The higher education market is growing more competitive, forcing colleges and universities to think beyond traditional marketing efforts. Even so, many higher institutions struggle to differentiate themselves from others. Students also have more options than ever before, including online education and study abroad programs. If these programs offer the experiences that many millennials find important, it will further decrease the demand for the traditional four-year institution.
Why Higher EDU Content Marketing is Vital
To keep your college or university front and center, content must be part of your strategy. Sometimes it can feel redundant, but rest assured that it works. You can produce content for a relatively low cost, especially if it’s written in-house. A single piece of content can then be repurposed. This gives your school continued exposure and starts developing relationships with potential students.
In addition to getting students familiar with your higher institution, content is also something that you exclusively “own”. This means that you can tell your brand’s story in a way that is meaningful and unique. Do you have a cool history of how your school came to be? Are there exclusive opportunities that students on your campus have? Do you employ staff and faculty that have achievements in research, traveling abroad or community service work?
Content marketing also builds an image for your brand. If you start reaching out to high school students, there’s time to establish a rapport. The more content you share, the more interactions open up. Eventually, students might start asking questions or request a campus tour. And, the next time they see your booth at the college fair, they’ll know just who you are!
Beyond Blogging: Higher Education Content Ideas
Content goes beyond blog posts. Your blog is a great resource for sharing information, but don’t forget the many other ways you can improve your content marketing strategy. Here are a few ideas.
Vlogging: Vlogging, or video blogging, shows students a different side to your university. Whether it’s athletics games, study abroad tips or a lesson in the science lab, vlogs tell firsthand stories that are interesting and engaging.
Social media: Any posts you write for social media are considered part of your content marketing strategy. Take advantage of the most popular social channels for millennials – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook – and write unique posts for each one.
Athletic webpage: Athletic web pages include high-quality action shots and videos as well as updated game stats for athletics’ programs. It’s a great way to keep a highly targeted audience engaged without any distractions.
Podcasts: Podcasts might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they work surprisingly well in the higher EDU sector. Faculty can offer course notes and lectures, giving prospective students an idea of what to expect from your courses.
Videos: Videos don’t have the personal commentary that vlogs do, but they are equally engaging. Create how-to videos, “a day in the life” videos or a virtual campus tour that students can watch on their own time.
As the competition for higher institutions stiffens, it’s crucial that you separate your brand from others. The most time- and cost-effective way to do this, especially on a vast level, is to attract students with highly relevant and targeted content.