Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Content Marketing in Higher Education

Content Marketing is the latest trend in marketing. You build content based on your prospective audience and then find the audience to drive to the content. That sounds simple, yet it's not. What is included in Content Marketing? Well, basically everthing you do to market your College or Univeristy. Direct mail, e-mail, website, blogs, FAQ's, billboards, newspaper/radio/television/cable ads all contribute to the overall marketing of your Content. The difficulty with Content Marketing is that the content must constanly change, be updated, be new, and most institutions aren't very good at keeping things fresh. New videos of campus, new blogs from either marketing or the world of academia you are promoting.

Imagine a blog(s) sorted by field of study, written by not only professors (I know, thats a major topic in and of itself) but by students in the program. Maybe a video of a "fun" class. Lab work. An experiment where something blows up! You never know what might peek someone's interest.

Transform those blogs into copy for the school website. Include them in a direct mail/e-mail campaign to promote attending YOUR institutaion. So, what is content marketing in reality? Nothing more than a well coordinated effort to promote your institution to prospective students. The difficulty is, your prospect pool is so diverse, you need massive amounts of content to fill that need. Yet, by providing content on Education, Pre-Med, Psychology, Computer Science, Liberal Arts you are finding ways to promote all you have available, on a unique/personalized platform.

Imagine, sending out an e-mail campaign to prospective degree completion prospects, with a list of potential programs for them to consider. Each e-mail lists the degrees with a link to a unique landing page (yes, 10 programs mean 10 landing pages) but each is tailored to a specific degree program. Then once they fill out the form (keep it short), send them to an information/welcome page for that program, then to the admissions site to apply.

All of this is content driven, focused and uniquely yours to implement for YOUR institution. Content Marketing is not easy, but can be HIGHLY successful if implemented correctly.