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With students stuck at home while they participate in digital learning, there are a lot of unique photos being taken! From parents capturing chaotic kitchen tables, to teachers taking screenshots of their Zoom classrooms, these photos are priceless. While they are wonderful for social media, they won’t have a lot of use in your marketing in the coming years. This begs the question: how can you leverage the virtual learning photos being taken of your students? 

You may be using them for your yearbook, and that’s just smart. And of course, we hope you’re sharing them on your social media channels. But, there are other ways to distribute these photos in your marketing right now.

Post them on your Google My Business account.

Google My Business is an incredibly important local SEO tool. 

When you search for a brand on Google, a business profile can come up on the right side of the page, next to the search results. If you don’t have a Google My Business account, you should go create one! Then… post to it.

You’ll see toward the bottom of this search, the featured private school has been posting to their Google My Business account. A surprisingly high number of people will click on these posts to see recent activity. 

But, this works best when the content is somewhat relevant. And what’s more relevant than showing your students schooling from home? With so many students getting little-to-no support from their teachers, you can showcase the fact that your excellent faculty and staff have overcome virtual obstacles and continued educating your students.

Include them in your virtual tour.

The fact is, virtual tours have become a crucial part of your admissions process. This is not going to change. Since COVID, Millennial parents have been given the power to make their own decisions about your school… from the comfort of their couch… at 11 o’clock at night. They won’t want to give that power back.

The best next step is to give them as much information as possible in an entirely virtual way. But, this creates a new problem: how can you immerse them in your culture if they don’t step foot in your building? (When social-distancing is behind us, parents will still be keen to physically experience your space. But, this won’t change their desire to experience the school virtually first.)

We will always recommend spending a small amount of money on a 360 virtual tour. But, that’s just one element in a much broader strategy. A virtual admissions experience must engage people in many ways. Footage of your empty building (especially if your facilities are a little lack-luster) will never have the same impact as an in-person tour during an active school day.

We believe in this so much that we a free, on-demand workshop about how to  build an immersive, effective virtual tour.

One great way to create a more immersive experience, and utilize the photos you’re gaining of students working at home, is to cut a video about it!

You don’t need to be a video editing pro, or learn how to use expensive editing software, in order to create a great video. Some of our favorite, low-cost tools provide templates for helping you tell an excellent story.

Remember to keep these videos short (15-30 seconds), and focus them on one key message.

Our favorite video editing tools that can be used right in your browser:

We’ve used some stock photography (NOT our recommendation) in Spark.Adobe.com to build a simple video with one basic theme: thriving then, thriving now.

Use them on your homepage, and on landing pages.

The types of photos being captured at home -- like a student successfully performing a science experiment at their kitchen counter -- tell a crucial story: your school has the ability to adapt in the midst of a crisis. This story cannot be told of every school. Not by a long shot.

Many children are falling behind, and parents are concerned. An audience that may not have been interested in private school prior to COVID-19 may have changed their tune. They’re keeping an eye out for schools that have pushed beyond the virtual boundary and continued educating their students.

By using one of these powerful at-home moments on your home page or on landing pages, you’re reinforcing the idea that your school offers a safe, adaptable, dedicated, forward-thinking home for prospective students.

We believe in this so much that we a free, on-demand workshop about how to  build an immersive, effective virtual tour.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Amy Alexander

Written by Amy Alexander

Valiant defender of client brands, creative genius, master of graphic design and photography, and mother of (cute, tiny) dragons at Story Collaborative. Once upon a time, a brilliant warrior princess and her family wanted to forge a business that cared about people as much as it cares about results - and so - Story Collaborative was born. With over a decade of experience in graphic design, Amy has developed brand experiences for large and small organizations across the US. After completing her B.S., Amy left freelance design consulting to work in higher education. There she managed print and digital experiences in a collaborative environment. She now has years of creative direction under her belt, providing a unique understanding of customer interaction with brand touch-points. When she’s not slaying giants for her cherished clients, she can be found relaxing and adventuring with her husband, twin girls Morgan and Mallory, and her extended family.