How Your University Can Score an A+ with Content Marketing
You put a lot of effort into marketing your higher education brand so that prospective students can see the benefits that come from attending your institution.
Although direct mail marketing used to be the signature recruitment strategy for schools, students have now moved online, making content marketing the most efficient vehicle to build and showcase this community engagement.
Today, 96 percent of prospective students and parents begin their college search online. And if your organization isn’t doing enough to attract their attention during this important information-gathering period, your institution may not be a serious contender when it comes time for a student to make a selection.
Whether it’s blog posts, e-books, or social media, content marketing can help your institution drive traffic and grow enrollment. Here’s how:
Community builds enrollment
The desire to build an online community is what drives leading educational institutions like Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to embrace a content marketing strategy that makes use of social media and informative, engaging content such as well-crafted blog posts. In addition to offering an attractive website filled with information on the school, Stanford also hosts an informative blog with creative and relevant content for current prospective students (and their parents). The school also maintains a vibrant social presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Are these content marketing efforts just icing on the cake? Definitely not. The school’s social media accounts have earned hundreds of thousands of views, likes, follows, and followers.
These numbers represent a vast network of prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, and industry leaders who are building a relationship with the institution and learning what it has to offer. Together, these platforms deliver thousands of opportunities each month for prospective students to start seeing themselves as a part of the school’s community.
Authenticity and diversity count
Do you need to create content of every type on every social media platform out there? Definitely not. But you do want to have a range of content types that serve different functions. And you’ll want to start by understanding where your audience lives online and how to skillfully connect with them on each of those platforms.
Like all good marketing, content marketing starts with a deep understanding of your audience. That foundation allows you to weave a welcoming story that is both authentic and meaningful to them. Our model school cultivates this authentic connection with its student body with a carefully curated Tumblr, a quirky and less buttoned-up platform that features graphics, inspirational blog posts, pictures, and student success stories.
For students who want to go deeper and find out how different campus communities, resources, events, and opportunities can enrich their lives, you’ll want to make use of high-value content assets like e-books, engaging and informative blog posts, and smart, well-written website copy. Carefully curated bylined articles by your university’s prominent faculty can do wonders to attract the best-fit students. And, of course, one of the most effective ways to share your vision and attract new students is by maintaining a lively social media presence.
As you consider your enrollment goals for each new semester, focus on how you market your educational organization online. Content marketing could be a powerful ally to help you build your educational brand, establish an attractive online community, and put your best foot forward with prospective students (not to mention alums). For some organizations, this might mean developing a content strategy from scratch. For others, you may simply need to scale your current marketing efforts to include a wider range of content, an increased volume of content, or a more nuanced approach to the content you’re already creating.
Either way, the editors at Prose Media are here to help you achieve your vision of high-quality content marketing for education. Sign up today for free, no-obligation access to our platform. We would love to see what you have in mind.