3 Smart Summer Projects for School Marketers

July 6, 2017 Emily Cretella

The last bell rings. The last locker slams. It’s finally time to tackle that marketing and communications to-do list you’ve been putting off until you “have time” during summer break.

That’s when you realize exactly how short summer really is.

If the next few weeks of summer seem more like a short sprint than a leisurely stroll, no need to worry. You can still make a big impact on your school’s online communications before that big yellow bus shows up again.

Here are some perfect summer projects for school marketers to tackle:

#1: Spruce Up That Website

You don’t have to overhaul your entire school site before the school year begins -- but summer is the perfect time to get started on what could be a massive project.

If you’re looking for smaller website projects to tackle this summer, you could:

  • Complete a content audit. By analyzing and organizing the content that is currently on your website, you can develop a plan for revising that content throughout the school year. (Here’s a free workbook to help you through the process.)

  • Strengthen your calls-to-action. Your website’s purpose is to get people to take action, right? So take the summer to go through your site’s CTAs one by one. Review their analytics, A/B test them, and make adjustments as needed.

  • Write better landing pages. If you can’t fathom editing 500 pages of website content, stick to the 5-10 most important. Review your website’s analytics, and see which pages are getting the most attention (and which ones people are bouncing away from!). Edit these pages using online content best practices.

Did You Know? I’m talking all about Storytelling Online and how to transform your website into a marketing and admissions resource at the Blackbaud K-12 User Conference 2017. Join me in person for more website copywriting tips and tricks!

#2: Write Down That Strategy

Did you know that most marketers say they have a content marketing strategy, but that it’s not documented? Yet those who have a documented strategy rate themselves higher in effectiveness.

If you don’t have a written marketing, communications, website or blog strategy in place, now is the perfect time to create one. However, if creating an entire strategy sounds too stressful, break it into mini projects. Some things you want to include:

  • Develop or renew your audience personas. In order to have a sound strategy, you need to know who that strategy is targeting. Make sure you really understand your audiences by taking the time to create fact-based audience personas.

  • Set goals. You need to know what you want to measure in order to understand if your strategy is effective. Summer is the perfect time to define the specific goals you want to reach in the next school year.

  • Retire an old tactic, or choose a new tactic. Now is a great time to revisit what’s working and what’s not working, and to either shift your strategy or shift those resources toward an entirely new tactic.

#3: Repurpose That Content

Newsletters. Brochures. Mailers. Emails. Social media updates. Blog posts … Over the course of a school year, you produce a lot of content.

Take some time this summer to figure out how to reuse that content. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn a series of blog posts or articles into an ebook
  • Turn statistics into an infographic
  • Use a speech or workshop to develop an online presentation
  • Transcribe video interviews into written Q&A articles
  • Turn quotes into shareable graphic images
  • Use evergreen stories or examples from old brochures to create new blog posts

Those are three projects to be proud of this summer. So let us know: what is your big summer project, and why is it important to your school? Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @emilycretella / @blackbaudK12.

About the Author

Emily Cretella

Emily Cretella is a marketing strategist and copywriter who helps her clients create and share stories that make audiences take action. As owner of Cursive Content Marketing, Emily provides consulting, copywriting services and workshops to independent schools and higher education. Read her stories at cursivecontent.com.

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