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How You Can Improve Your University’s Content Marketing Plan

By collegemktgrp | June 2, 2022 | Brands/Advertisers

A strong marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to grow your college audience and drive enrollment. Website content, blogs, organic social media, and more allow you to find prospective students and lead them from awareness to conversion. Whether you’re offering content about campus tours or how to enroll, content marketing is the key to engaging with prospective students. Your content needs to be strategic to be effective. It’s a balance of data-driven SEO strategy and knowing who your audience is and what type of content they need to build trust and interest in your school. Explore how you can revamp your existing content marketing plan — from building audience personas to designing a strategic content calendar, each step will amplify your content and boost your enrollment strategy.

How to Boost College Enrollment with an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing helps answer your college audience’s questions and build trust in your school. It’s critical for developing and nurturing relationships with students and their families — and improving your conversion rates. Students and their parents expect high-quality, consistent content. Below are 5 steps to create engaging, meaningful content that’ll capture the attention of your target audience and boost college student enrollment.

1. Do Your Organic Keyword Research

Keywords are specific words or phrases that college students use when trying to research potential schools in search engines. For example, a potential student may want to know how much they should budget each month while enrolled in your school. Include terms like “budgeting tips” or “how to budget” in a blog or social media post that highlights pointers on this topic. Use a research tool to narrow your keywords down to the most relevant and highly trafficked words or phrases. Some essential keyword research tools include Moz, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, and Wordtracker. Similar keywords you may not have considered yet will likely appear in your research. Terms like “how to budget money in college” or “how college students can budget their money” are highly relevant to what students are searching for online. Once you have your list of keywords, incorporate them into headlines, subheads, and body copy in blogs and all website content.

2. Establish Your College Audience Personas

Knowing your audience is key to getting in front of more college students. You can’t create engaging content if you don’t know what they’re interested in! You may have looked at your audience demographics through tools like Google Analytics and have a general idea of where they live, how old they are, and which pieces of content they like best. But demographic details only give you a brief snapshot of your audience — they don’t give you insights about what they value or what challenges they face. By using data-driven information like Google Analytics, Facebook lead gen campaigns, surveys, and industry research, you can create audience personas, or fictional characters that represent the college students you’re trying to convert. And sketching out your audience’s main questions, concerns, and hopes allows you to walk away with a stronger idea of the content you can create to address these topics. Now you can create ads and blogs that target those students and inspire them to learn more about your financial aid options. Learn more about creating college student audience personas that work >

3. Create a Content Calendar

Now that your keywords and audience personas are established, it’s time to build out a visual workflow. This is where you lay out what content you’ll create, when you plan to publish it, and how and where you’ll promote it on different digital channels. Let’s say you plan to publish a blog on how first-year students can get along with their roommates. Your content calendar can include strategic keywords that make sense with your blog topic, which persona(s) you’re targeting, and how you’re looking to engage with students. The big function of a strategic content calendar is that it helps ensure you’re staying on track, hitting deadlines, and staying organized in your marketing efforts. It also helps to create a flow of content that’s engaging and inspiring enough to convert your student readers. Create your calendar using tools like Google Calendar, an Excel spreadsheet, or project management software like CoSchedule, Airtable, or Contently.

4. Consistently Draft and Publish Blogs

When it comes to content marketing, more is better. Content consistency helps you establish credibility, build trust, and strengthen your reputation among college students. Consistent content also helps you gain more traction on your social media channels. Around 80% of people learn about a company through original content. If you pique a student’s interest while they’re on your website, you’re more likely to gain them as a follower on social media. Staying on top of your blog posts will also give you more opportunities to drive students to specific landing pages on your website and increase the probability of conversions. There are a handful of blogging best practices to maintain as you create content for your college audience. Make sure you:

  • Use an accessible, conversational voice (include contractions)
  • Use short, succinct sentences and short paragraphs
  • Make sure your blogs are at least 1,000 words long
  • Hyperlink your research
  • Use strategic calls to action to drive students to landing pages, blog content, downloadable assets, videos, etc.

By following these simple guidelines, your posts will more likely show up in Google results and make your content more user-friendly for web browsing.

5. Amplify Your Blogs Through Organic Channels

While a strategic keyword strategy helps ensure your content shows up in Google searches, it’s also important to amplify your content to reach more audiences. Utilizing inbound marketing strategies like your email list and social media platforms will help drive traffic to your content and lead to conversions. When you use your organic channels, it also helps boost your SEO rankings on search engines. After you link your social media accounts to your blog, it signals to platforms like Google that you’ve got domain authority built on a lot of great content. That means your school’s blog or social media pages can rank higher in search results. It’s a win-win!

Measure the Efficacy of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Once your content strategy has been up and running for a few months, it’s important to track and measure your content’s efficacy through content key performance indicators, or KPIs. Content KPIs give you a well-rounded perspective on how your content strategy is performing. Data points like monthly new users, time spent on a page, and bounce rate are integral to understanding the success of your content marketing efforts.

Learn more about content KPIs and how to measure the success of your content marketing strategy >

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