Resources

Marketing is a big job. These resources are meant to help you work through the projects and challenges you face every day to gain insights to better market your school.

Don't see a subject you'd like to learn more about? Please add it to our comment form here.


Data Analytics

  • Google analytics webinar: Overview & basic customization

    Google Analytics can seem quite overwhelming when you are unfamiliar with some of the key elements and the intent of the tool. Watch our webinar to understand the basics of the tool, the key metrics, and how to set up a custom dashboard and report.

  • How to set up Google Analytics on your school’s website

    If you have a website, you need Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a powerful, free, decision support tool that is essential to understanding and improving your online marketing efforts. Data includes some basic metrics, such as page views, as well as more refined demographics about how viewers are finding and accessing your site and the average age and gender of your viewer.

    This documents explains how you can set up Google Analytics on your website.

    View PDF
  • Understanding referral traffic and engagement metrics in Google analytics

    Looking at and analyzing referral traffic is critical to understand where the traffic to your website is coming from. More importantly, the engagement metrics help you understand the quality of that traffic.

    This document shows you how you can find your referral traffic and engagement metrics.

    View PDF
  • Marketing Fundamentals

  • Brand Management - 5 Steps to Effectively Leverage Your Brand

    One of 2016's top marketing trends is Brand Consistency. What is a brand and how can you leverage your school/camp's brand effectively? We unpack the power of having a consistent brand, looking at how people make purchase decisions today, and take you step-by-step through 5 ways (5 D's) to leverage your school's brand.

    We delve into the 5 D's of leveraging your brand:
    * Define your brand
    * Depict your brand
    * Deliver to your team, brand ambassadors and partners
    * Disseminate (market) your brand - understanding today's decision journey
    * Develop community

     

    Click here to view and/or download the slides alone.

    Visit us at ourkidsmedia.com to find out more about effectively promoting your school or camp through Our Kids.

  • Online Marketing

  • Social Media: Best photo and video networks for private schools

    Photos and videos are the most engaging form of marketing. But with so many sites... Pintrest, Intagram, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr...and so little time, where do you focus. 

    This webinar will provide an overview of the various platforms, and how to most effectively incorporate video and photo use in your marketing mix.

  • Social Media - The Right Tools for the Right Impact

    Social media has forever changed the way we communicate, and the way in which we expect to be communicated to. Mara Shapiro discusses the multitude of social media platforms & tools, and the opportunity to identify the ones that will make a difference for you. Mara also walks you through a few brief case studies to demonstrate how to optimize these tools.  

    The Social Media webinar had a fantastic turnout. There were some really great questions asked during the session, and we thought we'd share them with you as well as the answers. If you have any more, please feel free to put them in the comments.  

     

    SOCIAL MEDIA

    Q: What are your thoughts on using LinkedIn as asocial media for schools?
    A: LinkedIn is a great place to network. As a business tool, it's helpful for connecting with other like-minded professionals. You can join groups for independent educators or school administrators, for example. LinkedIn is particularly helpful for recruiting because you can search profiles for headhunting, see how candidates describe their skills and experience, and list your jobs to a captive audience.

    Q: Do you know of anywhere I could go to take a quick course on html/related course on knowing the 'in's and out's' of using links in social media?
    A: HTML and social media are two very different skill sets. HTML is the code to write a website, whereas social media is communicating using social channels. For both, I would suggest your local community college, the Canadian Marketing Association, and reference books. For example, you can purchase 'HTML for Dummies' which will give you the basics of HTML coding. With regard to social media, there are tons of online resources, conferences, and experts who can help you to learn these skills.

    Q: I am interested in upcoming webinars re: LinkedIn and Twitter
    A: We are working on upcoming schedules and will add your request to the topic list.

    Q: With blogging, Facebook, Twitter, creating videos for YouTube, Pinterest (photos, etc.), could social media alone be a full time marketing person?
    A: Yes, social media could encompass a full-time job, depending on your goals for this way of marketing and communicating. But, it can also be easily integrated into a traditional communications role, if time is allotted daily to certain tasks. As well, it's important to decide which social channels are right for your school, and how much time you do have to devote to them.

    Q: Realistically, if you are one person that is looking to use these- how much time to devote to all of these to make it viable?
    A: If you're organized, you could spend about 1 hour a week planning things like tweets and Facebook posts, and about 15 minutes per day actually on the channels 'being social'. Try a few minutes first thing in the morning, then again at the lunch hour, and then finally, right before the end of the day.

    Q: Would you duplicate the pictures you post on Pinterest and Facebook? Is this just redundant?
    A: There's nothing wrong with posting the same pictures on multiple sites. The availability of different channels means that you can reach different communities where they are hanging out. A good strategy is to share the picture differently in the various places. For example, on Pinterest, you may share a blog post with the photo, on Facebook, you may share it with a caption.

    Q: How can you create a "lifestyle" for a school?
    A: When we talk about 'lifestyle' we mean things that enhance the 'idea' or 'feeling' of a school. This can encompass your school's culture, mission statement, educational philosophy, or even the history of your institution. The idea of lifestyle is helpful when thinking about the kinds of things to post on social media. You don't want to just be sharing links about you, but rather things that make people understand what you're all about. For example, if your school has a strong Arts focus, you may share content regarding music, fine art, dance, or even philosophy. If your building is historical, you may have a Pinterest board about architecture and heritage buildings like yours.

    Q: What social media strategies are best for small schools?
    A: When creating your social media strategy look at a few things:

    • How much time you have to devote to social media
    • What resources are available (both to have the conversations as well as actually design and maintain the sites/pages)
    • Who your target community is
    • Where they are hanging out
    Once you answer these questions, you can decide where to allot your time and resources. For example, if you love Pinterest, but none of your parents are on Pinterest, then that is not a good place to start. Most likely Facebook and a blog are your starting points, but once you walk through the above bullets, you will better identify what the strategy is for your school.

    Q: A MAJOR concern here is anonymity enabling very negative/false damaging "reviews". I had a situation recently where a former disgruntled employee made it her to mission to publish (under a number of aliases/pseudonyms) false/defamatory "reviews" about our centre. I was able to have Google successfully remove these "reviews", but it took a LOT of time and effort on my part. Are there ways to control such false reviews under Google Places and other social media?
    A: Unfortunately, there is no way to control negative or false reviews, other than what you have done already. These are public forums designed to provide a place for people to share their opinions about products and services. You took the right course of action in having the false testimonials removed, and most likely that user will not be able to post their opinions on that site anymore.

     

    LEGALITIES & PRIVACY (additional questions can be found in the video section)

    Q: Are there legalities involved with including students in a video to promote your school? I understand perhaps a waiver to participate...but where can I find information regarding what I would need to do beyond that?
    A: We would suggest speaking to your legal counsel to obtain the appropriate forms.

    Q: As a school, isn't there a problem with posting pictures of events and students on all the social media even though the parents allowed us to use them. Where is the limit?
    A: That limit would really depend on your parent and student community. You may want to post pictures in albums or as blog posts as opposed to putting them up one-by-one. If you're tweeting an event, then there is nothing wrong with multiple posts. If you're concerned about the number of pictures of students that would definitely be something to discuss with your parent's council and / or your legal counsel.

    Q: How do you suggest dealing with the privacy of students (especially minors) through social media- sharing pictures etc.?
    A: We would highly recommend a few strategies:

    • A social media contract with students outlining an appropriate code of conduct
    • Signed waivers from parents allowing both the sharing of photos and videos of their children
    • Social media contract with parents understanding the appropriate code of conduct
    The most important thing to remember when discussing privacy and social media is setting out guidelines and expectations.

     

    PINTEREST

    Q: How do you make your school's website enabled to be pinned?
    A: If you speak to your web designer, they should be able to do this easily. Things to take into account are ensuring that graphics are discrete units and adding 'Pin it' buttons as well as including your Pinterest account in your social links.

    Q: Will there be a webinar on how to use Pinterest to advertise your school? You can't pin everything...
    A: We can explore the idea of having a separate Pinterest webinar. In the meantime, have a look at this eBook from Hubspot, Pinterest for Business. And, actually, Pinterest is the one social channel where it's never too much. You can pin as much as you want!

    Q: Are there schools on this webinar that are using Pinterest that we can look at?
    A: Some of the schools that are using Pinterest effectively are: Havergal College Trinity College School Kingsway College School

    Q: How do you reach followers on Pinterest?
    A: Just like anything else, great content will get you the farthest. So, make sure that you are posting great pins, that you describe them, and that you vary the type of pins that you're doing. To reach and gain followers you can:

    • Repin and like other people's pins
    • Post great pins and put appropriate descriptions with the pins.
    • Find out if your communities (parents, teachers, partners, colleagues) are on Pinterest, and follow them there in the hopes that they will follow yours back

    Q: Is there a minimum age for Pinterest users?
    A: Both Facebook and Pinterest have a minimum age of 13.

     

    FACEBOOK

    Q: I created the page for the school using my own personal Facebook. Is that ok? Or should I have done it differently? A: Every business page administrator has to be associated with a personal account, so that is fine. You can then make other people administrators so they can manage the Facebook page with you. If you ever do leave the organization, then you would be moved as an admin. Q: If I pin a picture that I posted on Facebook, will the link on the picture lead to my Facebook page? A: You cannot pin pictures to or from Facebook. You would have to write a blog post to pin the picture, and then post the blog post on Facebook. Q: How about if we set up the posts on Facebook to directly appear on Twitter. A: It's totally fine to have your Facebook posts go automatically to Twitter. What you don't want to do is have your Tweets go to Facebook. That would really clog up your Facebook page and might annoy your fans. Q: I work with our school's alumni and parents to help promote the school. Our school does have a Facebook page for the school, but I have my own personal Facebook that I use often to promote the school. Are there any benefits to doing that? A: There's nothing wrong with sharing your school's message on your personal Facebook! The more places you can share your posts, the more people you can reach. Make sure that you're directing them to your school's Facebook page and/or website so they can get more of the same content. One idea is to share from your school's site to your own page. That way, you help with your Edgerank, ensuring that more people see the post in the first place.  

     

    VIDEO

    Q: Isn't it a problem to have these ads appearing on the bottom of the video? You never know if it won't be inappropriate...
    A: Unfortunately, we don't have control over the ads placed over our videos. However, YouTube ads are targeted by keyword, audience, and channel. Here is some more information on YouTube advertising.

    Q: What about the implications of uploading videos of children on YouTube? Many parents have issues with that.
    A: Whether or not you can post a video of a child is up to the parent. You can obtain a signed waiver giving permission for the child's image to be shared, but ultimately it is up to the parent whether or not to give permission. Consult with your legal counsel for more information.

    Q: Even with a signed media release, many parents would not be okay with regular videos of their kids being uploaded to theses sites ... how do you get around that with parents? How do you explain to your current parent community that you will be doing this?
    A: You can explain the purpose of the video sharing with parents; you can try surveying the parents to see what kinds of limits they may be looking at, if at all. In the end, whether or not their child is included is up to the parent.

    Q: Is Vimeo as powerful a tool as YouTube?
    A: This really depends on what you want to use Vimeo for. Vimeo excels at customized embedding on your website. It allows full control of how your video appears, what images are used as thumbnails, links at the end and allows you to replace a video file so that you don't lose your stats if you want to update the video. YouTube on the other hand excels at allowing people to find your videos; it recently added an analytics feature that allows you to see how long people watch your video and have added that to its search algorithm which is far more advanced then Vimeo. So to conclude, if you have a great website with great traffic and would like full control of how your videos appear on your website Vimeo is an excellent option. If however, you want people to find your site through videos then YouTube would be the better option. They are both powerful, but in different ways.

    Q: Can a YouTube video be shared on a school website without prior permission?
    A: YouTube is made for sharing! Just click on the share button and choose link or embed.

    Q: Does it cost money to have your own YouTube channel?
    A: YouTube is completely free.

  • Search engine optimization: Google's new algorithm

    Google is forever changing their search ranking algorithm, and it directly affects your school's website. This webinar will cover the recent 'Panda', 'Penguin' and 'Hummingbird' changes and what you need to do so your school website ranks high in Google.

     

    Want more traffic to your website? Consider advertising with OUR KIDS MEDIA, the trusted source more than 3,000 families turn to daily when choosing a private school. Ourkids.net is ranked #1 in google searches for top keywords Canada and worldwide. 

  • Online Advertising - Benefits, How to Buy & Creatives

    More and more private schools are investing their marketing budgets into online advertising. But for many, it's difficult to understand the difference between advertising options, the value they bring, how to compare them, and ultimately, which ones will provide the most successful results.

    In this webinar, Anneline Breetzke will look at those key aspects as well as cover a couple of free design tools to help you with your advertising creatives.

  • Mobile Marketing for Private Schools - The 3rd Screen

    Today's digital world continues to evolve at light-speed. The "smartphone" has revolutionized the internet!   

    Watch our webinar on Mobile Marketing for Private Schools. We'll provide you with an understanding of the existing mobile marketing landscape, how your current and prospective families use mobile, and what the future holds. Most importantly, you'll gain some insight into how to determine if, when and how to implement a mobile marketing strategy for your independent school or organization.

  • Marketing your school on forums and online communities

    Forum marketing is a great way to make your school stand out from the crowd. Parents and students on forums have questions and are looking for answers. Plus, forum users are generally net savvy and well connected, meaning what they read about you, they’ll be able to share with friends, groups and other communities.

     In this webinr, we focus on forum marketing for private schools, how to make a great first impression in front of this savvy and influential audience and the 10 keys to successful forum marketing for schools.

  • Building an Online Marketing Campaign

    The internet has changed how students and families search for and choose a school. Now more than ever, a strong online brand is crucial to your marketing plan – and that includes your web site, social media, advertising and tracking. A savvy online presence not only increases your school's exposure, it gives you more return on investment. Join this session to learn where to start, what to include, and how to make your online marketing campaign successful.

     

     

    Join OUR KIDS, the #1 trusted source to private and independant schools since 1998. Our Kids advertises YOU to your TARGET audience, 100% of the time. See why 300+ schools advertise with Our Kids. 

  • Offline Marketing

  • How to Optimize Your Tradeshow Participation

    April 25th for our Webinar - How to Optimize Your Tradeshow Participation Tradeshows are a tested method to create a one-on-one engagement with potential customers. In this webinar Anne Marie Rabasca walks you through some of today's best practices for optimizing your tradeshow presence.

  • Case Studies

  • Our Kids Media Network for Private Schools - Live Demo

    See a live demo of the OUR KIDS media network for private and indepenent schools.

    OUR KIDS Media helps 320+ private schools and independent schools of all sizes generate qualified leads and increase enrollments every year. But will it work for your school?

    Watch this live demo and see how OUR KIDS School Marketing Network can revolutionalilze your marketing:

    • Improve traffic to your website from key referral sources and google search
    • Decrease your ad budget by investing in integrated advertising that includes print, online, social and mobile 
    • Benefit from free promotions via social, email marketing and tradeshows
    • Monitor your visibility, exposure and results



    Your advertising budget is limited, and you need to be confident that your are investing in media that will connect with your target audience and generate enrollments. Watch this video to see if OUR KIDS meets your school marketing needs. Click here to learn more about the OUR KIDS School Marketing Network.

     

  • How relaunching our website doubled school search traffic

    As website technology changes, so does the desire for a new website. But do you really need it? Will refresching or relaunching your website be worth the effort, time and money? 

    In this webinar, we review the latest trends in web and mobile technology, how your website controls a users perception of your brand, and the impact website structure could have on your search engine 'friendliness' and search engine rank. 

    This webinar is based on a case study of the ourkids.net website relaunch in a mobile friendly responsive design and how it helped ourkids.net double private school search traffic for private school related search terms in google.ca.

    Webinar hosted by Agnes Stawicki of Our Kids Media.

    Webinar Highlights:

    1. Three criticle areas of the ourkids.net website that needed changing
    2. Focusing on user experience helped 88% more families find a school
    3. Keeping a key eye on design and calls to action improved conversions by 373%

    Useful tools for website analysis

    Making changes to your website needs to be done with clear goals in mind, and ideally with tools that will help you track your succes. Two important tools we use at Our Kids to test the impact of updates and changes are"

    1. Crazyegg - helps Our Kids understand user behaviour, eyeflow and how far users actually scroll down a page. 
    2. Google Analytics - setting goals and events allows us to fully understand which actions users are taking (ex: visiting a member school website, makign a call or sending an email).

    Private school advertising & marketing. Join OUR KIDS, the #1 trusted guide to private schools used by more than 150,000 parents and students every month. Our Kids advertises YOUR school to YOUR local target audience, 100% of the time. See why 300+ schools advertise with Our Kids. 

  • Google Adwords vs Our Kids Private School Advertising

    Being found online is more important than ever, but just because you're #1 in Google, doesn't mean parents will choose your school. Online marketing has moved beyond the click and engagement and trust are now at the forefront. 

    In this webinar, we'll take you into the Google Analytics accounts of a Canadian private school with a case study that you can replicate back at your school! If you're new to Google Analytics, click here for a video on what it is and why you need it. 

    We'll show you how to compare your website traffic from Google Adwords vs Our Kids using Google analytics so you can make better decisions on where to invest your advertising dollars. See just how many leads your Google Adwords campaign is generating vs other advertising investments. 

    In this webinar, Agnes Stawicki, David Hertzberg and Vlad Rascanu of Our Kids Media show us how much each 'click' is worth, and which Google analytics data is most important when assessing your marketing campaign. 

    Webinar Highlights:

    • Every click to your website has a different level of motivation & seriousness
    • Google Adwords clicks (unless your campaign is extreamly well optimized) pull from the widest circle of families (ex: location & keyword only)
    • Our Kids clicks pull from a much more targeted circle of families who are both motivated (are looking for a private school in your location) and who are a good lead-match to your school (they know your location, grades, curriculum, tuition... and like it)
    • Case Study: Comparing cost per lead from Google Adwords vs Our Kids advertising for a private school in BC, Canada.

    If you'd like Our Kids to do a review of your website traffic sources and make sure your Google Analytics account is set up to track sources and leads correctly, please contact us. Please also watch our  guide to what data to look for and how to define online advertising success for step by step assistace. 

    How to find leads generated from Google Adwords 

    If you're running Google Adwords advertising for your private school, be sure to have conversion goals or events set up in your Google analytics account. You should also link your adwords and analytics account together to ensure more accurate reports. 

    1. Choose what you consider a 'lead' or 'conversion'. For example, this can be a user that clicks on your 'contact us' page, or a family that requests a report or info package using a form on your website.
    2. Add a conversion goal or event tracking code to these pages. This will allow you to see which sources (Google adwords, organic search, referral websites) are sending the most leads to these goals.
    3. When you log into your Google Analytics account, you'll be able to track 'events' under the Behaviour tab and 'goals' under the conversion tab.

    How to find leads generated from Our Kids (or other referring websites)

    If you're doing any online private school advertising, be sure to track both the quantity and quality of the visitors being sent to your website. To find this:

    1. Login to your Google Analytics account
    2. Click on Aquisition (in the left navigation menu)
    3. Choose 'referral traffic' 
    4. Look for sources that are seing you high quantity and quality:  total sessions, unique sessions, time on site and pages viewed.
    5. Look at the bounce rate. This is the % of families that is NOT interested in your school, meanign they clicked to view your website, but then immidealy closed the window and pressed the back button and did not contiue to a second page. For paid advertising, aim for 20% or lower.
    6. If you have goals set up, you'll be able to track how many conversions were completed by this referral source. 

    Private school advertising & marketing. Join OUR KIDS, the #1 trusted guide to private schools used by more than 150,000 parents and students every month. Our Kids advertises YOUR school to YOUR local target audience, 100% of the time. See why 300+ schools advertise with Our Kids. 

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