2018 School Close Dates & a Guide to Summer Marketing
9 May, 2018
Schools will be closing for summer over the next couple of months. But just because they’re going on break, that doesn’t mean your marketing should, too.
Get an exclusive look at when schools in your target markets will be shutting down, and get tips for marketing tactics to start once those final bells ring.
Summer Break Breakdown
Agile Education Marketing data shows that most public schools in the United States will be shutting down for summer the week of May 21, with close dates tapering off toward mid-June.
The graph above provides a general overview of school close dates for the 2017-18 school year. Agile offers even more detailed data, breaking down summer close dates week-by-week and state-by-state. Use this granular data to learn when most schools in your key markets are planning to close for summer. Download the data.
Summer Marketing Tips
From May – July, educators are in the Planning Phase of the education purchasing cycle. Not only will they be making their final purchases for the 2018-19 school year, but they also will begin assessing their needs and researching potential solutions for 2019-20.
Administrators will be doing this in the office, where they have fewer distractions while students and staff are out of school. Though teachers aren’t typically in their classrooms, they are working on professional development, lesson planning and classroom prep — even if it’s poolside.
Summer is a crucial time to get in front of educators early and start valuable relationship-building. Making connections now, however small, will create familiarity, establish brand trust and set you up for a stronger back-to-school season and beyond.
So even though schools are closed, it’s a mistake to stop your marketing and sales efforts. Here are some things you can do during the summer:
Email: Even teachers, who aren’t typically inside the school building, check their work email during summer. According to Agile Data, 81 percent check emails at least weekly during summer; 33 percent check in daily. Though it’s recommended that you slow your email pace during summer, don’t stop sending messages completely. Periodically deploy emails that promote summer events, such as conferences and webinars.
Content Marketing: Email also is a great way to share helpful, brand-relevant content, from blog posts to whitepapers to video. Use the downtime that often comes with summer break to develop content that you can use to build your lead pipeline come August.
SEO: More than half of teachers surveyed in an Agile study said they use search engines as their main source to find information about teaching, learning and education products. Adding helpful content related to educators’ key interests and pain points will strengthen your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Content that helps educators with planning (rubrics, planning guides, articles around best practices, etc.) are just what they’re searching for this season.
Social Media: Silence on a brand’s social media page never looks good. During the summer months, use social media to share content, run advertising and sponsored posts, and even engage personally with educators who might have more time for social media during the summer months. Just remember that platforms matter. Administrators prefer LinkedIn, for example, while teachers are active on sites like Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.
Webinars: Webinars are another popular resource educators use to learn about education products and services. And in the summer, educators have more time to sit through them uninterrupted. Build thought leadership with webinars that focus on general strategies, new methodologies and research topics. For higher registrations, host your webinars in early and late summer, generally avoiding the Fourth of July holiday. Schedule webinars for late May – June, and then pick them up again in late July, just before back-to-school.
Use the Agile data provided here for an inside look at when schools in your target markets are starting summer break. Once that final bell rings, launch a multi-channel summer marketing strategy that will get you in great shape for fall.
Derek Dallmann is Vice President of Sales at Agile Education Marketing. Throughout his 20 years in education marketing, Derek has worked with hundreds of organizations in the early childhood, K-12 and higher education markets. Derek’s expertise lies in helping organizations define their core audiences and develop targeted, multi-channel marketing strategies to reach educators and achieve sales and marketing objectives. Reach Derek at firstname.lastname@example.org.