Attracting excellent students, securing outstanding faculty and staff, and motivating alumni to donate to support school initiatives are just some of the common objectives shared by all institutions.
Traditional and digital marketing methods must be used in order to stand out from the many other businesses in their industry. Here are a few tips and examples of successful university content marketing approaches.
Make an Alumni Magazine, Whether it’s Online or Printed
For example, Harvard University has published its alumni magazine since 1898, making it one of the early adopters of content marketing. Alumni magazines are now published annually or quarterly by hundreds of schools. Innovative educational initiatives, faculty members’ ground-breaking research, alums’ diverse career choices, and more complicated feature stories regarding education are all represented here.
According to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, 58 percent of alumni believe that alumni magazines increase their personal connections to colleges.
The price of printing and delivering a magazine was a deterrent for some universities. Now, institutions can use online distribution to enhance or replace print distribution, especially for current students and younger alums, who tend to read more online. In the event that you don’t have the funds to hire a full-time alumni magazine editor, consider working with a content marketing agency that can collaborate with your in-house communications staff.
If a college magazine needs to be converted, a simple PDF will do, but an online magazine publishing solution like Issuu will provide a better user experience by allowing users to turn pages online.
Create Distinct Web Content Centers for Each of your Target Demographics
To establish an audience online, you should focus on creating compelling content that will appeal to each of your designated groups through specialized content hubs, which are typically found in the news section of college websites.
Blogs, movies, images, podcasts and other snippets of campus life are shared by current students on the site. Even while the portal is geared toward current students, the information it contains is available to the general public, making it an excellent tool for attracting new students.
Promote School Life on Social Media Sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter and Facebook can help you stay in touch with your supporters on a daily basis and provide you the opportunity to create closer ties with your constituents through these platforms.
Your university’s departments and programs are likely to necessitate separate Twitter and Facebook profiles. These accounts can be used to promote specific programs, such as the law or business school’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Ensure that the program directors are well-versed in the use of social media to communicate with the students and to share real-time updates, links to departmental news, and other relevant information. Creating a “social media map” on your website with links to all of the school’s social media profiles might also be beneficial.
“Listicles” on Campus
“Listicles” don’t have to be short, clickbait-style articles. Lists of fascinating facts or relevant information about your institution can be included.
The simple design highlights features of your university that prospective students could find interesting or want to learn more about. These articles are more likely to be read because of their short, snappy format.
Listicles are usually simple to write: choose a topic, collect 10 to 20 talking points, and elaborate on each with one or two paragraphs.
It’s also a terrific method to present short interviews or snippets of talks with students — for example, 10 Surprising Reasons Why Students Love Our School.
Listicles aren’t just for blog articles; they can also be used to produce a slideshow/video or an infographic to drive social sharing.
Checklists, Worksheets, and College-Entry Information
Early on, start building trust and relationships with your prospective students by giving useful information to assist them with their college or graduate school application processes.
Tips on how to prepare for standardized exams like the SAT, GRE, or LSAT, checklists of documents required for their application, or a cheat sheet of key step deadlines are all useful information to position your institution as a helpful ally and allow you to start the conversation early in their decision-making process.
Make Guides that People Can Download
Providing useful information is a fantastic method to build trust and relationships. In-depth topics, such as how to apply for a scholarship or create a college budget, frequently necessitate a longer format than a standard blog post or a 5-minute YouTube video.
These are excellent content ideas for downloadable guides, which are typically generated in PDF versions so that students may access the information whenever they need it. You might also include interactive worksheets to help pupils apply what they’ve learned.
Repurposing old assets is a terrific way to go with long-form content. Because the guides are substantial pieces of information, you can use them to collect emails from potential students in order to follow up with extra content and information.
Make Webinars that Teach How to do Something or That are Interactive
Webinars are excellent for holding a potential student’s attention for a lengthy time – often 45 minutes or more.
It’s a great way to reach out to out-of-state or international students and give them a taste of what your university has to offer.
Most webinar software allows attendees to speak with the host in real-time, allowing potential students to ask questions.
Here are some webinar suggestions:
- Tips and guidance on how to successfully handle the application process
- A description of the school’s curriculum and what students can expect when they start.
- What’s going on in an academic unit is discussed with a department dean.
- Questions and answers with admissions staff, instructors, or students
Make sure your material is current and presents a compelling tale, regardless of medium.
Your target audience is at a pivotal point in their life. To position your institution as an ally in navigating this new chapter of their lives, create content that is both helpful and sensitive.