Education is always high on the list of concerns for any parent, and industry leaders are also demanding increasingly high outputs from the education system. In a world of competition, how can schools improve their sign up rates?
This is a key issue for schools and Academies based in the Nottingham area and one of the ways they can address this issue, is optimising their branding, particularly through web based and social media.
Parents and students today are more and more web savvy, not to mention consumer focused, so setting oneself apart in the busy educational marketplace is becoming one of the essential ingredients for any school. Demographics dictate falling roles, so branding yourself as a professional supplier of academic and indeed vocational excellence is quite frankly, a no-brainer.
But a glossy website alone is no longer enough. As consumers become more choosy and IT literate, standards in presentation must improve and be backed up with enhanced functionality and greater accessibility.
A strong brand, deployed across all expected media platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. must also be backed up with an easy to use website. Gone are the days of complicated forms and lengthy text heavy descriptions of school achievements. Your customers expect an interactive experience and to feel part of your educational community. Highlighting online feedback tools such as Parent View, which gives parents the opportunity to comment on school performance at any time of the year, will underpin your commitment to transparency and accessibility.
Offering online help to users will also show you want them to engage with your organisation and are willing to provide the assistance to make this happen.
Obviously, your website is still a platform to promote your achievements, but this needs to be done in a succinct and engaging way. It can also offer the opportunity to showcase your integration of technology into the curriculum, through demonstrating your usage of high profile IT based learning tools such as www.storybird.com, (literacy),www.mangahigh.com (maths) and www.codecademy.com, where students can learn to code and then use this to create interactive websites, games and applications.
Developing and promoting a strong brand using the hints and tips here, will help you stand out from the crowd – and attract the next generation of students to your school.
By Ross Davies