You have a pile of papers on your desk, the phone is ringing off the hook, and you’re stressed. Enrollment has declined another 5% and you don’t know what else to do. You’ve tried new content marketing tips and strategies, you’ve paid for advertising, but nothing is working.
Does this sound familiar?
We get it, marketing is tough, but we’re here to help.
These content marketing tips can help you spice up your marketing strategy and increase student enrollment.
Keep reading to save your school and impress the board of directors.
Why Do You Need Content Marketing Tips?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Basically, you are providing your potential customers (or students) with information, and in return, they reward you with their loyalty.
The CMI’s digital content marketing stats show that 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. In addition, 72% say it has increased the number of leads.
Think about it. Don’t you trust brands that educate you? This is why content marketing is important, and these 11 tips will get you started.
1. Define Your Goals
If you don’t have any goals, how can you measure success?
If you don’t have any goals, how can you create a strategy or plan?
The answer is you can’t.
it’s important to understand your goals to create a solid content marketing strategy, and the more specific you get, the better.
Of course, you want to increase enrollment, but who, what, why? Would you like to increase female enrollment? Is your aircraft mechanic program seeing a significant decline? Are you going to lose funding for outreach programs?
The answers to these questions are critical to creating a good strategy.
If your goal is to increase female enrollment, maybe you create content for single mothers or utilize Pinterest. Maybe you create a Youtube series on women alumni and their careers.
Clearly defined goals will allow you to better understand your audience and what basket you should place your eggs in.
If you skip this process, you will be trying to market to everyone, and that’s a surefire way to fail.
2. Understand Your Audience
In 2018, millennials accounted for 54% of trade school enrollments, and 94% of total enrollments were male students. Based on these statistics, your primary audience is men born from 1981 to 1996.
Where do these men hang out? Where can you reach them?
Facebook has the highest usage of your target audience. 79% of adults between the ages of 18 and 49 and 63% of men use Facebook at least once daily. The only other platform that can compare is Youtube, used by 73% of adults.
What if you want to target women with your content? Facebook and Youtube are both great platforms, but maybe you can share your blog posts to Pinterest, whose demographic is largely women.
Dig even deeper by getting to know your audience’s interests. Let’s say you’re trying to increase enrollment for a new nurse’s assistant program, which is a predominately female field. How will you relate to this audience, and where will you publish content? Maybe you arrange a guest post on a women’s career blog and create infographics for Pinterest.
The main key here is to adjust your strategy based on your goals and understanding your audience.
3. Diversify Your Strategy
“I started a blog. Is that not good enough?”
Not quite. Student populations are diverse, and your strategy should be as well.
As we mentioned earlier, defining goals and understanding your audience is key to your success. You don’t have to try every platform, but you can pick 2 or 3 to focus on.
Maybe you blog, and you share to Pinterest and Facebook. Maybe you create Youtube videos and Facebook content only. With digital users’ attention split in a million different directions, just one platform won’t work.
With any platform that you decide, make sure it aligns with your audience and goals. For example, Linkedin may not be the best platform, as most users are already college students or working professionals. The users on Snapchat and Tik Tok could be too young, and the environment may be more fun-focused.
This will require some research and maybe trial-and-error, but any good strategy can be tweaked.
4. Create With Consistency
Do you have a content calendar and brand guidelines for your teams?
Do you post to Facebook everyday and blog once a week? Are Youtube videos biweekly or monthly? Do you have social media templates?
Consistency is critical in content marketing, but how do you create this consistency?
Create a Content Calendar
Based on the goals your team defined, create a calendar. This will allow everyone to stay ahead of the curve and on the same page. If you have a team, you can assign tasks to specific team members. This can reduce procrastination and last-minute scrambles to create content.
Establish Brand Guidelines
What’s your content’s tone? Is it is serious or humorous? Do you spell out numbers like one or use 1? Do you use the school colors and logo in your social media posts or keep it plain and simple?
All of these minute details add up to overall consistency. You don’t want to confuse potential students about who you are and what your school stands for.
Establish brand guidelines that layout these details so everyone is on the same page about your content.
5. Implement SEO
You’ve been writing blog posts and creating videos, but all you get in return is crickets. No leads, no conversions, just wasted time and effort.
What’s the point of content if it never gets seen? How do you even get to the top page of Google or even Youtube? How do your future students find you online?
SEO marketing for schools doesn’t have to be scary. You can start with these few tips.
Create a Powerful Keyword Strategy
Are you doing keyword research before creating blog posts or video content?
Put yourself in your potential students’ shoes. What are they searching for? Technical colleges in Orlando, Florida? Cosmetology programs in Atlanta, GA? Focus on the exact language that they would be searching for. Ranking for an automotive technician keyword may not help if your audience is searching for a mechanic.
Understanding your audience and doing the research will help you rank higher. Use these keywords on your website, in your blog, and even on your social media profiles where they are relevant.
Address Technical Issues
Technical issues with your website can hurt your rankings. Ensure that your web page is loading at optimal speeds and that the site is mobile friendly.
Fix any broken links and remove duplicate content.
These simple things can drag you down in the rankings, but they are easily fixable and give you a good boost combined with a good keyword strategy.
6. Always Use a CTA
Have you had issues with conversions, leads, or traffic? Is your content lacking a call-to-action?
A CTA is a marketing term for any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale.
Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.
CTAs are critical, and you need to use them everywhere: social media, video, blog content, and your website.
What is driving your audience to learn more about this program, sign up for a consultation, or request a campus tour?
They can’t “learn more” if there isn’t an option, but sometimes that button isn’t enough. Explain why they’d want to.
For example, Kimberly Snyder was able to increase conversions by 144% by forcing visitors to watch an informational video on their services before presenting a CTA.
Testing out different CTAs and being willing to experiment will lead you to CTA success.
7. Incorporate Lead Magnets
Are potential students waiting in line to give you their contact information? Likely not.
Email marketing is still very essential, but it’s becoming harder to capture emails, so how do you do that?
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information.
Lead magnets are often used in the blogging community, and they could help your school improve enrollment.
In your blog post about the financial aid options, you can offer a downloadable checklist for the application process, or in your video about the automotive program, you can offer a free Ebook on becoming a successful auto technician.
Think about what information you can provide to your audience that will be beneficial and offer it in exchange for their email address.
Once you’ve captured their email addresses, you can create a relationship with them, making it easier to get them in for a visit or on the phone for a consultation. Create an email sequence that lets them know you care.
People want to do business with brands they trust and that includes schools.
8. Create Videos
Ahh, video marketing; a buzzword you’ve probably heard several times. What’s the hype?
One-third of online activity is spent watching video. Video is everywhere, and it’s here to stay.
So how should your school incorporate video into its content marketing strategy? Explainer videos.
What are explainer videos? Simply put, they are educational and informative video content.
We recommend that you get creative with video and have fun, but here are 3 examples of explainer video content you can create.
1. How-To Videos
You can create how-to videos like how to enroll or how to file for FAFSA. You can get creative with the programs you offer by creating how-to segments, like how to change a tire.
2. Benefits Videos
This kind of video covers all or a majority of the benefits of a product or service. Often, you’ll see these videos on the landing page of a product or the cover of a website. Think benefits of the school or a particular program.
You can even do virtual or augmented reality videos, which is perfect if you offer a production program. You can offer a virtual tour of campus for students that may be out of state.
Have fun with video content!
9. Repurpose Your Content
You spent a lot of time and money on your content. You don’t have to let that go to waste.
Repurposing your content is a great way to achieve a great ROI.
Repurposing not only allows you to get your money’s worth, but it also saves valuable time.
You’ve already decided to focus on different strategies, but you don’t have to spread your team too thin. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time.
For example, your team created the video series on women alumni we mentioned earlier. Now what? You can share a clip on Facebook or go live on Instagram with one of the interviewees. You can create a downloadable list of tips from women executives.
Your blog posts can span out as several social media posts and lead people to your website for the full post.
The sky is the limit when repurposing content. Get creative.
10. Measure Your Performance
Now that you’ve implemented new tips and tricks, what’s next?
Measure, measure, measure.
Review your performance for all of your strategies to uncover what’s successful and what isn’t.
How many leads have you gotten since you added a video before your CTA? How many downloads of the Ebook did you get? Did you rank on Google for a keyword?
11. Revise Your Strategy
You’ve measured your performance; great!
What didn’t work? Tweak it.
What did work it? Keep it.
A stagnant strategy equals stagnant results. Your strategy should evolve based on the results you’ve received. No marketing strategy is constant.
Get Started Today
These new content marketing tips can become overwhelming, but we have a team of experts waiting to help you.
Contact us today to learn more about content marketing and the services we provide.