• General Best Practices
9 Easy Marketing Project Ideas to Conquer Over Winter Break
Mia Major

Holiday break is all about catching up on sleep, watching Hallmark Channel on repeat, spending time with family and friends, and indulging in that one extra cookie...at least six times — right?

Maaaaybe.

Some of us have to work. And if you’re not one of the lucky ones who has saved up enough vacation days to shut their laptops until the new year, you can use these slower, quieter days to make a big impact on your digital strategy. We’ve listed out the top projects you can crank out in just a few hours.

1. Restructure Your Email Newsletter

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 1-2 Hours/Newsletter

What You’ll Need:

Project Overview:

School newsletters are one of the most effective ways to reach current families and alumni. However, if they aren’t optimized for mobile, don’t have relevant content, or are even visually appealing, then you might be missing out on a great opportunity to improve awareness about events, engage families, increase donations, or even improve retention.

Suggested Reading:


2. Improve Your Tuition Page

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 2 Hours

What You’ll Need:

  • An understanding of your school’s tuition, costs, fees, financial aid and scholarships
  • Access to photos, videos, and testimonials
  • Access to your school’s CMS

Project Overview:

We’ve been encouraging schools to improve their tuition pages since 2016 when we shared this blog for the first time. So if your tuition page still just lists how much it costs to go to your school, this project is for you!

an example of a tuition page that just lists costs

A tuition page like the one above does provide core information, but doesn’t help sell the value of a school. Would you make an expensive purchase without being convinced you should?

Yes — facts and figures are important. Yes — you absolutely need to provide this information. But, you can definitely soften the blow and increase engagement with some content improvements, including:

  • Testimonials about why the investment is worthwhile — potentially from different families of different income levels
  • Adding financial aid and scholarship information directly to the tuition page
  • Infographics, videos, or any other content you can share that answers the question of “why”? 

Suggested Reading:

singapore american school good tuition page example

Featured: Singapore American School’s Tuition & Fees Page


3. Write Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 3-5 Minutes Per Page

What You’ll Need:

Project Overview:

Well-crafted title tags can help improve your school’s performance in the searches that matter, while meta descriptions can help increase click-through rates. 

All Boys School Title Tag and Meta Description Examples

A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed in search as the clickable headline (pictured above as the blue URL containing the school’s name). You often want this to be some combination of your school’s name and any keywords you wish to rank for. While these should be limited to 50-60 characters, if you go beyond that limit, just be sure the most important terms are at the beginning.

A meta description is a snippet of text of up to 160 characters that summarizes a page's content. As a best practice, your meta description should contain similar words to your title tag.

Title tags and meta descriptions play a major role in a family’s ability to find your school when they search for things like “best all boys school in ct” or even your school’s name.

We don’t recommend blindly diving into this project — so having done some keyword research and having an understanding of the terms your school wants to rank for in search is essential.

If you use Finalsite Composer, managing your title tags and meta descriptions is easy. Toggle the gear button in the bottom right of your Composer editor, select “SEO” and edit away!

finalsite SEO settings good example

Suggested Reading:


4. Map Your Content to Personas and Funnel Stage

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 2-3 Hours (or more) — It will all depend on how much content your school has, and how organized it is.

What You’ll Need:

  • List of Key Personas
  • Access to your school’s content library. The content library is likely a place where you store all of your photos, written content, pamphlets, brochures, and viewbooks.
  • This content mapping toolkit

Project Overview:

You can’t implement an inbound marketing strategy without content. And because an effective inbound strategy is all about getting the right piece of content in front of the right person at the right time, content mapping is a very important first step to implementing a successful inbound strategy. 

For this project, you’ll be taking an inventory of all of your school’s current content and “mapping” it to different stages of the funnel (awareness/consideration/decision) and/or personas. Content includes:

  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Testimonials
  • News stories
  • Brochures, pamphlets, viewbooks
  • Information on specialty programs, financial aid, etc.

Once you’ve mapped content, you can identify gaps and create a plan to develop new content for your inbound strategy.

Suggested Reading:


5. Create a Social Media Plan And/Or Calendar

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 4-6 Hours

What You’ll Need:

Project Overview:

This is definitely one of the heftier projects on the list — but if you have a large chunk of time during winter break, it may be a good time to sit back and think about your approach to social media, what you could do better, and what you hope to achieve in the new year.

Suggested Reading:


If a better social media strategy is on your to-do list, you won't want to miss our social media workshop on January 17 hosted virtually for schools around the world!

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6. Brainstorm Blog Topics

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 1-2 Hours (Or really, as much as you want.)

What You’ll Need:

Project Overview:

More and more schools are investing time into blogging because of its ability to influence admissions, retention, and even fundraising. However, one of the biggest hurdles of actually starting a blog is the content: what should a school blog about?

Take the time during winter break to brainstorm blog topics for your key personas. This project can be easier once you’ve already done content mapping. However, if you don’t have a lot of (or any) content to map, then it’s okay to start here!

Suggested Reading:


7. Build Thank-You Pages for Important Forms

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 30-60 Minutes/Page (Maybe less once you’ve made a few and get in the groove! Often, they can be cloned and reused, saving you lots of time.)

What You’ll Need:

  • Access to your school’s CMS
  • A list of your school’s most-used forms, and where on the site they are located

Project Overview:

Thank you pages are one of the easiest, yet most effective projects you can work on! Thank you pages — which are the pages a website visitor would be redirected to after filling out a form — increase engagement and time spent on your website, while also providing an overall better user experience.

Ideally, you would have a thank you page for every form on your website. However, you might want to start off by creating thank you pages for your most important forms, such as fundraising or inquiries.

If you use Finalsite’s Forms Manager, a thank you page can easily be linked from a form.

Suggested Reading:


8. Enhance Your News Section

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 1 Hour

What You’ll Need:

  • Access to your school’s CMS

Project Overview:

Your school’s news section is one of the most important sections of your website. It’s how you keep your current families and alumni in the loop, but also how you attract prospective families.

So if your news section is just a list of links that display a shadow box...definitely invest the hour(ish) it takes to turn your news section into an engaging experience families love. Your news post page should also include links to additional reading as well as calls-to-action to other relevant content.

Suggested Reading:

9. Grade Your School’s Website

Projected Time Investment: 

  • 15 Minutes or Less

What You’ll Need:

  • Just your email address!

Project Overview:

If you’re planning on a website redesign in the new year, or maybe just making some improvements, starting with a free website report card or free 15-minute website consultation can help. Finalsite’s team of website experts has performed hundreds of website consultations and can provide you with suggestions and strategies that can make a big impact on ROI.

Want to get started? Choose the option that works best for you:


Key Takeaway

While you don’t have as much interrupted time as you do in the summer months to complete larger projects, these are some smaller projects that can make a huge impact! So, make the most of your quieter time and tackle, one, two or a few of these great projects.


Schedule a Free 15-Minute Website Consult!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Major

As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, eBooks, and reports, including Finalsite's Inbound Marketing Benchmark Report.

  • Admissions
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Marketing/Communications
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