky because you leave your user with two choices: navigate on their own to try to find the information they want or go back to the search engine to check another school’s website. Either way, you have lost them.

It may seem cumbersome to ensure every page leads a user to the next, but it is worth it if you want to give your users a superb experience as they browse your site.

You also need to pay attention to the call-to-action links. Strong CTA’s do not only grab and sustain the attention of the users, but also encourages clicks and helps you achieve business goals. Poorly placed or boring CTA’s get limited attention and limits conversions on your website.

Imagine where a prospective customer is persuaded by your content and wants to make inquiries but there is nowhere to click to fill an inquiry form. 

While creating your CTAs, consider these four things:

Text: Use clear and straight to the point words. Let the user know exactly what you want him to do.

Placement: Place your CTA in a position where you expect the user will be ready to take the action.

Size: Be moderate in the size of your CTA. Make it big enough to be identified as a CTA.

Color: Make it stand out from the rest of the page but should align with the website’s theme. You cannot have a white CTA on a white background.

6. Be aesthetically appealing

Great content is good, but the presentation of the content makes all the difference. How you present the content will determine if it will be read or not.

Pay attention to the choice of fonts. Use at least 14 pixels for good readability on larger desktops and mobile devices.

The font style should also communicate your brand identity. Choose a font style that is easy to read.

The colour scheme of your website’s design is also as important. Choose a colour that best describes your brand identity. This colour will be the dominant colour on your website. Then choose colors that complement the dominant color. Just ensure you use a right colour mix on the website.

7. Content is king

Your website is a narrative of your school. Tell a good story about your school.

An aesthetically appealing site attracts a user to your website, but good content ultimately sells your school. Storytelling creates an emotional connect and creates suspense. Similarly, the content on your website should tell your school’s story so well that no user can disconnect.

There are two key elements in website content: visual content and written content. The written content is the text while visual content is everything photos, videos, and infographics.

A good website should have a unique blend of both elements in its storytelling, putting into consideration the fact that most website visitors today are scanners, not readers.

8. SEO friendly

Your current and potential customers must find you first. If your school’s URL is not known, they will find you through a search engine. If Google, Yahoo, Mozilla, and Bing do not rank you highly in their searches then you are not meeting business goals.

What is the worth of having the best website in the world and nobody can find you online? Every good website should be optimized for search engines.

9. Easy to use

Do not make your website’s user experience to be complicated. Ease of use is the usability or learnability of a website. If your website is difficult to use they give up and go back to search results. Usability isn’t always easy but can be achieved through a user persona research. User persona research is used to figure out what your visitors’ objectives are when they visit your site.

A good user experience research starts with getting to know your website visitors more personally. Fictitiously outline their name, background, skills, age, education level, and what platform they use to get to your website.

10. Integrated social media

Your prospective customers are most likely spending a large chunk of their time on social media. Because of how important social media is to your audience, your school’s website should have social media components. Your social media handles will run feeds of any update on your website automatically without duplicating effort.

This article was first published on DucoBrands


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