A decade or so ago, if your K-12 website told the story of your product or service, your marketing was on the right track. Now, if your website is configured to showcase what you’re all about, then you’re derailed.
That’s because our competitive marketplace demands more than a capabilities presentation. Your prospective customers want you – as a provider – to demonstrate that you understand the challenges they face, and that you are capable of partnering with them to counter the rigors of succeeding in today’s hyper-challenging educational climate. If your website doesn’t quickly and decisively show them that you’re up to the task, they’ll go to the next provider on their checklist. And that’s your competition.
So here’s how to turbo-charge your website, one of your most important marketing tools:
• Lead with marketing content that portrays your understanding of market needs, not with product descriptions. Be brave! We all love our products, but what will help you to connect with the marketplace is to show you understand their needs and concerns. So be sure to put high-quality information of use by your intended markets in the forefront.
• Don’t stop there. Keep adding content. Create a content calendar and make sure you’re routinely growing your library of great information of value to K-12 educators. That helps with SEO and discoverability.
• To make the strongest connections to the marketplace and show that you understand the needs of K-12, provide a great introduction matching your products and services specifically to those needs. You already know the big issues: how to come to terms with Common Core, meeting mandated testing requirements, serving the needs of widely diverse student populations, successfully integrating blended learning solutions. Just to name a few.
• Show definitively, decisively, and specifically how your products and services facilitate positive outcomes. Case studies, both written and video pieces, are great ways to broadcast your successes and say to your market “here’s what we can also do for you.”
• Make sure you clearly communicate your company’s values, objectives, and core beliefs. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Steer clear of sappy sentiments, but great branding begins when you put your beliefs and motivations out on display.
As you review your K-12 website, the red flag is if the focus is on products and services before market solutions. You need to define your organization as a partner and not simply a vendor. To truly partner with educators, you’ll need to show how you will help them meet the significant and seemingly overwhelming challenges they face. Only then will you gain the necessary traction to communicate your value, to connect with your best customers, and to grow your business to its full potential.