It’s becoming more apparent each year that digital marketing skills are a necessity for any marketer to compete online—and school marketers are no exception. With so much to learn and so many digital marketing training options out there where do you start? Below are the top 10 skills I’ve learned over the years that I would personally recommend to any friend or fellow marketer.
Make Simple SEO Improvements to Your Website
We all know the internet is the first place a parent will go to find or research a new school for their child. So, having a school website that comes up on those important key search terms is essential. SEO (search engine optimisation) is not something that happens overnight so understanding how it works and what you can do to improve it on an ongoing basis is a must for every school marketer.
Effectively Manage Your Social Media
Most schools are now using at least one social media channel to promote their school. As you’re probably painfully aware even one channel can be a handful to manage, especially if you’re a one- or two-person school marketing team. Learning how to use a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Later, will not only save you hours each week but can also be used to effectively track which social channels and which types of content are the most effective in helping to reach your marketing goals. Which brings me to #3…
Build and Track Digital Marketing Goals
If you don’t have digital marketing goals how will you know if 1) you’re going in the right direction or 2) you’re achieving what you’ve set out to do? Creating digital marketing goals is simpler than you may think. This year make a point to learn how to create website goals (that are reflective of your overall marketing goals) and the steps to determine which of your marketing channels and efforts are driving your conversions. Rinse and repeat!
Extend Your School Brand Across all Your Communication Channels
You’ve probably paid a pretty penny for your school website and your prospectus (print or digital), but your school brand shouldn’t stop there. Learn how to strengthen your brand across all your digital communication channels, from your teaglo profile and social media to your newsletters and emails. Is your look consistent? Is your tone consistent? Learn how to optimise each of your digital platforms and strengthen your school’s online brand.
Create a Social Media Advertising Campaign
Boosting a post or event in Facebook is easy but it’s also very limiting. Learn how to go beyond the boost to create social media campaigns that target the parents you’re looking to reach not only on Facebook but also on Instagram—even if you don’t have an account. Learn how to add simple tracking to determine the bigger-picture impact of your campaign, discover which audiences and ad styles work best for your school and how to leverage that information for future campaigns.
Create and Optimise Your Google My Business Account
By default, your school is most likely already on Google Maps, but beyond maps is a whole platform to optimise your school for local search results. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to manage how your school appears in results. GMB controls where you show up on Google Maps and allows you to reinforce your school brand through images, videos, testimonials and posts. Share your Head’s blog, your upcoming events such as your Open Day and even press releases. Learn how to create – and optimise – your GMB profile or gain access to one that may already be out there.
Create a Google Ads Campaign
Whether your school is already doing PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and you want to have more control by bringing it in-house or you don’t have the budget to pay an agency, learning the basics of PPC advertising is a skill that can take your career to a whole new level. The beauty of Google Ads is they really are ‘pay per click’ so you only pay for those interesting in learning more about your school. Learn how to do your keyword research (also helpful for SEO), create powerful and engaging adverts, maximise the features and of course track your conversions.
Make Simple Videos and Gifs
Videos and gifs are proven to give you the best engagement when it comes to social media, newsletters and even blogs. Don’t use the excuse you don’t have a graphics background or the time to create rich media. Learn how to create simple videos and gifs using tools such as Canva or Filmora. Create video from images, add animation to a photo or create fun gifs from existing video, it can all be done quicker than you think—and you’ll have fun learning how to do it as well!
Come to Grips with Your Analytics
I’m the first one to admit that you can’t measure every marketing success, but I still believe that your analytics can reveal a lot of what is going on behind the scenes. Whether it’s your social analytics or your Google Analytics, learn what metrics you should be looking at – which are important for your goals – and what actions you can take as a result of those insights. Artificial Intelligence didn’t get so powerful on its own, it has data on its side. Imagine how clever you will be with a little on your side…
Partner for Success
Whether it’s partnering with another school marketer or with a digital consultant like myself, two heads are always better than one. Identify where your weaknesses are and join forces with someone that can give you the knowledge and support to achieve your personal and professional goals. Every person is different – as is every school – so understanding yourself and your school is key to finding that perfect match. Ahhh but when you do…