When you launch an online or offline advertising campaign, you want to see a return on your investment. That return may look a little different from business to business, but in the end, you’re looking for a conversion opportunity, however you’re defining a conversion. One thing that can help your businesses increase your conversion rate is utilizing chatbots on your landing pages.
A regular landing page is a page where a user “lands” after clicking on an advertisement for a specific campaign. The page gets the user exactly where they want to be at that moment. When you throw in a chatbox on your landing page, it becomes conversational. Companies have found that customers are converting three-to-four times more than with a traditional landing page. And if that isn’t convincing enough, a recent study also found that 84 percent of consumers want to ask questions and get answers from companies within the same platform, i.e., chatbots.
So, what causes conversational landing pages to convert more customers? It’s the idea that the customer has moved from a passive viewer to a now engaged participant on a buying journey.
Even if you are considering placing a chatbot on your landing page, you have to make sure the bot is actually helping your customers get to the end goal. You have to ensure the bot is asking the right questions and leading the conversation to conversion. It is important to remember, though, it is a bot, so there may be something your customer has a question about that requires a more in-depth understanding. This requires you to figure out the best and easiest way to get your users in contact with a real person.
There are many different ways you can get started using chatbots to create a conversational landing page, and one of the easiest ways is using Facebook Messenger’s chat feature on your page. If you’re still not too convinced, check out these 9 Conversational Landing Page Examples that give you a view of the chatbots in action.
If you didn’t jump on the short-form video bandwagon in 2020 to market your brand, then 2021 is your year. From TikToks to Instagram Reels, it’s almost impossible to scroll through social media without coming across these videos.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “I can’t and/or don’t dance, so this isn’t for my brand or me,” but don’t stop reading. These videos have evolved into more than just dance challenges. Let’s talk about why you should and how you can incorporate short-form videos into your marketing strategy this year.
Why short-form video
Typically, a short-form video is any video from 15 seconds to around two minutes long. So, aside from Youtube and Facebook, these are limits you should keep in mind when creating videos for most of the other major social media platforms. In 2018, Statista found that 85 percent of all internet users watched a video on their devices. And if that isn’t convincing enough, you should also know that “33 percent of viewers lose attention and will stop watching a video after 30 seconds, 45 percent by one minute, and 60 percent by two minutes,” according to 50Wheel. The bottom line is, the shorter, the better.
You also don’t have to have much video editing experience to make these quick videos. The apps give you everything you need in one space, including original sounds. These simple-to-use features allow you to create a low maintenance video that could significantly boost your brand awareness.
How to incorporate in your marketing
It is very tempting to over-explain while creating videos, but you’ll never be able to get your point across if users aren’t watching the full video. Here are some ways you can incorporate short-form videos into your marketing strategy.
Educational/Behind the Scenes
There’s always room to teach your audience something new. Educational videos don’t have to be overproduced – just one person, a popular sound, and simple text on the screen will do the trick. Make the video simple or go as far as a do-it-yourself (DIY) tutorial.
Bringing people into your world is another easy way to grab attention. It makes the user feel more connected to your brand and eventually get them back to see more. Think about all of the hands-on processes you go through daily. Although it may take you hours in reality, on TikTok or Reels, you can show it in 30 seconds or less.
Sometimes you don’t even have to do any of the work. You can rely on users’ videos that help to promote your brand. Sharing user-generated videos can be done with a simple retweet or share on your page’s story. If you want to use their video in a more truly marketing sense, though, the first step is getting proper permission. Companies do this in many different ways, but one of the easiest ways is to prepare a statement and placing it in the comments section of the post. The conversation can be moved into your direct messages, and once you have the go-ahead, you now have great content that you didn’t have to produce.
Of course, short-form videos aren’t appropriate in every situation, but they are worth considering. Find what works for your brand, and get into the habit of creating short-form videos because they don’t seem to be going anywhere.
In today’s digital world, when you need to figure out something, what do you do? You guessed it; you Google it. Although Google has transformed into a verb that has replaced the term “search,” it is still a worldwide platform that offers many tools that could be beneficial to your school. It would take a lot of time to go through them all in this one blog, so we’ll start with a simple tool that you can use to promote your school’s brand – Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Have you ever searched for a business and clicked the website button or the phone number but found yourself at a broken link or hearing the “out of service” tone? It’s frustrating, right? That’s where Google My Business comes in. Unlike what many people perceive, Google My Business isn’t just for businesses selling goods or services. It is an easy-to-use tool that lets you claim your business or organization and ensure all the information on the profile is accurate.
To get started editing your school’s information, all you need to do is verify or claim it on Google My Business. And if your school doesn’t have a profile yet, you can create one at the same link. Once you’ve claimed or created your profile, you can update all the necessary information, and your school will be visible to users through Google search and on Google Maps.
Why do I need to use it?
First off, you should be using Google My Business because it’s completely FREE. Secondly, if there is information about your school on the Internet, it should be accurate and represent your brand as a whole. Here are a few additional reasons you should use this tool:
You can control who edits and manages your profile information. If someone leaves or is a new addition to your team, it’s easy to remove or add additional managers. This feature is crucial in ensuring the information is up to date.
You can receive and respond to reviews. If parents at your school love what you’re doing, let them brag about it for the world to see. Reviews bring an extra layer of validation to your school and help parents feel secure in their child’s education choice.
You can add text, photos, and other content. Like your website and social media profiles, your Google My Business gives prospective parents a glimpse into what life is like at your school. This is an excellent way to lead them to your social media pages and website to seek more information. The text on your profile can also help your school be found easier when users search with specific keywords.
You can view insights. Google My Business Insights can tell you how people find your profile and what they are doing once they get to it – clicking call, clicking to the website, or clicking for directions. Knowing how someone found your school on Google could help with future marketing initiatives.
In the new year, you and your team should create or claim a Google My Business profile if you haven’t already. It’s an easy step to ensure you’re ahead of the curve.
The end of the calendar year and the beginning of the next are crucial for schools to recruit talented teachers and staff members for the upcoming academic year. Many schools have job boards, and human resources departments do a great job maintaining up-to-date listings. However, in today’s digital age, you could be doing much more to attract the best talent for your schools.
Here are a few simple strategies for recruiting new team members that will help to make sure you’re bringing in the best.
Utilize industry-specific job boards
Outside of your school’s job board, you should be getting the word out about your job openings through other websites, as well. Industry-specific job boards allow for potential employees to find your school even if they weren’t explicitly looking for it in the first place. Look into posting on sites like TeachingJobs.com, SchoolSpring, or K12JobSpot. These sites all have conditions and pricing to post a listing, but it’s well worth the investment to find your next great employee.
Host (virtual) meet and greets
Perhaps your newest employee is in a neighboring town, or maybe they will be coming from across the country. Either way, it’s vital to do your best to make them feel like your school is the best move. Workplace culture is a large deciding factor for many people who are looking for a career change. A 2019 survey by Glassdoor, Inc. found that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of employees stay in their job because of the culture. Your school’s website and social media channels can help portray your school’s culture, but a face-to-face or virtual interaction can make an even more significant impact.
Encourage involvement from your superintendent, school principals, teachers, and administrators in the event. Having faculty and staff members participate will allow future employees to hear and see the excitement your staff has for your school.
Use paid advertising
If your school has the budget, you should strongly consider allocating some of your funds to paid advertising. Social media ads, Google Ads, and other online advertising channels are easily accessible and only cost what you’re willing to pay. You could start with one ad that you spend $50 on, or you could create a multi-ad campaign that runs for months that costs you $50,000. With paid advertising, you can target and get your message out in front of the specific type of candidate you would want to apply for your open position.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means lots of good food and great sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, many people tend to forget about Giving Tuesday, and even if you’ve never planned a giving campaign for this particular Tuesday after Thanksgiving, now may be the time to reel in some support.
We know the school year has been hectic, and the holidays have crept up on all of us, but there’s still time to gather your team and bring together a successful Giving Tuesday campaign. We’re giving you five easy steps to make that happen.
Decide how you want to accept gifts
First, ask yourself these questions. How have supporters given in the past? Do we have the ability to accept online gifts? Can we accept gifts through Facebook giving? You want to go with the quickest option that makes the most sense for your school. Whichever route you choose, though, make sure it is clear to your supporters.
Personalize your graphics
Graphics are one of the first things you should make sure is prepped. Graphics should represent your school and be eye-catching enough to get someone to stop and look. At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure you have these three types of graphics: one main design announcing the campaign, a photo frame for supporters, and a “thank you” graphic to be used once the day is over. If you have an in-house graphic designer, great, but the official Giving Tuesday website has a page with free graphics to use if you don’t.
Create a landing page or Facebook event
Now that you have graphics in place, it’s time to decide where this event will “live.” Your event’s home will depend on your team’s bandwidth, but either option should work well for this one-day event. You can add a landing page onto your current website with an easy-to-remember custom URL – something along the lines of www.yourschoolname.org/givingtuesday. The landing page should include why people should give, what the money supports, and how they can give. This page is enough to get your message across. If creating a landing page isn’t for you, creating a Facebook event should suffice. Include the same information that you would on the landing page, and then be sure to invite as many people as possible.
Send a targeted email
A giving campaign is a perfect time to utilize the email lists you have. Tweak the messaging slightly based on who you are sending the email to (parents, alumni, local businesses, etc.). Your message should clearly define your ‘why.’ Let them know what’s going on at your school and how their gift could help future plans.
Promote heavily on all social media platforms
This step goes without saying. Promote, promote, and promote some more on your social media platforms. An easy way to keep track of the conversations surrounding your Giving Tuesday campaign is to create a unique hashtag. Make sure this hashtag is on your graphics, in the text of your posts, and everywhere else you mention the campaign. You will also want to keep your supporters updated on your progress on the day of the event. If accepting online donations, prepare to periodically let everyone know how much you’ve raised throughout the day. This will keep them excited and the momentum going.
Even if you don’t participate in Giving Tuesday, don’t miss out on other fundraising opportunities. Read one of our previous blog posts, Online Fundraising Ideas for Your School, to find a few easy ways to bring in the dollars.
There are very few people who don’t use Youtube for one reason or another. As a matter of fact, people watch 1 billion hours of content on the channel every day. That’s right, ONE BILLION hours. With that much content available on the social media platform, there are some ways to get more Youtube channel interactions to ensure your videos stand out and receive the views you’d like.
Upload written transcripts
Studies have found that adding transcripts to your videos increases your search engine optimization and affects how people interact with your videos. According to Verizon Media, 80 percent of people said they were more willing to watch a video entirely if it had captions. If your school or organization uses Youtube, adding closed captioning to your videos can be done in a few different ways.
Type and upload your transcript using special formatting to indicate new speakers and signal background sounds. Your file should also include specific timestamps.
Type the transcript while you watch your video. Though that may not sound like the most feasible option, Youtube has made the task easier with its “pause video while typing” feature.
Paste in an already typed transcript, and use auto-sync. This option is similar to the first, but here, your file doesn’t have to have timestamps, and Youtube will “assign timings.”
Add end screens
Have you ever watched an entire Youtube video and then noticed boxes at the end that suggested other videos the account has uploaded or a button popped up telling you to subscribe to the channel? Those are Youtube end screens. Adding them to your videos will make accessing all your other content that much easier for viewers. To do so, follow these steps:
Navigate to your channel’s videos and hover over one of them and select “Details.”
Select “End screen” in the bottom right.
Choose from one of the six types of end screens Youtube offers.
It’s that simple! Now, your viewer has quick access to interact with your Youtube channel without having to navigate anywhere else on the screen.
Turn video clips into gifs
One fun way to get people to your Youtube channel is to repurpose your videos’ content into gifs. Everyone enjoys a good gif now and then, and they make people stop and look. To create a gif from your video:
Select your video on Youtube.
In the navigation bar, add the word “gif” right before the domain name so that it now reads “www.gifyoutube.com/[youryoutubetag].” Doing this will take you to gifs.com, and your video will already be uploaded and ready for you to edit.
Create your gif by using the toolbar on your screen’s left side to add captions, insert images, crop the video, and more. You can pick the exact part of the video you want to use for the gif and its duration using the timeline bar at the bottom.
Select “Create Gif,” and there you have it! (Gifs.com does include their watermark on downloaded gifs, but if you want it removed, the premium plan is pretty reasonably priced.)
You can now post gifs from your video to your other social media profiles to get people interested in your videos. Talk about quick and easy content creation.
Whether your school has a foundation or if you’re just looking to raise money to fund a specific project, fundraising doesn’t have to be hard. It also doesn’t have to be your typical donut, candle or candy-selling fundraiser either. When it comes to raising money for your school, especially in the middle of a pandemic, online fundraising should be on your radar. Here are some online fundraising ideas for your school that won’t require the labor or time that selling physical items requires.
First, and maybe one of the easiest ways to online fundraise, is to make sure you are utilizing the ‘Donate” buttons on social media. Because of Facebook’s eligibility requirements, this route would work best for private schools, but it could also work for a public school if you have a school foundation already in place. To activate your donate button for Facebook, the first thing you need to do is make sure that your page is set up as not only a school, but a nonprofit organization. If you can’t remember how your page was set up, that information can be found in the ‘Categories’ section when you click on ‘Edit Page Info.”
Once you have your page categorized as a nonprofit organization, you are ready to sign up for Facebook’s charitable giving tools. This process will also make your page eligible for Instagram’s donate button, as well. With these buttons on your social media profiles at all times, people can give freely when they are ready.
Monthly giving campaign
Throughout the year, getting your students’ parents involved can be done by implementing some monthly giving campaign ideas. You don’t have to solicit donations from them every month, unless you choose to, but picking specific months that make sense for your school could be beneficial. It could be the month of your school’s anniversary each year or it could be a simple holiday giving campaign. To collect donations, try using a free online fundraising website like Donate Kindly. There is a small processing fee, but otherwise, it is completely free to use. It even offers a feature to embed a donation form on your website.
As an incentive for parents and others to give, consider creating a type of donor or booster club. Develop rules for being in the donor club and consider offering exclusive school merchandise as a reward for recurring gifts. You could also give them special seating at sporting events or exclusive access only available at certain giving levels. Whatever you decide, it will be sure to get them excited about giving.
We all love a little friendly competition, so why not create a competition to encourage donations to your school? The competition could be between the school’s in your district, specific grade levels, or even between parents of current students and parents of alumni. Using one of the methods mentioned above, get your donors to leave a note with which team they are donating on behalf of. Then, each day at a specific time, you can update everyone with who is in the lead through social media. In the end, there will be a winner based on the amount of money raised, but you’re the real winner because you just raised much-needed funds for your school with simple online fundraising.
No matter how you decide to fundraise for your school, here are a couple things you should remember: be specific about what the funds will be used for and be transparent about the amount of funds raised. People are more likely to give when they know exactly where the money will be going. Allowing donors to know how much money is being raised will get them excited, as well, about reaching your specific goal.
Do you remember when Instagram officially launched? Well, believe it or not, it has already been 10 years since the photo sharing app entered into the social media world. In honor of Instagram’s 10th birthday, we wanted to give you a few ways you could be utilizing some of the newest features Instagram has introduced this year.
The Donation Sticker
As the pandemic caused businesses and other organizations to shut down, Instagram came up with a new way to help raise funds for causes. When used in stories, the Instagram donation sticker allows users to donate directly to your cause with just a few clicks. According to Instagram, over 500 million people use Instagram stories every day, so why wouldn’t you want to promote your fundraiser through them?
So how can this work for your school? Ask yourself a few simple questions. Does my school have a foundation? Does my school raise money for events? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you should be utilizing the donation sticker. Once your school or organization is set up in Facebook’s charitable giving tools, and it is approved, it will be available for anyone who uses the sticker in their story. Posting the donation sticker in your story periodically can help reach people you wouldn’t normally be able to.
By now, many of us have heard about or seen Instagram’s new video feature called Reels. It’s very similar to the oh so popular TikTok app, but it is designed specifically for Instagram. Instagram Reels allows users to make short, 15-second videos or combine multiple clips to create entertaining videos. Creating videos on Reels doesn’t take much video editing background, and the content can pretty much be about whatever fits your brand. Reels can be shared publicly and placed on the Explore page or they can be shared privately just with your page’s followers. Either way, they are a fun way to interact and connect with your students, parents, alumni and followers.
If you have students active on social media, it’s likely that they have created a TikTok before (over 30 percent of TikTok users are aged 10-17 years old according to Statista), and that means they would be able to create an Instagram Reels video without any problems. Getting together a group of students and brainstorming some video ideas with them could set your school’s Instagram account apart from the rest.
Instagram Messaging on Desktop
For a very long time, Instagram was only a mobile-friendly app, but in recent years, many of the features have been adapted to accommodate users on desktop computers. Most recently, Instagram introduced its messaging feature for desktop users. After doing some research, Instagram found “an increased usage of the desktop website during weekdays and daytime hours (6am – 2pm), while the native apps see an increased usage during evening hours (5pm-7pm) and weekends.” The desktop usage time span coincides with the time most of us are in the office, and the time where our phones are probably in our hands the least.
Now, it’s easier for whoever is monitoring your Instagram account to reply back to users without having to move from one device to another. Easier access makes interacting on the platform less of a hassle throughout your already busy day.
What’s your social media posting strategy? Are you waking up first thing in the morning and thinking of today’s posts? Do you have a notepad with pages of unorganized ideas and thoughts for your platforms? Do you have sticky notes with dates and ideas for posts that get thrown away at the end of every school year and go unexecuted?
We’ve got a free social media content planner to help you organize your social media campaigns, execute your social media campaigns, drive engagement and website traffic and ultimately become more efficient and effective on social media.
Download your free content calendar below.
Our social media content calendar has three tabs. The first tab, The Overview, is designed to help you coordinate your posts on all your social media platforms in conjunction with holidays and other initiatives for your school. The second tab, The Schedule, allows you to write out your posts, hashtags, pick your platform, plan it with a date and time, and link to any media for the posts. Our final tab, The Content, has six columns and clearly identifies what type of content you’ll be posting and any relevant links and notes that need to be communicated.
Our content calendar opens with a basic monthly calendar view. It’s meant to give you a high-level view of the month and the months ahead for easy content management. By assigning each tab in the Categories section with a holiday, other key dates for your school or district, a social media platform, your email campaigns, and even other advertising mediums, such as Google Ads, you’ll be able to coordinate your messaging distribution all in one place. If you start an email campaign on Monday, Tuesday is a great day to follow up with social media posts in conjunction with your email campaign. Our high-level overview calendar helps take the guesswork out of your posting equation.
Don’t forget to write the month and the year at the top of each monthly layout. You can also copy and paste the month 12 times down the sheet to start planning your entire year.
Tip: You can add lines to the categories section or the calendar by using the insert line function. Make the calendar as detailed as you want. Too much detail can be overwhelming for some and too little detail can leave you asking questions so stay within your comfort zone to maximize the effectiveness of your planner.
Our second tab is the day-to-day posts planner. Use this tab to plan out all of your posts, down the hashtags, media and posting date and time. It even comes complete with a character counter that comes in handy for Twitter posting and short buy dynamic Instagram captions. We’ve touched on the importance of content calendars in the past when it comes to a posting cadence for your followers and for creating a schedule so you can be more proactive instead of reactive.
Tip: Using the filter and sort functionality on the spreadsheet allows you to filter by campaigns, hashtags, and platforms to get a deeper understanding of when you have what content going and where you are posting it.
Our third and final tab is nothing more than a place to house your content all in one place. This tab allows you to identify the type of content, whether it is a link to your admissions viewbook, more information about your school’s athletic programs, or a link to your donation page. You can even use this tab to drop links from your digital asset management system like Dropbox, Box or Google Drive to ensure those great photos get used.
Do you have a great admissions video or parent testimonial on your YouTube page? Drop those links here to ensure your best content gets highlighted. Label the content, store the link and give the content a header and a description so you can easily identify it for later use. Are you running a giving week campaign or posting about an upcoming fall play? Use the Evergreen or Expiring section to mark your content with an expiration date.
Put content into this tab as soon as it happens so you can find it later for easy posting. By eliminating the time it takes to search for your content you’ll become more efficient with your posting process.
Tip: Just like in The Schedule tab you can use the filter function to quickly filter your content.
By laying out a plan and using our social media content calendar, you’ll soon be posting weeks in advance and even planning out and conceptualizing ideas months in advance making your social media channels more engaging for your followers. The best plans are the well-executed plans so carve out a few hours now to build a plan and start scheduling posts.
Now more than ever, families of students in the K-12 space have so many options when it comes to where they will send their children to school. Public, private, and charter schools all offer different benefits to families, but in order to stand out from the next, social media presence is vital.
Need proof of where people are spending their time and seeking out information? According to Social Media Today, here’s what one minute on the Internet looks like in 2020:
Facebook users upload 147,000 photos
Twitter gains 319 new users
Instagram users post 347,222 Stories
YouTube creators upload 500 hours of video
Social media has been on the rise for quite some time now, and now in the midst of a global pandemic, people are using it more than ever before.
Here are a few ways your school can effectively use three of the most popular networks.
If you want to create an online presence for your school on any social media platform, Facebook is most likely going to be the best place to start. With over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook is still one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.
Facebook is great for sharing photos of students, faculty and staff, but it can be also used as another touch point with parents and guardians. Even with emails, phone calls and physical paper announcements being sent home, somehow parents and students still miss announcements. With 74 percent of Facebook users checking the site at least once a day, there is a good chance you can reach a parent or student that may have been missed by one of the other forms of communication. If your team makes it a habit to post important messaging on Facebook, parents will become accustomed to checking the platform more frequently. Once they are on the page, there’s a greater chance that they will explore the other content on your page and eventually give it a like.
Quick Tip: Use Facebook Events as digital reminders for upcoming school events. Facebook will automatically send reminders about the event to users who mark themselves as “Interested” or “Going,” and even sometimes users who may be in another’s friend network.
Just like Facebook, Twitter is a great place for school announcements, but with only about 22 percent of U.S. adults using the social media site, it won’t be where the bulk of your parents are. Twitter is one of the easiest places to thrive from user-generated content, though. UGC is content that has been created by another user but is being shared by someone else. For a school district Twitter page, this could be retweets from schools within the district. For individual schools, retweeting teachers or other education-related Twitter content can be seamlessly done with just one click.
Quick tip: If you decide to post photos to Twitter, be sure to consider sizing them to the recommended Twitter photo size to avoid unflattering cropping.
You can definitely post your photos and videos to Facebook, but Instagram gives them a chance to shine because of the platform’s layout. Does your school have a photography, journalism, or yearbook class? Then you have all you need to start filling up your Instagram feed. Use those students to help provide engaging content. If you don’t have a full class dedicated to those things, the yearbook committee, a dedicated parent or a faculty or staff member with a knack for photography or design could be a great resource as well.
Use Instagram to tell visual stories. What is your school passionate about? Have your students been creating amazing projects lately? Did you just have a successful event at the school? Share it all. The more you share the experience of your school, the more parents can visualize their children there.
Quick Tip: Instagram Stories can be used in so many different ways. Use them as a way to show behind the scenes of events or host takeover days where you allow a student, faculty or staff member to showcase a day at the school.
Although your school doesn’t have to master all the social media networks at once, it’s a good idea to be consistently present on at least one of them. Once you’re in a comfortable place, the next step is finding ways to make content from one platform work for the others, and content creation will become an ease.