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School Rules: 5 Rules for Successful Education Marketing

At EVERFI we’ve had over 35 years of combined experience in driving social impact through education marketing. We’ve worked with over a hundred organisations across business, government and charities with offers ranging from education software to roadshows to online resources.We have global reach with offices in London, Dubai, US and Canada and clients around the world. 

The breadth and the diversity of our client base has allowed us to test a wide range of tactics, approaches and messages. Here is what we’ve learned: 

 

1. Change the channel. 

“Facebook advertising didn’t deliver results when we tried it two years ago – so why should we try it again?”

We’ve learned that the way that teachers and schools access information is constantly evolving. That’s why it’s important to test new channels, to ensure you continue to reach your audiences. At EVERFI we recommend a multi-channel approach, which can combine email, direct mail, social advertising, pay-per-click, PR and influencer engagement, to drive impact, whether that’s registrations, bookings or brand awareness.

Looking to try a new approach?

Get in touch to speak to one of our marketing experts.

2. Target the right audience

Understanding who to target within schools means understanding the school ecosystem – that means the roles and responsibilities within each school, and wider networks within the local community.

Look beyond the obvious decision-makers (Head Teachers), who are often bombarded with communications, and look to decision influencers, from Heads of Department to Teaching Assistants, who can all become advocates for your offer. They may not make the final decision, but they can influence it. 

Consider casting your net wider and reaching out to families and PTA groups; and local health and sports networks. These can all be effective routes into schools. 

 

3. Speak their language

Audit your marketing and website copy to make sure you’re focusing on school priorities. The education sector has a language of its own that teachers expect to see when looking at educational products and offers – for example, clear curriculum links, differentiation for abilities, and ways to measure progress. 

While much stays the same from year to year, education policy in the UK – and therefore schools’ priorities – can change along with Education Secretaries! As well as keeping a close eye on news, surveys and education influencers, our EVERFI Teachers community of 2,500 teachers allows us to give our clients the inside track. 

Staying reactive to events can allow you to add real value, by addressing what’s front-of-mind for teachers. For example, due to COVID and the recent shift to home learning, we adapted the focus of some of our largest schools programmes and saw teacher engagement skyrocket. 

 

4. Timing is everything (or is it?)

Should you announce your campaign in the Summer holidays? Send that email to senior leaders at 6pm on a Friday? What if you missed the back-to-school window? From our experience, it can sometimes pay to break the rules.

Of course, there are important practical considerations for contacting schools – you probably shouldn’t send out a brochure when school offices are closed. But it’s important to look flexibly at timings, recognising that decisions are made throughout the school year – and sometimes late on a Sunday night!

The back to school period can be incredibly hectic, with your campaign fighting for attention with dozens of others. Consider times of the year in which school leaders and staff can pause for reflection, particularly if your ask requires a significant investment of effort or budget.

 

5. Gather authentic testimonials

Teachers trust other teachers. To achieve credibility in the education market, leverage case studies and testimonials in your marketing, and include video and photography where possible. 

Our marketing team works with our in-house Film and Research teams to generate high quality imagery, case studies and research, to highlight what makes each of our client’s offers unique. 

Ready to launch your campaign? Contact us to speak to one of our marketing experts.

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