Which approach each company uses will depend on your company’s strengths, its product, and often the background, experience and, dare I say it, the prejudices of the person or people in charge of the advertising.
Of course, some firms don’t use any of these approaches for reasons of their own. And some tentatively dip a toe into a new idea and then back away quickly.
This last point: trying it to see what happens and then backing away, is a major problem in advertising. If creating advertising campaigns were easy, everyone would do it, and everyone would make money.
Actually, we’d all make a lot less money because the amount that schools have to spend is limited – what would be increased would be the number of companies that can produce exciting campaigns that make the schools want to spend.
So here’s our first finding – if you want to adopt one of the ways of making a lot more money out of selling to schools you have to be prepared to experiment a little. Not a huge amount because Hamilton House, in monitoring the market, has done a lot of that for you. But there is going to be some experimentation.
However, there is no doubt that the market of selling to schools is increasingly dominated by firms that use at least one of the five approaches – which is making it harder for companies using more traditional methods to get much growth in the market.
I’ll deal with the five methods in this and the next few newsletters. And where possible I’ll look at ways of using these approaches without it costing more than you might otherwise be paying for your advertising.
So here’s the first approach – which starts from the premise that teachers and managers get their information via different media: web searches, emails, news accumulator sites, Facebook and Twitter, etc.
Now, because that can seem like a huge variety of media to cover, a lot of companies just stick to one approach, and thus their message is simply never seen by the majority of teachers and managers.
The solution, of course, is to work across the media – and, if at all possible, without it costing a huge amount to do so.
We all know that emailing schools can work and some firms do offer up to 400,000 teacher email addresses, but in reality there are only 300,000 teachers and managers, not all of these make purchases, and some of them don’t read emails.
Meanwhile advertising in the education media is possible, but expensive, and for most firms very unresponsive.
Many teachers read news blogs, and one can start one’s own blog or education news site, but it will only get a lot of views once it gets very well established – which can take five or more years to establish.
Hence we not only offer email lists, but also UK Education News – the rolling news site which is promoted to teachers across the UK every week and has a rapidly growing readership. And we run several schools’ blogs which themselves get significant numbers of visits from teachers searching for information on Google.
If you want to see how this works, visit the UK Education News site noted above, look down the stories, and look at the details on the right of the central column which shows the source of the story. Click on a few sources, and you’ll see how it works.
Typically, an advertisement that is sent out through our email service, will get at least as many click throughs again from teachers who find it either through UK Education News itself or by doing a Google search and finding it on our website that way.
And in many cases the number of teachers reached through UK Education News and the blog listing, and who click through to your site, will be three times as many as before.
To spell it out, if you normally expect 100 people to visit your website when you send out an email, with our service you will get 200. Maybe even 300. And all seriously interested, because they have read your advert and chosen to click through.
So there we are: our first approach has been to double the number of click throughs to your website from email adverts, by not only sending out the email adverts, but also by placing the advert on UK Education News and one of our blogs.
Now here is the real benefit.
If you advertise to primary schools, nursery schools or special schools, placing your advert on UK Education News and our blog is free. Double your click through rate with no extra cost. If you use one of our secondary school lists the cost is just £10 extra.
If you are a member of the Velocity programme – it is again free. If you are on the Payment by Results programme it is free.
If you would like to know more please do call 01536 399 000.