Welcome to the world of education marketing, a sector whose marketing needs have changed beyond all recognition over the last twenty years.
If you’re as old as some of us are, you might remember the days when education was something that just happened to you, usually at the school that was the shortest walk away.
If you went on to do ‘A’ levels you either did them at school in the sixth form block, or you went to your local sixth form college. If you survived your ‘A’ levels and wanted to learn more, university or ‘proper’ college loomed.
University advertising in those days consisted of a printed college prospectus handed out at the sixth form, or maybe found lurking at the local library. If you were lucky a university might come to do a presentation to tempt you with handouts and a free pen! But more often than not you ended up going to the university or college your teacher told you to go to, or to the one your parents/friend’s parents/doctor/librarian recommended. (If your grades were good enough that is, and the university liked the cut of your jib!)
Before the internet, before smart phones, before social media, before student choice, education was a very different beast indeed.
Fast forward to the present day and things are very different.
Education is a business, stakeholders – including parents, teachers and students are clients to be wooed. Choice is with the consumer. Educational establishments have to market themselves, to stand out from the competition, and there are lots of things to get right, or wrong!
Detailed and comprehensive Information on every school, college and university is now freely available to parents and students, in fact in many cases its provision on the website is mandatory.
Happily, we’re fully up to speed on the online requirements for all types of academic institutions, be they maintained, free, academies or faith; but if you want the full details of exactly what the government requires there’s half an hour or so of very dry reading material available on their website.
Why is your website so important?
Your website is vitally important. It has two jobs to do and it must do them both well.
It must make an immediate and positive impression on new visitors.
It must provide all the necessary information for visitors and stakeholders in a clear and easily accessible manner.
Here’s an example of a school website that does both jobs well.
Let’s break it down a little bit more.
One of the essentials to achieving a well performing educational website is ease of navigation. The ‘journey’ through the site must be obvious. Links must be engaging and the most popular pages clearly accessible from anywhere on the site.
One website can fit all devices
This is crucial. All your site visitors need to be able to use your site and access the information they’re looking for regardless of what type of device they’re using.
Our web design is fully responsive. The website ‘knows’ the size and orientation of the screen being used to view the site, and the content is displayed accordingly.
That’s all for Part One of Education Marketing.
Part Two of this Education Marketing Blog will cover:
- Web Design