If you are responsible for creating content for your higher institution, there’s no question that you’re committed to strengthening your school’s reputation, academic program and sense of community. But chances are, creating compelling content isn’t the only thing on your radar.
You’re probably taking care of many other jobs, and content is just one of them. Therefore, it’s easy to rush through tasks or look past the importance of proper planning and preparation. However, when you plan for institutional content, you set yourself up for success and fulfill your objectives.
Must-Haves to be an Effective Writer
Since we know you’re short on time, we’ve put together a simple guide of the must-haves that you should have in your arsenal. Let’s take a look at what they are and why they are helpful for institutional content marketers like yourself.
Does your institution have a style guide? If so, make sure that it’s accessible such as bookmarked on your computer or sitting on your desk. Your style guide should also be regularly maintained to ensure that it’s meeting your current expectations.
If you don’t have a style guide, speak with your coworkers about putting one together. Though it will take some time on the front end, it will allow you to manage your time more efficiently later on. If you can make it a team effort, the process will go smoother, and everyone can contribute what they feel is important.
For more information on creating a style guide for your higher institution, check out this informative article from Web Designer Depot.
Aspiring writers often struggle with grammar. There’s so many rules in the English language, it’s no wonder things get confusing! Luckily for today’s writers, grammar mistakes don’t have to be made very often, if at all. Not only do most word processing programs come with grammar and spell checks, but also there are grammar guides posted online and hardcopy books available.
A popular pick is The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment. But you can also do a quick Google search or even ask a grammar question on an online forum. The key is to have one consistent, reliable source, so choose an online guide or hardcopy book that will always be used when completing writing assignments.
Content Brainstorming Worksheet
A content brainstorming worksheet doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a Google spreadsheet or online notepad will do just fine. The purpose is to have a consistent place where you scribble down ideas or jot down reminders. This way, everything is posted in one central location, and you won’t be forgetting the creative ideas that you come up with on the go. You’ll also find that when your notes are in one place, you can connect the dots and come up with additional topics.
Ideally, your spreadsheet or notepad should sync from your smartphone to your computer so that you can write notes when you’re lying in bed at night. For added convenience, choose a program where you can voice text your ideas – no typing needed!
A final must-have is a content calendar, which again, doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Your content calendar details when you are going to post content and where. Planning out your months ensures that you are writing timely, relevant content that aligns with your audience’s interests.
For institutional content writers, timing is everything. The winter and spring months should have content that centers around the application process, selecting a college and SAT study tips. The fall and winter months should have content that focuses more on adjusting to college or tips for transfer students.
Also make sure that you are noting when special events are taking place on campus such as open houses, informational sessions and more. These are perfect opportunities to create content such as infographics and Q&As that coordinate with the event.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to stay organized with your notes, ideas and content distribution schedule, as long as you have something in place that is consistent and effective. If you don’t like the system, you won’t use it, and then it will end up failing. So explore the various apps and calendars available and find something that you feel comfortable using.
We hope that you find these must-haves to be helpful to your content writing! It’s important that you are continuously reaching out to prospects with interesting, relevant content that aligns with the enrollment journey. In order to succeed at this, you need to stay organized and on top of things, which can be done with the above must haves!