Hit the books before your students do! 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds are enrolled in college. You have millions of students you can attract to your school, yet many colleges have shrinking enrollment rates.
In order to succeed, you need to consider bold marketing strategies. Running a content marketing campaign is one such strategy. But before you start posting content on your website, you should look at the essential steps for a successful campaign.
What should your campaign achieve? What types of content can you have in your campaign? How can you assess your content and change your efforts in the middle of your campaign so they are more successful?
Answer these questions and you can become an expert in marketing colleges online. Here is your comprehensive guide.
Define Your Target Audience
All content marketing campaign elements should appeal to a target audience. Your audience needs to be a narrowly tailored group of people who can find your services appealing.
Conduct market research so you understand what demographics you can appeal to. Take a look at your previous marketing campaigns, including ones that didn’t work. See who you targeted in those campaigns and consider pursuing the demographics you targeted in your successful efforts.
Once you’ve picked your audience, you should do further research on them. Think about what their values are and how you can reflect their values in your content.
If you run a college or trade school, your target audience is likely teenagers and young adults. You should prioritize young people in your local area, as college enrollment statistics suggest that most people go to schools within their states.
However, you can target older people if you want to diversify your campus. You can also target them if you run adult education programs and graduate programs and want to promote those services.
Different types of content can have different effects on your audience. No one type of content is better than the others, and you can develop several types during your campaign. Take a look at your options and follow a few suggestions for each option so you produce perfect content for your target audience.
Making videos is one of the best content marketing strategies of 2022, and it will remain popular into 2023. Many people think of YouTube when they hear about video content marketing. If you have started a YouTube channel for your school, you should consider doing so.
There is no time limit on YouTube videos, so your videos can be as long as you want. Most schools make short videos similar to television advertisements and upload them online. Their videos highlight essential features of their services and show important locations on campus.
Some schools also have testimonial videos. Current students and recent alumni talk about their experiences. This is a good way of showcasing your student government and letting students from different backgrounds talk about themselves.
But you can get creative. You can live stream classes so prospective students can see how they work.
YouTube is not the only platform for videos on the internet. Short-form video content can be effective on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. If you create a short advertisement for yourself, consider uploading it to your social media pages in addition to YouTube.
You can also try making content specifically for these short-form platforms. You can show one of your school’s bands or music teachers performing. Look at quick video marketing ideas like describing how students can enroll in your classes.
People expect very high-quality videos. You need to get cameras that record 4k video and clear audio. Try to find editing software besides iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.
Very few schools have their own podcasts, so starting one for your school will help you stand out. Podcasts offer long-form informational content. You can do a deep dive into your school and give your listeners all the information they need about your institution.
Many podcasts have an interview-style format. You can adopt this and interview school officials, faculty members, current students, and alumni. Try to give the listener a sense of what the atmosphere and camaraderie amongst students are like.
You should find a host for your podcast. The host could be a faculty member or a student. You can have two or more hosts and correspondents who conduct interviews outside the studio.
The audio quality for your podcast must be perfect. Find a studio your hosts can record themselves and add soundproofing materials so there is no outside noise. Get high-quality microphones and headphones so your guests can hear properly.
Infographics combine powerful visuals with concise pieces of information about your school. You can share them on your website and on social media.
Each infographic should have a point. You can have an infographic showing how your students find better jobs than students at other schools. Another infographic can talk about how your students do volunteer work or connect with their local community.
Charts, bullet points, and numbered lists all work on infographics. But make sure the information you present is clear and catchy. Don’t include too much text, as you risk cluttering your graphic.
Hire a graphic designer to make appealing graphics. If you need stock photography, get licenses for the images in advance.
Many schools have blogs on their websites. Some blogs are student-run, with student writers discussing campus issues and personal experiences. Other blogs are staff-run or have student and staff contributors.
You can have any writers you want for your blog, including ghostwriters. The key is to write posts that provide relevant advice to your readers’ lives.
You can write any length you want, though many blog posts are around 1,000 words long. Adopt a digestible format like a top-ten list or a how-to guide.
Each post should have a call to action linking to your contact page or another important landing page on your website. But your post should not be promotional in nature. Try to give information that helps your reader in their life so you come off as compassionate and knowledgeable.
If you’re looking to combine marketing content and SEO, you can do so in your regular blog posts. Incorporate SEO strategies that can drive up your student enrollment like backlinking. Adding links to other websites encourages search engines to list your website high on their results pages.
Try to get a blog post out at least once a week. The more frequently you post, the more attention you can grab. However, you should not post something just to post something.
Ebooks are another form of long-form content. If blog posts don’t give you enough room to talk about important subjects, you can go into more detail in ebooks.
You can give a full-length tutorial on how to find a great trade school and compare colleges together. You can also publish a book about the history of your school.
Ebooks require a lot of research and revisions. But they can establish your school as a leader in the industry. To save time, you can hire a ghostwriter or commission students to write for you.
Plan Your Content
After you’ve selected the content you want to publish, you need to plan your content out. Decide what subjects you want to explore and who can help you explore those subjects.
Figure out what you will publish and when. If you are writing a book and blog posts, you can publish blog posts and then the book. The posts can drum up interest in the book, and it can summarize what the posts are about.
You do not have to outline each piece of content, especially if you are producing many pieces. But you should have an idea of what each piece will be about.
You should also develop guidelines or standards that help your content producers make their content. Describe the voice you want and what the goal of your campaign is.
You will need money to create your content. Find a revenue stream and buy the equipment you need, especially video and sound equipment.
Try to have a useful content plan within your content marketing campaign. This plan creates information that is useful to your customers without being a direct sales pitch. Offering tips on how to solve a problem or giving suggestions on finding professionals in your industry are common ways to fulfill a useful content plan.
You can select a goal for you to hit. Be as specific as possible and include a time limit. If you want to grow your enrollment figures, you can set the goal of growing them by 10% over the next two years.
Call Your Audience to Action
Every piece of content you make should have a call to action. In videos, you can place the URL for your website as the final visual. You should also place a link to your website in the description for the videos.
In podcasts, you can read off the name of your website. If you have a special guest, you can have a call to action for them as well.
It can be tricky to include calls to action in your infographics. You can include a URL to your website, but it can be hard for people to type it in or paste it into their address bar. A subtle thing you can do is include your school logo in the upper corner of your graphic, reminding people of where the graphic came from.
In your blog posts, your call to action can be a link to an important page on your website. Keep your call to action short and use language like “contact us” or “make an appointment today.”
You should publish your contact information in your ebooks. Put your information at the front and back of your books. Mention the names of faculty members in your books so people know who to contact if they have questions about specific things.
Monitor Your Content Marketing Campaign
As your campaign is going, you should make adjustments to your content. See how many comments you get on your posts and videos.
If a certain type of content is getting a large response, make more of that type of content. You should also ease back on making content that isn’t registering with people.
Monitor your analytics functions on your website and social media pages. Try to compare your figures with the figures of other schools. If they’re getting more attention than you are, see how they are marketing themselves and integrate a few of their techniques.
After your campaign is done, evaluate what happened. See if you met your goal and figure out the reasons why you did or didn’t meet it.
Write a report about your campaign and keep it with you. You can go to experienced content marketers and get their perspectives on your campaign as well. Before you start your next campaign, you should review your report and find ways to distinguish your new efforts from your old ones.
Start a Great Content Marketing Campaign
A content marketing campaign is trickier than you think. You must determine a target audience you want to attract and select the best types of content to appeal to that audience.
Plan out the individual pieces of content you want to make well in advance. Each piece of content should have a call to action such as a link to your contact page. Keep track of your progress during the campaign and draw conclusions about your successes.
If you’re having trouble with your content, find experienced marketers. Local Finder serves colleges and trade schools throughout America. Contact us today.
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