Why Private Schools Must Embrace the New Realities.

June 19, 2012 at 12:47 am

Have you been putting off your entry into the video website world?  Time has just run out.  Either you make the jump, or you fall behind.
 
A number of schools have embraced the reality that no one reads their websites and are unsure of what to do about it.
 
In response to this reality, some schools have placed videos on their website.  Most of these misplaced videos deliver a marketing message or an alumni message.  STOP!  Don’t do it.  And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE……don’t make some slick commercial for your website.  Nothing can be more of a turn-off than a slick, commercially done piece.
 
Your website is not a marketing tool!  It’s not a alumni tool!
 
“If my site is not for alumni and it’s not for marketing, what is it for?”  Good Question!

 

The main thrust of your website is to close the people who have already been driven to your site or YOUR SCHOOL.

 

Do you think they are all alumni?  Do you think they need more marketing?  Do you think that they want to watch testimonials about your school that pile on the raves without dealing with the realities? ABSOLUTELY NOT.  What they need are answers to the complex questions that are running around their minds.  They need to know WHY they should schedule an appointment to visit the school.  They need to know what others like them think about the school, and they need to be SOLD on the school before they get there.  They need to know why they should spend their hard earned dollars at your school and what your school will provide for THEIR CHILDREN.
 
One of the biggest errors we see when schools realize they have to change their thinking about this is the belief that the marketing department or the communications director needs to spearhead this project.  That will result in a marketing or alumni product that will be a total waste of money and time.  The first person that should have input into this process is the admissions director followed by the headmaster with minimal, if any, input from the communications director and almost no input from the marketing director.  WHY?
 
The content of Websites today are for answers and research, not marketing.  Marketing drives the prospect to the site, and the last thing you need is more marketing.  To be blunt……sales and marketing are not the same science.  Marketing allows a prospective parent to “consider” your school.  Sales sells them on the school.

 

Any movie on your site has to keep your marketplace in mind.  Your position in that marketplace can only be determined through research.  What are the rumors, true and false, about the school, and what is its reputation in the marketplace?  What benefit does the school offer over its’ competitors? Of course, there are many other factors.  This takes serious research and knowhow.

 

After that, you have to find out the prospect expectations for your school.  What do prospects want to hear from you and about you?  You then have to gauge what makes your school the best choice from an objective viewpoint.  You have to determine the questions that your prospects want answered before they ask them and provide those answers in a clear manner.
 
You can then determine what the content of your movies should be, but please don’t try to do this yourself!  It’s like performing your own brain surgery.  Not a good idea!  There are so many poorly done videos on private school websites already.  There are an abundance of “slick marketing videos” on sites, too.  They don’t get watched, they don’t work and they may even hurt your sales.
 
Success with private schools requires a balanced and aligned approach.  YOU MUST ALIGN YOUR PROSPECT EXPECTATIONS WITH THE WEBSITE, AND THE SALES/ADMISSION PROCESS.  To do this requires a deft hand.  Hire a professional sales consulting firm and a movie production firm, as well as a really creative web designer.  You can save some time and hire us, as we are expert in all three and have been for 30 years.
 

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