Why should blog contests and giveaways be banned from schools

A question I’ve received from one of my marketing-savvy education clients recently is – should I hold blog contests and giveaways as part of my inbound marketing strategy?

I admit, this had me stumped for some time.

Sure, I’m a firm believer that blog competitions can drive website traffic and vastly improve reach for businesses, but for a school?

Despite pronounced progress in the realm of inbound education marketing with several schools now sporting regularly updated blogs, the concept of making your prospects seek you is still relatively foreign.

I had to consider this further.

As with all marketing dilemmas, the easiest way to solve the problem is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience – parents.

Raising a child (or several) is no walk in the park
Of course, the type of parents and the lifestyle they live will vary from school to school; however, it’s a safe bet that all will have no or very limited time. That’s because your audience comprises people who are juggling a minimum of one child on top of work. Whilst not having children myself, I’ve been told that it’s tiring.

So then, do they really have the time to be entering an online competition?

Schools should be concerned with the progression and welfare of students
How would you perceive a school-run online competition with fancy prizes intended for prospective parents?

Well, as a current parent, I would be outraged. How dare the school mismanage funds and not focus on its current assets? Having your current parents offside is not something you want to do as they are one of your strongest brand ambassadors.

As a prospective parent, I would be thinking – aren’t there better ways to spend the time and resources required in constructing a contest? How about spending these on new facilities or enriching the education of children? Schools can never be perfect. There’s always something that can be done to improve upon them and hosting blog competitions is not one such method in their eyes.

And the winner is…
Should blog contests and giveaways be banned from schools? So, after mulling over the topic, my final verdict is that blog competitions as part of an inbound marketing strategy, currently have no place in schools. That’s not to say this will always be the case. I certainly believe with the ascent of marketing in schools, there will come a time where contests and giveaways will play a role. However, at the current time, there are better ways to increase market reach and capture prospective details.

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