Helping Educators through the Coronavirus Closures – 6 Ways to Pivot Your Education Marketing and Communications Strategy
Schools around the country may be closing because of coronavirus (COVID-19), but thankfully in today’s digital world, learning doesn’t need to stop.
If your organization supports teachers and students with online resources and tools that can be used in a virtual learning setting, spend some time to spread the word about what your organization can, or is, doing to help.
When evaluating and pivoting your plan to support online learning, two important reminders:
First, your message. It must be one of support and not self-serving. Stay focused on how your resources and tools can help in this time of crisis. Don’t try to use this time to sell as it will likely backfire.
Second, your mission. Stay true to your corporate mission and vision. Reinforce your overall commitment to improving the lives of teachers and students.
Here are 6 simple ways to pivot your marketing and communications tactics to build awareness about your organization’s resources and tools.
- Website/Landing Page. Update your website or any active campaign landing pages to help teachers, students or parents find resources or tools for learning virtually. Three areas to focus on include: a) messaging, b) call-to-action buttons or links to direct visitors quick and directly, and c) banners to highlight additional resources will help make content on secondary pages easier to locate.
- Emails. Pause the regularly scheduled email program, review your planned messages and make sure to tell your customers how you’re helping during school closures. Your updated messages should lead with how your solutions can support learning from anywhere, give readers clear steps about how to find resources or tools, and provide information on whom they can call or email for help. Be sure to use best email marketing practices, including personalizing the greeting, minimizing images and watching the length. If you have questions or want some help, we’re available to provide advice. Just drop us a note at email@example.com.
- Blog. If you have a blog on your website, draft a short check-list style article with tips about how your resources and tools can be used in a virtual classroom. Remember not all teachers are comfortable or skilled working in a virtual learning setting. Consider adding tips from a trusted virtual learning expert as a value add to your readers or spotlight a customer who is using your company’s solutions to deliver lessons and learning digitally.
- Press. Tell education reporters about the resources and tools available to help educators deliver lessons and meaningful learning experiences virtually. Highlight what you are doing to support educators during school closures. For example, if you are offering free classes or special access to content or platforms, make sure to include the details about what you’re doing and how educators can take advantage of your offer.
- Amplify your Social Media Plan. Join conversations and be part of the community with your customers. Listen and respond with helpful suggestions. Don’t craft posts that are overly promotional and make sure you are responding to comments quickly. It’s helpful to closely monitor performance of your social media channels and boost popular posts to increase reach. Two other tips to fold into your social media strategy.
- Expand your reach with partners. Are there membership associations you work with? If so, tag them in posts so their followers know how you’re supporting educators, students and parents.
- Influencers. Enlist the help of your raving fans to showcase what they are doing when school’s not in session. Invite your customers to join you for virtual office hours or support desk chats that respond to questions from others who are just learning how to teach in a virtual environment.
- Paid Promotion. Amplify awareness building efforts by sharing a “we’re here to help” message through paid placements on social channels and display ads on select websites.
As you assemble your team to determine which of these tactics work best for your organization, we’re here to help you.
If you have questions or want to get input from anyone at MMS, please contact us.