Content marketing is everywhere these days and is used in a wide variety of sectors. When it comes to higher education, content marketing is not simply another opportunity to pitch your university. It is rather about creating highly relevant and valuable content that will educate your prospective students and place your institution as a trustworthy source of information, which will ultimately persuade your audience to trust you enough to enroll at your university.
Here are 5 effective ways to boost student enrollment using content marketing:
1. Deliver the Right Emails at The Right Time
Are you sending bespoke content that is relevant to your prospects and which they can use at the right time in their decision making process? In other words, in order to convert leads into applicants it is crucial to give your audience what they want, when they need it. A candidate who is just in the information gathering stage will require different content than the one who has already attended an open day at your university. For instance, a recent study conducted by Linkedin found that prospective students who were early in the decision stage looked for information about university rankings and latest news, whereas those in their final stage of their decision making process were more interested in faculty and alumni profiles.
2. Provide Prospectuses in Digital Format
A prospective student will consider many universities whilst searching for the best fit. Your university should help them with their decision making process, by narrowing their choices to those that rank highly for their desired course. When prospects land on your website, it’s best to make sure you make their visit memorable.Having a prospectus there and ready for instant reading on any device will minimize the waiting time for requesting and receiving a prospectus, especially for international students and speed up their decision process.
Our personalised portals allow universities to create prospectuses choosing from a wide range of templates which can be personalised by various team members quickly and cost effectively. Once created, prospectuses and other pieces of highly targeted content can be deployed digitally in minutes.
3. Write Informative Blogs with Content that Students Can Use
While many universities have a blog, most of them are utilizing them to drive student enrollment. Simply creating content is not enough to influence students in their decision making process. Your blog content strategy should focus on content that prospects actually want to read and it inspires them to want to take action. Rather than focusing on pitching your university, offer readers your advice, tips and emotionally-appealing articles that your readers will like, comment on and share. Place yourself as a mentor in their journey and gain their trust as a thought leader and industry expert.
4. Engage your Audience with Calls to Action
Once you have gained their attention with relevant and useful blog content, it is time to offer them something to remember you by. Each blog post should contain at least one call to action by offering extra content, in the form of white papers, for example an E-book, or a guide to help the prospective through their university journey.
Allow readers access to this useful content after they complete a simple form that will transfer their contact information to your CRM and this way you are creating a new lead – one that you know are interested in applying to a university course.
5. Have a Well Planned Social Media Strategy
It is very likely that your prospective students spend quite a lot of time on social media, therefore it is crucial to leverage social media as part of your content marketing strategy. It is also an opportunity to stay in touch with your prospects in a more personable way by showing the human side of your university, a side that appeals to prospects much more than an advert or news article.
Choosing the right tone of voice, timing of posts and targeted content to use across multiple networks as well as knowing how to measure and analyse results are also essential for an effective social media strategy.
As a marketer what other tips would you add for boosting student enrollment? We’d love to hear your ideas, comment below!