What could be better than glowing appraisals of your school from your parent community? Whatever your marketing budget, word-of-mouth is still king when it comes to the best and most effective form of advertising. Parent testimonials can help to establish credibility and boost your school’s reputation. But knowing how to do testimonials well is something else.
Read on for four top tips on how to boost your school’s reputation through testimonials.
1. Keep it honest
Trust us on this – a fake testimonial is trouble waiting to happen and absolutely not worth the risk. If uncovered, your school’s credibility will be ruined. Once you lose the trust of your parent community, it’s a long road back to the top. For education institutions especially, dishonesty is not a trait that will win parents over. Instead you should aim to be authentic and deserving of positive feedback. In the meantime, it’s better to have zero testimonials on your website than 20 fake ones.
2. Get creative
Written testimonials are yesterday’s news. Although they still have a place, don’t forget other mediums that can really bring testimonials to life. Think about what parents are more likely to read, watch or listen to and get creative with video, audio and infographics to produce more engaging testimonials. Videos can be easily captured with the quality and portability of smartphone cameras. Next time your school has an open day, why not ask select parents if you can video a short candid interview of their experience? With editing tool apps, you can trim, enhance and post your video to social media before the event wraps up.
3. Specific is terrific
Generic testimonials are nice, but forgettable. It’s more effective if a customer gets specific about what your school excels at. Personal stories are even better as they make the testimonial more believable and relatable to other parents. Try and encourage hard facts and specific examples to get the best results. If you still end up with a lengthy testimonial, you can trim it if it’s a video, bold important sections if it’s written text, or even turn it into a case study.
4. Make them visible
Where you decide to house testimonials is crucial. It would be a shame to bury them on an obscure webpage after putting in all that hard work. Choose a key location on your website and use features that make them jump off the page. For example, catchy headlines, visually-engaging images and auto-play videos are great ways to grab someone’s attention. Once they have a permanent home, don’t forget to distribute through your communication channels. Facebook and LinkedIn are great platforms for schools to share testimonials. Furthermore, a standout written testimonial might be just the right addition to your next update of a school brochure or prospectus pack.
Think of your school website as a digital shopfront window. Testimonials can convince a ‘window shopper’ to walk in and have a better look. If a parent is at the enrolment stage, it might be all that’s needed to convince them to fill out an application form.