Using a creative campaign design will make your promotional or educational campaign stand out from others and wow students and parents into choosing your school. Read on to see how!
1. Keep Your Message Front and Centre
From the planning stage right until the moment you are winding down with a celebratory plastic cup of fizz in the staff room to toast your success; your goal and the message which communicates it should be your central focus. From planning, to conception, to promotion, to branding during the event, keep your ethos and values clear and apparent.
This will help you make your establishment's values and personality clear and the benefits of signing up impossible to ignore. Doing this will make it easier for those who see your campaign to choose you.
They'll know exactly what you're offering and how the experience of studying or working with you will be right for them.
2. Stand Out
Finding a unique creative angle is a great way to stand out from the competition. Another is to make sure you deliver the whole campaign with a level of quality that others can't match. The more creative and powerful your campaign and message is, the more your audience will love it.
It doesn't necessarily mean being the wackiest primary school in the world - unless that's what the governors and headteacher want, of course! - but taking the time to inject an extra level of creativity into your campaigns earns trust and makes you stand out. You've gone to some effort and your audience will respond.
Using characters and stories that your audience can engage with is a great way of doing this. Every time they see your posters, prospectus and videos or animations on social media, and they all include your characters, they will build an affinity with you.
3. Be Memorable
And that makes you memorable. Your target audience is likely to do one of two things when it comes to choosing where to sign up; sit down and research very thoroughly all the possible options and keep them all in mind when making a decision (less likely). Alternatively, they will go through all that, park it for a while and go back to their one or two favourite options they remember and decide which is best (more likely).
Making sure you're memorable is key to making sure you are part of the latter so that you can have the highest number through the door and improve your numbers.
4. Emotionally Connect
A great way to do this is to make sure you emotionally connect. Communicating empathy and understanding to your audience is a great way to that. Your copy needs to resonate with your audience - and you may have a dual audience of child and parent or manager and apprentice, so be aware of that - and the whole style of your campaign needs to work with this in mind.
Also the whole presentation of you, your brand and your selling points, needs to be put across in a way which garners an emotional reaction. Something engaging and different, yet also reliable and trustworthy is what you should be aiming for, and is absolutely relatable for your audience.
Illustrated characters for younger learners are perfect, for example. We have seen this used to great effect with the Sam and Sammie campaign for increasing school attendance (we made it and we're dead proud of it). Part of why it was such a success was that the audience could resonate with and connect with the characters.
5. Tell A Story
This is because they were being told a story every time they engaged with the characters Sam and Sammie. And there's no better way to learn facts (facts being the benefits you are selling - in this particular case it was the benefits of attending school, but it could be the benefits of further education, or why GCSEs are important) and be swayed in opinion, why you are the best choice to make that fact apply to themselves (i.e. why choose your college and not the other one, signing up to after school GCSE revision classes).
With a story, the character(s) can be seen to grow and better themselves, overcome hurdles and resolve their issues by negotiating complicating actions in their plot. The audience goes through it with them, inspiring them to overcome their own complicating actions back in the real world and you are positively and intrinsically associated with the process.
6. Go Bespoke
We have written other posts about the benefits of using bespoke services for a creative campaign, previously. But in summary, it's more beneficial to your campaign than using stock or DIY graphics, illustrations and imagery for the following reasons:
- Often works out cheaper because the return on investment is higher and using almost unique stock files (stock files are never unique, they're available to anyone happy to pay the fee) across your whole campaign quickly becomes expensive.
- Offer precision as you can guide the production of bespoke work to match your message, brand and style exactly. The level of precision to aid your goal of more sign ups cannot be matched by stock files.
- Yours to keep, own and be proud of. All the bespoke graphics, illustrations and imagery you end up with can be altered and repurposed as you see fit. Because it's yours.
- Guaranteed to be unique - just like you, you know for a fact there won't be anything similar being used by your competition. And if somebody beats you to the punch and uses something kind of in the same vein which might detract from your campaign's success, because yours is bespoke you can always tweak it thanks to the flexibility.
When you combine all of these creative benefits together to produce a campaign which is well planned, emotionally engaging, with a clear message and goal to present to your audience, the results are inevitable. People will love your campaign and positively associate you with it - and, then, well...
*puts pen in mouth walks backwards through doorway*
You're gonna need a bigger sign up sheet.