Essential Content to Optimize When Recruiting Students

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Content marketing is one of the many tools you have available to set your higher institution apart from others. Whether it’s highlighting campus events or promoting things going on at your university, content is an excellent way to share what’s taking place on your grounds.

As you probably know, creating content is only half the work. And sadly, it’s probably the easier half. Distributing content and getting it into the right hands is the other part, and it’s a bit more complicated. Not only can it be challenging to get your information noticed, but also you only have so much control over which eyes are seeing your content.

Which Content Should I Be Utilizing for Recruitment?

To ensure that your content is getting into the right hands, tracking and measuring is essential. You can gain a deeper understanding into the types of content your audience enjoys most, how often it’s being shared and where it’s being shared. You can also determine whether your content is effective at turning visitors into leads and leads into applicants.

In this post, we are going to discuss the types of content that you should optimize when recruiting students and where they fit into your overall digital marketing strategy.

Let’s start!

Your Website

Websites are one of the most important pieces of your higher education marketing strategy. They are the first place that prospective students turn to when they want to learn more about a particular program. According to research conducted by Geyer, 50 percent of high school seniors and 42 percent of juniors believe that the quality of a website directly reflects the quality of the institution.

This makes a lot of sense. If a higher education institution can’t get their website right, how are they going to deliver a great experience?

As you look over your website, make sure that it conveys the message that you intend to deliver. What perception does it leave? Is there attention to detail? Is the content informative, valuable and interesting? Does the website offer an intuitive and seamless experience?

Your Blogs

A second type of content that is pivotal to the student experience is your blog content. Yes, blogs are included on your website, but they deserve attention of their own.

Blogs connect students and prospects with higher education institutions. Blogs get students excited for things that are going on around campus and keep them informed. They also educate prospective students on the enrollment journey and help them visualize what it would be like to attend their school.

While many blogs can be written by your admissions or marketing departments, others are better left to the students themselves. Who better to share experiences and talk about how your program fits into their lives than current students themselves! Not to mention, prospects want to hear from students. They feel that their accounts give credibility to the college experience.

Blogs are also important to SEO. As you generate more articles about various aspects of your college, more people will find your content online and be directed toward your higher institution. This is a great way to improve your online presence and generate the image you intend to.

Your Social Media Channels

Social media may look easy, but without a clearly defined strategy, you’ll never know if what you’re doing is working. Aside from maintaining an active presence on the major social networks, you also need to decide how you’re going to divide up your information.

For instance, LinkedIn is the best channel for posting research-based content, professional content or graduate content. Blogs that are more lighthearted in nature and shed light on student life are best posted on Facebook or Twitter. Instagram is a visual social app, so post your best pictures here.

Rather than posting content wherever you feel like it, be conscious of the social channels that you are on. Knowing where to put what makes a huge impact in reaching the right people.

Your Video Profile

Video is an important content marketing channel that you should be utilizing, although many institutions are slow to adapt. Some colleges and universities admit that they are intimidated by creating videos, so they avoid them altogether. But imagine what a prospective student will think when they land on your YouTube channel and the last video posted was from 2009?

Your YouTube channel deserves content. If you don’t have many videos on your account, start with the basics. Do you have footage of your campus, dorms, cafeterias and facilities? Do you have interviews with top professors? Maybe you have videos that you don’t know what to do with. Working with an SEO team can help make sense of your videos and organize them in a way that will benefit your institution.

As you flesh out your YouTube channel, segment your videos based on various programs. This will make it easier for prospects to find the information they’re looking for. A student interested in engineering won’t care to see videos on your nursing program, and vice versa.

Paid Media

If you’re running PPC campaigns, you want to make the most of your resources. Why pay for clicks that aren’t getting you anywhere?

A great way to make better use of your paid media budget is to utilize related content on your landing pages. If you have a landing page that lists off a few great reasons why a student should choose your psychology program, you can align it with related content.

Repurpose the material into an infographic, quiz or short video. This might be the extra push that the prospect needs to complete the desired action. When you combine great content with an effective CTA, you can drive highly targeted traffic to your college website.

Content makes a huge difference for higher institutions, but you have to know which information to share and where. To stretch your time and money further, don’t be afraid to repurpose content. If you have engaging information to share, you can easily tweak the the content and post it across multiple channels to recruit the most students possible.

 

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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