It’s about this time of the year that you may, like many education businesses, be starting to apportion marketing to schools budget for the next financial year. If so, I strongly advise that you take a moment to look at three key findings from our recent UK School Staff Survey.
The last 12 months have seen the biggest disruption to education in many of our lifetimes. So it’s a good time to update both our understanding of how teaching and learning now take place within our schools, and our perception of how teachers want to engage with private sector businesses.
I’m going to share three charts with you which have been created from the results of a UK-wide school staff survey we conducted via social media, online and email. The survey was completed by 2,600+ teachers in total, from senior leaders to classroom teachers, state schools to independent schools.
1. Which method of receiving communications and offers from education businesses are you most likely to reply/react to?
What made the result of this particular question quite shocking to me was the fact that, in a parallel survey of UK education businesses, 56.3% said that social media was a priority for improving their marketing in 2021 (which meant that overall it was the number one priority for education businesses).
If this survey is representative of the teachers in the UK, and there’s no reason that it wouldn’t be, then this should act as a bit of a wake-up call to any business looking to prioritise their social media marketing this year. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (all marketing channels that we manage for our clients by the way) were the preferred communication channels for just 4.9% of teachers, while email was the preferred communication channel for a whopping 88.3% of teachers.
Should this really be any surprise when the fact remains that an email sent to teachers via their ‘at work’ email address will be opened by teachers while they are in work mode. In contrast, a social media advert will appear on teachers’ personal feed just as they are presumably trying to escape the strains of their work life.
In a year when the line between our work life and home life has become increasingly blurred, doesn’t it make sense that this might be an area where teachers prefer to maintain a distinction?
2. How can education businesses better support and serve schools in 2021?
Webinars and training events (both free and paid) have generated some extraordinary results for our clients in the past 12 months. One client had over 1,000 teachers book onto his free training event within 24 hours last summer, while another saw a combined 1500 teachers attend their 5x webinar series just a few weeks ago. Anyone thinking that ‘webinar fatigue’ must be setting in by now would appear to be wide of the mark.
You don’t need me to talk you through all of the charts above, it should be apparent where the opportunities lie, but in summary, it tells me that teachers are more receptive than ever to training, advice, and thought-leader content. Focus your marketing strategy accordingly.
3. Which of the following do you feel could best help you achieve your goals in 2021?
This question should really help to get under the skin of what teachers feel they need in the next 12 months in order to achieve their personal goals. These things are essential because they tell you the obstacles that your audience perceives could potentially stop them from getting where they want to be.
Okay, so you can’t just click your fingers and make COVID disappear (can you?) but perhaps you can help teachers and support staff move to paperless solutions, train them to utilise new technologies more effectively (because there’s nowhere to hide anymore for teachers that are slow to adopt new tech), or even help them raise money for their school or faculty.
Keeping these results at the front of your mind when planning your marketing strategy for 2021/22 will be absolutely crucial for education businesses. Education has changed, probably forever, and ideas about what your audience wants from you, which you may have previously taken for granted, urgently need to be reappraised.
Please get in touch with me if anything in this blog strikes a chord and is worth exploring. I’ll be only too happy to help.
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