Within the university business model, there’s a perpetual need to recruit more students. After one class graduates, a new group of freshmen arrives on campus. Because of this, unless you’re a prestigious college with centuries of reputation-building and name recognition, you must be purposeful and proactive with your student recruiting pipeline.

To help you with that, here are a few attention-grabbing content marketing strategies to deploy. 

Leverage Social Media

No modern content strategy is complete without fully embracing a social media model. 

Today, it’s the most effective marketing channel for people under the age of 18. They’re the primary demographics of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Not to mention, it’s the type of content they’re most likely to respond to. 

According to Campus Sonar, 83% of students utilize social media channels to research universities. In response, the majority of marketers (89%) believe that Instagram is the most powerful marketing tool they have to reach students. It’s especially useful for universities, boasting the highest engagement rate of any industry at 3.19%.  

Ways to leverage social media include: 

  • Posting alumni or professor features 
  • Telling micro-stories of students or campus experiences
  • Highlighting large, campus-wide events
  • Showing off dorm-life or student housing

Incorporate Visuals 

Students as a target market demographic prefer to watch videos or scroll through images than read text walls. 

Put simply, gifs, videos, and pictures increase engagement and clickthrough rates. But this is especially true for video, which 45% of all consumers and 56% of younger generations find more engaging than other content formats. 

Whether it’s for a blog or a social media post, adding visuals in your content helps to: 

  • Create whitespace
  • Draw the reader’s attention 
  • Emphasize a point  

Even selecting a few vital images can add spice to a relatively prosaic blog post. 

Make Your Content Relevant 

Generating content that’s relevant to a younger audience can be a tricky balance. On one hand, you want to write articles that excite and engage on a personal level. On the other, when using foreign jargon or phrasing, it can easily come off as inauthentic and, to use younger generation jargon, cringeworthy

Instead of speaking like them, you need to speak to them via creative ad copy. 

Remember, the goal of your content marketing isn’t simply to grab their attention, but to also convince them to apply. Therefore, all of your content should be a reflection of what university life has to offer. This should be true whether it’s for a blog post, video, or landing page.  

Take Advantage of Paid Ad 

While SEO is an essential part of a long-term organic content marketing strategy, PPC campaigns enable you to increase your university’s visibility in an instant. By carefully bidding on strategic keywords, you can target would-be students according to search intent. 

Similarly, you can also tailor a campaign to geo-target searchers in a specific region. This is especially important for smaller schools and city colleges who tend to have a significant percentage of students who are local to the region. 

Semgeeks—Higher Education Digital Marketing Done Right

Grabbing a teenager’s limited attention span is a challenge. For universities competing in an oversaturated marketplace, that becomes even more difficult. 

The universities that do succeed in their content marketing are those that leverage all of the tools at their disposal, including social media, visual mediums, personalized content, and PPC.  

Don’t know where to start? 

At Semgeeks, our team provides winning content creation services to a variety of high-learning institutions. From Monmouth to Mercer, we know how to build a content strategy that resonates with prospective students. 

Want to learn more ? Let’s talk!


Campus Sonar. Social Media Demographics for Higher Ed—2021. https://blog.campussonar.com/blog/social-media-demographics-for-higher-ed-2021

Market Dive. Study: 85% of millennials have purchased a product after watching a video. https://www.marketingdive.com/news/study-85-of-millennials-have-purchased-a-product-after-watching-a-video/541594/