Young people with their whole lives still ahead of them are looking for more than just a list of credentials when they evaluate their university options.
Higher education is an entire experience, so a university that’s serious about attracting the best students needs to be able to paint a vivid picture of what it would be like to study there.
That’s where content marketing comes in.
Dynamic, engaging content marketing for universities helps answer important questions that prospective students have about their future education. And it can show a student what college life could be like if they choose your school over the alternatives. Here’s what you need to know to get it right.
Download this post by entering your email below
The Role of Content Marketing in the Student Decision-Making Process
Deciding where to go to college is one of the most important life choices that a young person will ever make, so most invest a lot of time and energy in the selection process. They evaluate different options while comparing the best schools to one another, and they do it online.
Investing in a solid content marketing strategy will ensure your school appears on an eager student’s radar (and stays there). Here’s a closer look at some of the biggest benefits that content marketing for universities brings to the table.
Content marketing improves your SERP rankings
Ultimately, it won’t matter how great the social culture or scholarship programs are at your school if prospective students don’t even know you’re out there. Young people rely on the internet to deliver most of their answers, and Google is the first place they’ll go to start researching colleges.
That said, more than 25 percent of search engine users click the very first result on a Search Engine Results Page. And clickthrough rates decline dramatically as you scroll down the list, so the higher your website ranks, the better.
Content marketing helps deliver the SERP rankings you deserve.
Content marketing positions your school as an authority
Although choosing a college can be genuinely exciting for a young person, it’s also a stressful process. Tomorrow’s university students have a lot of burning questions that need answers today, and content marketing can help ensure they look to you for the information they desire.
Content marketing supports a positive brand image
A university is more than a place for people to further their education and improve their futures. It’s also a brand with an image, a voice, and a reputation to cultivate. And the more familiar a brand is to a particular person, the more likely they are to choose that brand when they’re ready to move forward with a decision.
Content marketing for universities supports higher rates of brand recognition among your students and their families. People also perceive brands in a more positive way when they provide helpful information on demand.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy for Student Attraction
So, how exactly should a university go about developing an effective content marketing strategy? Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.
Know your audience
Effective content is material that successfully addresses the needs of its target audience. So, what is your ideal student actually like? How old are they, where do they live, and what are they generally looking for in a university?
Use the answers to questions like these to create target personas, and craft your content to match their needs and interests.
Start a blog
Search engines like Google favor frequently updated websites that are full of meaty, helpful content. And one of the most effective ways to make sure your site fits the bill is to add a blog.
Develop a content production schedule for your blog and stick to it. Coordinate it with your social media posting schedule for the best results. Use keyword research to learn what your prospective students search for, and create posts that address their needs in unique, original ways.
Incorporate storytelling into your strategy
People love nothing more than a good story, and it’s not hard to see why. Stories help an audience feel involved and invested in the content they consume, and successful brands know how to tell them well.
Remember, a student is looking for more than just a great education at the university they choose. They want to know what the experience of attending your university will be like, and effective storytelling can help them picture it.
One way to accomplish this is to leverage personal stories from students you already have.
Does your school organize legendary on-campus events or offer amazing opportunities for students with particular majors? Maybe you have an incredible distance education program that people should consider. Feature content that includes commentary from students who already benefit from these options.
Include a variety of content types
Great content marketing for universities shouldn’t start and stop with traditional written content. Keep things exciting and multi-faceted by also including videos, infographics, how-to guides, podcasts, and more.
Different people tend to favor different content types and storytelling styles, so mixing things up will help attract a wide variety of leads.
Measure and analyze performance
It’s essential to record, measure, and analyze the data associated with your university content marketing campaign. That’s how you’ll know which posting strategies, content types, and topics resonate best with your target audience. Key metrics to track include:
- Overall traffic
- Bounce rate
- Dwell time
- Total number of pages visited
Scaling Your University’s Content Production
Once you’ve mastered the basics of content marketing for universities, it’s time to work on scaling your content production. However, it’s important to do this in a way that doesn’t sacrifice quality or brand identity.
Consider building a team of professional freelance writers and content creators to help you produce the amount of quality content that you’ll need to pull ahead of the pack and stay there.
A trusted content platform like WriterAccess simplifies the process of finding the right people and putting together a strategy that yields results.
At the end of the day, a university needs amazing content and plenty of it to succeed in the digital age.
Take the guesswork out of the process of crafting your ideal strategy when you sign up for a free 14-day WriterAccess trial today. Connect with some of the best writers in the business and scale your strategy with content that truly turns heads.