Just like the new year, new school projects are upon us! What is the top priority of your small school website this January? Perhaps you’re looking to start the new year fresh with a complete rebrand? If so, this is the blog post for you.
Creating a new brand identity for your small school is a heavy lift, but there’s no better time than a fresh new year to spruce up your small school’s branding! Whether your team is looking for a few quick projects to refresh your image, or you’re seeking a full branding overhaul to reveal a shiny new school identity, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post we’ll list effective ways you can upgrade your small school’s image in 2022.
Why is branding so important?
We know that when it comes to a child’s education and where parents choose to send their child to school, first impressions are everything! If a potential family does not have good synergy with your school’s branding, marketing, website, or does not appreciate what makes your small school stand out, they will not want to learn more or apply.
It’s important to understand that your branding is the “face” of your school; it delivers your school’s mission statement and builds credibility and trust among your communities. Because of its importance, school branding may need a face lift to ensure it’s in line with the vision you’re trying to convey. The “facelift” will not only please your existing school families, but it has the power to attract and impress new ones as well. Never underestimate the power of great branding!
1. Translate new messages into content
Branding starts with your school’s mission, values, and goals. What messages are you trying to convey to your students, school families, and community members? If you’re stepping into the new year with enhanced messaging or an updated mission statement, your 2022 content must reflect the newness of those messages. You can choose whether or not you make a grand announcement of these changes. Many businesses and organizations choose to market their rebrand as a fresh start to drum up business, which is a great strategy.
If you are embarking upon 2022 with a new school mission statement, there is plenty of content your team can develop to help further the branding. For example, perhaps write a series of blog posts on your small school website full of student testimony, case study statistics, and other resources that enhance your mission statement. Content like blog posts and newsletters directly target your school communities and provide insight on projects like a rebrand. Give your new mission statement a place to shine and spread the word through new content!
2. Upgrade your school logo
It’s in good practice to update your logo when it begins to look dated or does not align with your school personality. This is especially relevant if your small school’s image, mission, or values have changed.
A logo communicates the products and services of a business. In the case of a small school, the product is the curriculum and the manner in which you teach your students, and the service is how you effectively educate and enrich your student body. If your products and services shift over time, so should your logo.
Logo design can be tricky if overcomplicated. A solid logo is one that is simple, easy to digest, professional, represents the school’s mission, and is designed with your school’s brand colors. Schools often design logos that include a shield or crest, which can be overly complex, hard to read and look dated. If you need help planning your new school logo, we encourage you to contact us!
3. Design a new homepage layout
How effectively is your small school website’s homepage guiding visitors to the information they are looking for? When digging through analytics, have you noticed that it takes users a bit too long to click through your website, or they visit your homepage and then immediately drop off? If this is the case, your team should consider refreshing your small school website’s homepage in 2022. As we’re talking about first impressions, the homepage of your website is the first thing potential students and families see when researching online. If your site isn’t organized, professional, and easy to navigate, you will probably notice an increase of drop-off rates in your site analytics.
Not to fret— there’s a way to figure out where users are getting stumped on your homepage and how to fix it. We recommend user tests, where anonymous users will search through your website and rank their ability to navigate it. In those user test results you will learn your site’s weak spots and then can strategize how to adjust the layout and design of your homepage to address these issues. For more information, check out our blog post on redesigning your small school website!
4. Shoot new photography and videos
A photo speaks a thousand words! A great way to spruce up your school website in a rebrand is to shoot some new photography, even shoot a new video for your marketing team. A telltale sign that your website needs new imagery is when the kids in the photos are now well into their twenties.
Here are some tips for shooting original photography for your school:
- Have a central focus. Don’t use a wide photo of a classroom with a bunch of people of equal focus. If you use a photo of a group of people, there should be a central focal point, whether it is one person making eye contact with the camera, or someone at the center of the attention of the group.
- Aim for close up photos, which are usually more engaging. Most cameras have a zoom option which will let you get closer without getting too close to your subject. Pictures of cute kids are undeniably fun to look at!
- Background is important. A photo taken in the middle of a cluttered classroom can distract from the subject. Simple backgrounds that contrast with your subject are best and make your subjects pop out.
- Represent your community. Be sure that your school website photography depicts the range of ages, gender and ethnic makeup of your school. This helps website visitors feel welcome in your community.
- And finally, take lots of photos! Switch up your framing, angle, and lighting to ensure you’ve got the best shot.
Contact Us Today
Ready to achieve the website your small school deserves in 2022? A rebrand is a big deal— make sure you have a dedicated web designer on your side! Contact us today for a FREE 15-minute consultation, and we’ll support you in reaching your small school website’s rebranding goals.