Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Independent School Marketers: 3 Steps to Maximize Your Marketing

Independent School marketers are always looking for the best way to attract and engage target markets to content. As a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program with expertise in independent school marketing, I have found two articles you will find interesting and insightful.  

In “The Importance of Visual Storytelling to Marketing Strategy” by Kasey Larsen on VerticalRailCreative.com, the author recognizes that people often make decisions based on feelings rather than thought. Additionally, compelling imagery should tell a story through its authenticity and personality. Images should create a connection with the viewer and lead to action.
Photo by Liz Fenwick
According to a recent article by Stan Phelps in Forbes.com, “Seven Ways to Leverage Visual Storytelling in Your Marketing,” smart marketers know that we are visual beings and, therefore, they try to connect to the hearts of their customers by using visual storytelling. Further, the article states, “If you communicate using only words, retention is only 10% of what was communicated. Add a compelling visual, and retention jumps to 65%.”

A review of these two articles suggest three action items:
1.    Be Unique - Let your school’s personality show in your images. Don't use stock images!
2.    Be Purposeful - Make sure your images tell a story. Hire a photographer and learn to love photo shoots.
3.    Show Restraint - Too much text means less retention. Rather than using text to list the items or accomplishments, let the images make your point for you.

By letting your images speak to your audience, rather than your lists, you will set yourself apart from your competitors, and let the school’s mission and personality shine through.

About the author: Kimberly Ellefsen is a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program, and the director of marketing at a large, independent school in Silicon Valley. She has over ten years of marketing and communications experience in independent schools, non-profit organizations, and the US government. @KllfsnNrthwstrn

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