Only 41% of marketers are now planning their content marketing strategies. Documenting your content strategy could set you up for success. In fact, when looking at marketers with successful strategies, 69% documented their plans.
The 16% who were least successful, however, didn’t.
With wow-worthy content marketing for colleges, you can boost awareness and draw more students to your institution. Without a strategy, however, students could struggle to learn about your school.
What they learn through your content could inspire them to enroll.
Don’t miss a chance to kick up admissions this year! Instead, use these tips to develop your content marketing for higher education. Give your brand a boost using these easy tips today.
Developing Your Strategy
Before you start creating content, it helps to have a plan. Otherwise, your content might not appeal to students. If you can’t appeal to their interests, they’ll take their time and attention elsewhere.
Instead, start developing a plan before creating your content.
Here are a few tips for content marketing in education. With these tips, you can increase your chances of developing brand awareness. Your engaging content can help you boost admissions and remain ahead of the competition.
1. Set Goals
First, take the time to establish your goals. Setting goals can help you measure your progress along the way. They can also help you determine what type of content to create.
Make sure your goals are SMART. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Driven, and Timely. Once you establish your SMART goals, break them into smaller goals.
If you’re not meeting your benchmarks by the deadlines you set, you’ll know it’s time to update your strategy.
For example, you might want to set goals for:
- Gaining website traffic
- Increasing social sharing with your content
- Boosting brand awareness
- Developing brand trust
- Improving your search engine rankings
- Generating more email/newsletter subscribers
- Increasing form submissions on your website
- Increasing admissions
Then, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for each goal. For example, you can measure the number of website visitors you generate. Maybe you want to consider how long people are staying on a given page.
As you use these content marketing tips, make sure to review your website analytics. Determine which pieces of content gain the most engagement. Then, use that information to better inform your marketing strategy in the future.
2. Know Your Audience
About 90% of leading marketers say personalization contributes to business profitability. Over 30% say understanding and engaging the right customers is essential. If you don’t research your audience, you won’t create the content they want.
Try to break your large target audience into groups. For example, you can segment students based on their majors and courses. Maybe you want to segment older versus younger students.
Once you create each group, learn more about their interests.
What questions are they asking? What do they type into Google to find institutions like yours? What problems are they currently experiencing?
Answering these questions can help you create relevant content.
3. Find Ways to Educate
Before you start creating your higher education content, think of ways you can educate your audience. Educating your readers can nurture people who are further along the buyer’s journey.
For example, some students might already know your institution exists. However, they might wonder what sets you apart from other schools. You can use your content to demonstrate your unique value.
People will feel more informed about your institution, then consider contacting someone in your admissions office. They might decide to take a tour.
Try to avoid pushing admissions too hard. Instead of sales-heavy language, focus on informing your readers instead.
Educational content will show people your helpful, reliable, and informative.
4. Improve Readability
Most people will skim through your content. Before you start writing, look for ways to improve your writing. For example, you can make content easier to read by:
- Organizing content into headings and subheadings
- Using bullet points or lists
- Using shorter sentences and paragraphs
- Avoiding passive tense
Try running your content through Hemmingway App to find other ways to improve a piece’s readability.
5. Use Imagery
A picture says a thousand words! Adding imagery to your content can help you engage readers. In fact, you can earn over 90% more page views for your posts by including relevant images.
Avoid using stock imagery, which can make your posts look ingenuine.
Instead, take pictures around your school. Show off your school’s latest events or students around campus.
As you use these tips, make sure to keep your branding consistent as well. Brand consistency can boost brand recognition. Your brand includes your:
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Imagery styles
- Font styles
- Color palette
Students will have an easier time recognizing the content is yours if your brand is consistent.
6. Get Optimized
The number one result in Google’s organic search results has an average clickthrough rate of 31.7%. Meanwhile, only 0.78% of people look at the second page. If you’re not ranking at the top of a Google search, students might not find your college.
With search engine optimization (SEO), you can boost your ranking. SEO will help you appear in front of more students online. It can also help you:
- Generate brand awareness and build recognition
- Position you ahead of competing schools
- Establish your credibility in the industry
- Boost brand trust and loyalty
- Generate website traffic
- Boost leads
- Improve your ROI
In fact, SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media. SEO leads also have a 14.6% close rate.
The backbone of SEO is fresh, engaging content. As you develop your content, you can optimize it for search engines.
First, make sure to complete your audience research. Determine what keywords and phrases students use in a search. Then, you can create content based on those search queries.
Choose a single target keyword for each post. Then, make sure to include the keyword in the post’s:
- Page title
- Opening paragraph
- Closing paragraph
- Body text
- Image alt text
- Meta description
- An H1 heading
You can improve your SEO by keeping EAT in mind, too. EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Establishing EAT in your posts can boost your credibility.
Use your content to demonstrate your experience and expertise.
7. Share on Social
Once you start creating your content, make sure to share it. Sharing your content on social media can direct more people to your website. You can gain referral traffic, which might benefit your SEO ranking.
You can also send email newsletters containing your latest posts.
Add social sharing buttons to your website as well. Students will have an easier time sharing your content on their social media pages. Then, you can reach an even larger audience.
8. Keep Up With Trends
As you develop your content marketing strategy, make sure to keep up with the latest trends.
For example, adding videos to landing pages could increase conversions by 86%. In fact, people watch over 500 million hours of video on YouTube every day.
Nearly 70% of people prefer video over text when learning about a brand. Viewers retain 95% of the information after watching a video, too.
In fact, videos are shared 1,200% more than written content, too.
Use video content to show off your campus. Interview students and faculty members. You can engage viewers and help them learn more about your institution.
9. Collaborate With Others
You don’t have to develop content marketing for colleges alone. Instead, consider working with collaborators. For example, you can have current students or alumni post about your school on their social media accounts.
Collaborating can expand your reach and boost brand awareness. You can leverage someone else’s brand trust to build your own, too.
10. Consider Your Website
Before you post content on your website, make sure your website is up-to-date. A slow, outdated website could hurt your content marketing strategy.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to make sure nothing slows your site down. Then, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure you’re mobile-optimized. If your site isn’t optimized, people might struggle to engage with your content on smaller screens.
You can also use user experience (UX) design trends to ensure your website is easier to use. UX design trends might benefit your SEO strategy, too.
Creating Your Content
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing. It generates three times as many leads, too.
Now that you have your content marketing strategy in place, you can start creating your actual content. Here are a few forms of content you might want to consider.
The three most popular forms of content include blog posts (86%), case studies (42%), and customer success stories (36%). Meanwhile, the most popular distribution channels include social media (94%) and email (76%).
The tactics you find work best for your institution might differ, though. Take the time to experiment with content marketing for colleges.
You might find your audience prefers one format among the rest.
1. Write Informative Blog Posts
You can use engaging blog posts to inform readers and help them learn more about your institution. Make sure to write using your institution’s brand voice and tone.
As you write your blog posts, try to include high-authority links within your content. For example, you can link to studies or research. Link internally to pages on your website, too (like the admissions page).
Using links could boost your SEO ranking.
Consider guest blogging, too. You can write a blog on someone else’s website. Then, link to your institution’s website within the content.
You can generate backlinks, which can boost your SEO ranking further.
As you create your blog posts, consider different formats, including:
- Latest industry news updates
- Tutorials/how-to guides
- Current events at your school
- Controversial subjects
- Inspirational posts
Don’t forget to consider what questions prospective students are asking online. Then, answer those questions within your posts!
Need a hand with your blog writing? Discover how we can help.
2. Gather Student Testimonials
Gathering student testimonials is a great way to boost brand awareness and your credibility. Current students can talk up your institution. They could help pique a prospective student’s interest.
You can post testimonials as text. Consider creating engaging testimonial videos, too. Videos can give a voice and face to each testimonial.
Otherwise, ask your students to post their reviews on your Google My Business listing. They could help boost your SEO ranking further.
Then, you can start reaching more prospective students.
3. Design Eye-Catching Infographics
Take one of your data-filled blog posts and reformat it. Infographics are easy to skim through and learn from.
For example, you can create an infographic to showcase data about your student body. Infographics can help you explain complex, detailed subjects, too.
4. Host Virtual Reality Tours
Try creating an immersive experience with eye-catching virtual tours. Virtual reality tours can offer prospective students a 3D tour of your campus. Help them see the beauty your campus has to offer!
If prospective students aren’t ready for an in-person tour, you can still provide them with the information they need.
5. Start Rolling Videos
Remember, videos are a great way to engage your audience. You can create different types of video blog content, including:
- Brand films
- Educational videos
- Video documentaries
- 360 experiences
- Video emails
Add a transcript to your videos to support your SEO strategy.
6. Interview at Your Institution
Consider interviewing students or faculty members. Interviews can help prospective students learn from someone else’s point of view.
You can interview someone new at your college every week.
Otherwise, consider planning a podcast! Podcasts are gaining in popularity. They’re engaging and easy to consume.
7. Interact With Polls and Quizzes
As you use these content marketing higher education tips, look for ways to boost engagement, too. For example, you can create interactive polls and quizzes. People will click on your content and linger on your website.
Boosting your clickthrough rate and dwell times can further improve your SEO ranking.
Meanwhile, you can start testing prospective students before they even enroll!
Engage Your Audience: Effective Content Marketing Tips for Schools
Don’t miss a chance to engage your target audience or draw in new leads. Instead, use these easy content marketing tips. With these tips, you can reach more students online.
They can learn more about your institution before deciding to enroll!
Need help developing your content marketing for colleges? We’re happy to lend a hand.
Contact us today to get started.