What Can You Learn from Your Website in 8 Seconds or Less? #PODCAST

June 7, 2016 Peter Baron

Competition to stand out online is fierce — the importance for schools to articulate their value and demonstrate fit is paramount when marketing to prospective families.

Heightened admission competition and a need to be better storytellers is forcing us to rethink the role of the school’s front end website. Is it a marketing tool? Is it a place where you attempt to engage with every school constituent?

Given you have 7-8 seconds to capture the user’s attention, is it ok to overwhelm prospective families with information that may not be relevant to their admission journey?

In episode 34 of Blackbaud K-12’s Get Connected Podcast, Emily Cretella from Cursive Content Marketing joins me to answer some of these questions and talk about the evolution of the school website.

Emily and her firm provide strategy and storytelling services to schools, making it easier for them to build strong online presences, connect with audiences, meet goals and measure results. Thus making her an ideal person to talk about the changing role of the school site.

For a full breakdown of what we covered, make sure to check out the episode notes below.

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Episode Notes:

  • How has the role of the private school website evolved over the years? Emily shares her take.
  • At what point did the front-end site flip from being “all things to all people” to a focused marketing tool? What triggered the shift in thinking?
  • Considering the increased emphasis on marketing, Emily explains why is it critical for a school to find it’s voice when showing its value on the site.  Learn what does it mean to “find your voice” on your site.
  • From a storytelling point of view, what approaches should a school consider to capture the attention of their site visitors (video, photos, etc.)? Why is web copy such a critical (and sometimes forgotten) component? Emily tackles these questions.
  • How about converting web traffic into inquiries/applicants — learn some of the call to actions techniques that Emily has seen work well.
  • Let’s get prescriptive — Emily offer advice for a school at the early stages of transforming their site into a more focused marketing engine.

About the Author

Peter Baron

As senior product marketing manager, Peter Baron is focused on illustrating how Blackbaud K-12’s software builds deeper connections among key school community stakeholders, including parents, teachers and students. Peter regularly contributes to various online communities and education conferences like NAIS, CASE/NAIS & SSATB to explain the importance of providing modern, user-friendly experiences for school constituents. Peter hosts Blackbaud K-12's Get Connected Podcast and is the founder of edSocialMedia, a community-driven site dedicated to exploring the role of social media in education. Peter also serves as a trustee for Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School and is an Executive Committee member of TABS’ North American Boarding School Initiative.

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