Four key ways to use a school film to win parents over.

Telling is better than selling. Even the most successful schools want to encourage applications. Parents understand that schools want to put their best foot forward, but an overly ‘sales-y’ approach can be offputting and counter-productive. Effective school marketing videos pinpoint what’s special about your school and leave the choice to the viewer.

Academic excellence, care and support, community ethos. How many schools use phrases like these? They’re used so often that they no longer help families work out which school might be best for their child. It’s another reason why being true to your values wins. Here’s how you can go about creating an engaging narrative for your school:

Start with your values.

To stand out, rather than blend in, start with your values and your mission. Research your audience and what’s important to them. Dig deep to find the concepts that are true to your school in particular. Think about your ethos, history and traditions, community and location.

Outside perspectives can be helpful. Ask for input from parents and other stakeholders. If you need help, our expert communicators can also facilitate relevant discussions and workshops.

Do the opposite check.

What parent doesn’t want to send their child to a high-achieving, nurturing school? It sounds great – but it doesn’t stand out. When creating the key messages for your school film, put them through the opposite check.

Make a list of words and phrases that you use to describe your school. Would it be feasible for any educator to claim the opposite? For example, the opposite of ‘nurture’ is ‘neglect’. No school would claim to be neglectful – nurturing each child is a vital part of education. So even though the concept is important, it means that ‘nurture’ is unlikely to be a useful differentiator.

Once you have found unique concepts, you can use them to make sure your school marketing film stands out.

So what’s your school’s story? Prospective parents will want to know.​”

Memorable stories.

Memory champions, like Dominic O’Brien, often use stories in competitions. They create simple stories to link long sequences of facts or objects.

We’re not saying that parents want to memorise your school marketing video. Simply that stories make facts easy to recall and are uniquely human. In fact, the famous Heider study showed that we see narratives even where there aren’t any. Remembering your story is the first step to enrolment.

So what’s your school’s story? Prospective parents will want to know.

Seeing is believing.

If a picture tells a thousand words, you’ll have a lot of them at your disposal. Parents may expect a certain level of editing and spin. So concentrate on ‘how’, rather than ‘what’.

How does your school cultivate excellent learning? How does it prepare students for the next stage of their education (and beyond)? Concentrating on the facts will build confidence in your story.

Then make the most of this visual medium. If you’re scripting a two-minute speech, you should aim for a maximum of 300 words. But as the saying goes, less is more. How low can you go?

It’s worth bearing in mind that most people watch online videos with the sound turned off. 85% of us, in fact. Minimising words (and possibly adding captions or subtitles) will help more people to understand what you’re saying.

At Blue Apple Education, we specialise in unearthing what’s remarkable about your school. And creating an effective school brand that helps you to stand out. We can help you to tell the compelling tale of your school to build empathy and emotional connections. To talk about your school marketing video, please get in touch. We can‘t wait to hear your story.

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