Peachjar's digital flyer system helps school districts increase parent & community engagement and provides families with access to school and afterschool programs.


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How to Prepare your Students for College – Important Life Skills Not Taught in Class

We all know that top-notch colleges are looking for students with stellar academic records and high participation in extracurricular activities, but what are some of the more “soft skills” that will help a student succeed in college? We’ve compiled a list of important skills that contribute towards college success, and how you as educators can help your students succeed in these areas.

  1. Money management – For many students, college is the first time that they will need to be financially responsible for themselves. Help students by offering them classes in how to manage their finances, or get them involved in their own college savings program. Having skin in the game (ie paying for part of their tuition) will help them appreciate their education and make them more likely to not slack off (repeating classes=more money!).
  2. Nutritional knowledge – Health plays an important role in college success. One can’t attend class, let alone pull marathon studying sessions if he or she is malnourished or combating a cold every other week. Offer students opportunities to learn how to build a solid weekly menu and how to cook a balanced meal.
  3. Conflict resolution – As students leave home and go out on their own, they will have less support in the way of how to handle their relationships, and the conflict that may surround them. Offer students opportunities to learn how to manage their relationships, approach conflict in a healthy manner, and how to ultimately be a positive and productive person that others want to be around.
  4. Finding a job – Often times, schools focus on how to apply and interview for college, but what about how to find and interview for that college job? Chances are they’ll have to start earning some dough before college is over, teach students where to look for these opportunities and how to properly interview for them.
  5. Time management – While high school does prepare many to manage their studies, after school activities, family and friends, it doesn’t take into account the addition of the newly found freedom that comes with college. Help your students understand that a healthy work/life balance will be critical to their success, and teach them how to attain that.

As educators, you play such an important role in the future of today’s students. Thank you for continuing to shape the lives of our future’s leaders!

By  Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar

 


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Using the Power of Video to Tell Your Organization’s Story

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Why is video important to incorporate into your marketing strategy? According to Forrester, videos in an email lead to a 200-300% increase in click-through rate. Additionally, including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.  Thus, video can be a powerful marketing tool to help drive business to your organization and help tell the story of your brand.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of developing an effective video campaign that helps you create a stronger connection with your audience and drive more conversions. We’ll also provide some simple tips to keep your video campaign on the right track.

Step 1: Define the objective of your video – What would you like to accomplish? Are you looking to drive registrations for a program or event, increase awareness about a philanthropic initiative, or recruit new staff members? Whatever the goal is, defining the objective helps you shape a clear and effective message for your campaign.

Step 2: Determine what story you are trying to tell – Emotional appeal can be a major driving force in getting your audience to respond favorably to your video, so think about what differentiates your organization from others and how your efforts makes a positive impact in the community.

Step 3: Gather tools and resources – It’s time to bring your vision to life! This doesn’t require fancy video equipment- you can use devices that you may already own in your home, such as a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, you’ll need to find individuals to feature in your video to make your message more compelling and relatable.

Step 4: Record and edit your video – Once you’ve recorded your video, you can begin refining your work with cost-effective video editing tools. Here are some free options:

While you are filming, make sure you keep these following tips in mind to ensure that your video campaign has the intended effect on your audience:

  1. Keep it short and sweet: We recommend keeping your video length around 30 – 60 seconds if possible, to ensure that your viewers are engaged throughout the entire video. If you need to, break up a long video into smaller, digestable clips that focus on more granular pieces of your organization or services.
  2. Tell a compelling story: Video provides you with an opportunity to create a more meaningful connection with your audience. Whatever your story is, it needs to be powerful and unique to your brand. Brand loyalty is developed through trust, perceived value, and an emotional connection between the customer and the organization.
  3. Involve your parents, students, and staff members: A key component of creating your video is finding the right ambassadors to be the voice of your brand. Ask your program participants and staff members to talk about how your program has impacted them or the community and allow them to share their thoughts freely for a genuine testimonial. (Hint: Launch a video contest for user-generated video content!)
  4. Promote your video on all channels: Serving your video across all marketing channels ensures that you are reaching a wide audience and maximizes your campaign exposure. You can feature your video in an email newsletter, share it on social media, place it on your website or digital publication, or ask your friends to spread the word.
  5. Provide a clear call to action: Your call to action is a way of encouraging your viewers to take immediate action, like visiting your website, calling for more information, or registering for your program. Make sure your audience doesn’t have to search around for a signup button or dig through a link farm to find the information they’re looking for. Additionally, if your video is on YouTube, consider adding a video annotation to redirect viewers to your website or landing page.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at gogreen@peachjar.com. Happy filming and happy holidays, from your friends at Peachjar!

By: Susan Le, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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Holiday Things to Do with Your Kids

The holidays are upon us! For many children, that means lots of down time. So why not help parents fill that time? We’ve come up with 25 fun holiday activities that get kids moving, thinking, and bonding with their families! Check out our recommendations, and comment with your own suggestions!

  1. Make s’mores
  2. Go biking or sledding
  3. Play card games
  4. Go bowling
  5. Have an indoor picnic
  6. Visit a museum
  7. Bake cookies
  8. Go to a festival of lights
  9. Create a scavenger hunt
  10. Play laser tag
  11. Volunteer in a soup kitchen
  12. Go ice skating
  13. Make a gingerbread house
  14. Go caroling
  15. Go skiing/snowboarding
  16. Do a random act of kindness
  17. Go for a hike
  18. See a play
  19. Learn to sew
  20. Donate a toy
  21. Make homemade hot coco
  22. Read a book
  23. Have a photo taking contest
  24. Do science experiments
  25. Write thank-you notes

Click to download our “Holiday Things to Do with your Kids” flyer templates in both English and Spanish. These can be used as-is or customized and distributed through Peachjar to parents! Download and click “enable editing” to view the complete template. Happy Holidays!

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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How to Build an Omni-Channel Strategy

responsive design.pngImage Source: Ami.responsivedesign.is

Today’s parents are always digitally connected in one way or another and to truly optimize how your customer experiences your brand, you really need to ensure that they have a consistent experience across all channels. The key to achieving this is to build an omni-channel strategy, which is the assurance of a seamless and consistent user experience of your brand across all channels and at all times. That means the design and tone of your brand should be similar on your desktop site, mobile site, email campaigns, social media, and any other associated channels.

In addition, it is important to ensure that your website has a responsive design, meaning that it is user friendly and similar in look and feel- regardless of device, operating system, and browser. Ami.responsivedesign.is is a free tool that you can use to see how your website appears on all devices. If you find that your website in not responsive, you can use a service like Cause Engine or Upwork to hire a freelance website designer.

Now without further ado, let’s jump into how you can build an omni-channel strategy! Here are 7 simple steps to help guide you through this process:

Step 1: Identify whom your business’ target audience is – For most of you, it’s most likely parents but whomever it is, it’s critical that you understand who your customer is and how they behave when making purchase decisions.

Step 2: Determine which channels you’ll target – Do your research on where your audience is spending their time. For example, Snapchat probably isn’t the best channel to invest in if you’re targeting parents, since most of the app users are young adults.

Step 3: Define your brand’s voice/look & feel/imagery by creating a style guide – It’s important to have what’s known as a style guide so that you, your designers, and your marketing team use consistent fonts, imagery, and overall tone and feel throughout your work. Here are some great examples of style guides of other brands.

Step 4: Set measurable goals or KPIs (key performance indicators) for your business, as well as for each campaign – Each campaign should be more successful than the last so it’s necessary to track and measure the results of your efforts to ensure that your KPIs are continually improving over time.

Step 5: Build a comprehensive annual campaign/editorial calendar – Once you generate an editorial calendar, you can start to ideate on content for those campaigns at an early stage and have the time and bandwidth to prepare your creative assets for all channels involved. Hubspot has a great article on how to create an editorial calendar using Google Calendar or Excel.

Step 6: Begin your campaign – Ensure that you are meeting your customers in all relevant channels with a consistent campaign message that resonates with your audience.

Step 7: Analyze campaign results and refine your strategy – Taking the time to look back at each campaign and how it performed allows you to uncover opportunities for improvement as well as identify strategies that work and should be incorporated into future initiatives. It’s all about lather, rinse, analyze, and repeat.

An omni-channel marketing strategy ensures a seamless, consistent, and user-friendly experience for your customers. We hope that this information helps you better connect with your audience and improves the overall success of your organization in a world where technology is constantly changing.

For more information on how to optimize your marketing strategy, be sure to check out Peachjar’s webinar series for program providers! Our next webinar will focus on leveraging the power of video to better connect with your audience and drive more revenue to your business. Sign up here.