High school marketing is a mystery to most advertising professionals. Even the savviest practitioners struggle to effectively navigate the choppy waters of the high school space.
There always seem to be more questions than answers. For example:
1. Who do I contact?
2. How many high schools do I need to work with to achieve maximum impact?
3. What type of marketing program should I implement?
4. How will I achieve consistent activation?
5. What does success look like?
6. What measurement tools will I use?
And the list goes on.
Since I can feel your anxiety level rising, I want you to know I’m here to help.
Today I want to share five things you need to know about high school marketing.
1. Simplicity and Ease of Implementation are Essential for Success
The first to clarity wins, but if you confuse, you’ll lose.
Make your marketing program simple to understand and easy for the school to implement. If your school contact doesn’t understand the marketing program, he will never accept it into the school. And worse yet, if your school contact does understand the marketing program but finds it too complicated to implement, you’ll be wasting your money.
2. Incentives and Rewards Are a Must
We’ve been doing this high school marketing thing since 2001. Here’s the deal.
You must provide incentives and rewards if you want your marketing program to be successful. If the school asks, “What’s in it for me?” and the answer isn’t obvious, you’re just wasting your time and money. The biggest need schools have is, you guessed it, cash. Find a way to provide meaningful financial incentives and you’ll be well on your way to producing a terrific marketing platform.
3. Encourage Discussions Between Students and Teachers
Overlook this little nugget of shiny wisdom at your own peril. While it’s tough to quantify numerically, the most successful marketing programs inside of high schools create unique moments for students and teachers to engage in dialogue. Plus, you’ll get bonus points if your marketing program creates discussion around meaningful topics like graduation.
4. Create Opportunities for High School Students to See Themselves Online
Admit it. You like to look at yourself in the mirror, right? Me too!
High school students are no different, but their “mirror” is social media. The selfie-generation absolutely loves to see themselves on social media. This gives the students a nice dopamine hit, and then they find themselves wanting more. Be sure your marketing campaign allows students the chance to see themselves on social media… a lot.
5. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate
The root of most challenges in society is tied to a lack of effective communication.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t communicate well. If you don’t communicate effectively with high school contacts, your marketing platform will be dead in the water. So even if you think you’ve communicated well, communicate again. And again. And again!