Your blueprint for effective storytelling
Stories are a powerful way to capture and engage a reader or viewer’s attention.
Which is why more and more marketers are using storytelling as part of their marketing toolkit.
Your school’s story is more than just a chronicle of events, it’s a narrative that shapes perceptions, builds connections, and fosters a sense of community.
Picture this: a compelling school story that not only attracts prospective pupils but also keeps the current ones hooked and leaves a lasting imprint. Sounds like a blockbuster, right?
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of using words, images, sounds, or other mediums to convey a narrative.
It is a fundamental aspect of human communication that has been utilised for centuries to share experiences, pass down knowledge, and connect with others on an emotional level.
Storytelling can take various forms, including oral traditions, written narratives, visual storytelling in films or pictures, and digital storytelling in the modern age.
Why is storytelling so valuable in school marketing?
Because when parents choose a school, it’s not just about location and cost. They’re seeking a space where their child can thrive and find joy.
Educators, too, are on the lookout for suppliers who understand the importance of supporting students beyond the basics. It’s all about emotions, trust, and connection – the secret sauce that makes storytelling your school’s superpower.
How to create a compelling school story
Know your identity:
Before penning your school’s story, take a step back and reflect on your school’s identity.
- What makes your school unique?
- What values define your community?
Identify the core elements that set you apart, be it a specialised curriculum, a commitment to inclusivity, or a rich history, then let these aspects shape the foundation of your narrative.
Define your audience:
Understanding your audience is crucial to tailoring your story effectively.
Consider prospective pupils, parents, alumni, and the wider community.
What are their aspirations, concerns, and interests? By aligning your narrative with the needs and expectations of your audience, you’ll create a story that resonates on a personal level.
Showcase achievements and milestones:
Highlighting your school’s achievements and milestones is a powerful way to build credibility and instil pride within your community.
Whether it’s academic excellence, successful alumni stories, or ground-breaking research, these accomplishments contribute to the overall narrative of success and innovation.
Authenticity is the cornerstone of a compelling narrative.
Share real stories that reflect the genuine experiences of your students, faculty, and staff.
Personal anecdotes and testimonials create an emotional connection, making your story relatable and memorable.
Incorporate visual elements:
A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the digital age, visual content is more important than ever.
Enhance your school’s story with high-quality photos, videos, and graphics. Visual elements not only capture attention but also provide a dynamic way to showcase campus life, events, and the vibrant personalities within your community.
Engage through social media:
Utilise social media platforms to share your school’s story in real-time. From live event coverage to behind-the-scenes glimpses, social media provides a direct and interactive channel to engage with your audience. Encourage students, faculty, and parents to share their experiences using a unique and memorable hashtag.
Create a consistent brand voice:
Consistency is key when it comes to storytelling (and with all your marketing). Establish a cohesive brand voice across all communication channels, from your website and brochures to social media posts and newsletters. A consistent tone and messaging style contribute to a unified and recognisable narrative.
Foster ongoing communication:
A compelling school story is not a one-time creation; it’s an ongoing dialogue. Regularly update your audience on new developments, events, and success stories. Invite feedback and encourage community participation to keep the narrative alive and dynamic
Types of stories you can use:
There are so many different types of storytelling you can use, here’s a few you can start doing straight away:
- Pupil success stories
- Case studies
- Your school’s values and culture
- Overcoming challenges
- Your school’s origin and history
Things to keep in mind when using storytelling
Relevance to your audience pains or needs, ask yourself:
- Does the story resonate with your audience’s challenges, needs, wants and desires?
This alignment is crucial for fostering a connection with your audience.
Consistency with key messages, ask yourself:
- Do the stories reinforce your key messages?
Maintaining consistency across your narratives is essential for reinforcing your brand identity and messaging.
Appropriate tone, ask yourself:
- Are you employing the right tone for your narrative?
Whether it’s a friendly, informative, or inspirational tone, choose one that complements your brand and resonates with your target audience.
Optimal format, ask yourself:
- What format suits your story best?
For instance, a brief photo story may be ideal for social media, while a longer, more detailed narrative might work better as a website video.
Placement in the journey, ask yourself:
- Where does your story fit in the buyer’s journey?
Consider tailoring the length and engagement level of your story based on where your potential buyers are in their research process.
Short and engaging narratives are effective during the initial research phase, while detailed stories may be more suitable for later stages.
Get equipped & stay on the front foot
Sometimes you just need a little helping hand, because you shouldn’t have to waste money, time and resources and marketing that doesn’t work.
We help UK and international school leaders, bursars and marketing & admissions folks to boost revenue with strategy, simple and savvy pupil recruitment and retention services.
We’ve helped generate over £4 million for school. Get in touch with us today.
The Stickman team help school leaders, bursars, and marketing and admissions managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.
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Emily & the Stickman Team