Amp Up Higher Education Content
Compared to other industries and organizations, colleges and universities easily have some of the most diverse target audiences. Establishments of higher education are likely trying to reach potential undergraduate students, parents of potential students, potential graduate students, potential transfer students, current students, alumni, and stakeholders or donors. Each audience requires different channels; alumni are on LinkedIn, potential students are on Instagram (and many more social networks), and parents of potential students might be reached by direct mail. There is only one thing that remains consistently successful among all target audiences: quality content. At the Contentinators®, an expert content marketing agency, we realize there is more to good content marketing than just well-written articles. Here are four ways to amp up your content marketing efforts.
Consider Your Chosen Channel
Marshall McLuhan nailed it on the head when he proclaimed, “the medium is the message.” The channels you choose to broadcast your content on are actually saying something to your audience. Good content isn’t just good writing. Are you trying to reach potential students? Use a young and fun channel like Buzzfeed. Loras College, a small, liberal arts college in the Midwest, created this quirky quizthat determines what kind of Duhawk you are. It spread quickly on social media, and before Loras knew it, students’ friends all across the United States were trying to figure out what kind of Duhawk they are, not to mention what a Duhawk even is. Potential Duhawks saw that Loras College was fun and trendy. Trying to reach alumni? Easily find them on LinkedIn. Trying to elicit donations? Try creating a presentation on SlideShare, home to 60 million monthly visitors.
People are Consuming 100,000 Words per Day
Stop writing so many words. Don’t get us wrong; blogs and written content are invaluable, but if you really want to stand out, produce something remarkable! Break through the 100K of clutter with something visual. Infographics, animated video, webinars, and interactive content can bring your words to life and address questions that people are searching for answers to. Check out Pepperdine’s docuseries, Rising Tide. This docuseries communicated more about student experience than a widely targeted blog ever will.
Crowdsourcing is Your Friend
The rise of social media, especially among young people, has resulted in an abundance of new content and content creation potential. Some of the best higher education campaigns have resulted from crowdsourcing content that truly represents the spirit of an institution. Gone are the days of stiff stock photos. Potential students are trying to understand your institution through the lens of a student, so show it to them that way. Use the Repost app for Instagram to share photos (with the user’s permission, of course) and host student “take-overs” of Snapchat. Utilize user-generated content from a variety of channels to create content that is truly representative of your school’s spirit. Check out the University of Roehampton site and Instagram to see some awesome examples.
Some of the Best Content Addresses Questions Already Being Asked
Oftentimes, the best content is high quality and answers questions that are already being asked. That is how the majority of content is found. For example, FAFSA is searched for between one to 10 million times per month on Google. Parents and students want to know what it is, how to fill it out, when it’s due, and how much financial aid to expect. Give them answers and introduce them to your college or university at the same time. Are your donors wondering where their money is going? Create an infographic to show them. Are your transfers trying to see which of their credits will transfer? Create a guide that will show them. Find the questions and provide the answers.
As content marketing experts, The Contentinators® know that great content is more than just the piece of content itself. The higher education landscape is constantly changing and evolving and requires an individualized and unique strategy. Simply producing good content is no longer good enough.