– Vikram Kumar, Managing Director, SRV Media Pvt. Ltd.
In today’s digital world, brand value is as good as its advertising. The concept of “word of mouth” has changed to reading reviews online, comparing online ratings and gauging the online presence of a brand. The education industry is not very different in this aspect. Students being more tech-savvy these days expect to find relevant information about institutions online. The better an institution is able to portray its story with the help of smart and informative content, the higher is its admission numbers.
We all remember the days when we had to rely on newspapers, magazines, and brochures to find out about a college, school or university. The last option was to visit every institution to understand the curriculum, faculty and the feel of the place. Institutions spent more money on print media and the result was a word-centric article describing the whole process of how the institute works. This is considered old school though and is no longer a viable mode of learning about an educational institution. The customers want more. In a digitally-driven market, whatever the institute puts out should be informative, beneficial and self-explanatory.
Content-based marketing helps an institution to create the much-needed brand awareness that helps build a solid reputation. Effective content not only increases traffic on your website but also gives you a chance to interact with your audience and understand their core needs. The more informative and widespread your content is, the more limelight you get. Let us look at four ways in which creative content can be used to boost education marketing by following the right strategies:
Content curated for the right target audience
Digital marketing strategy is always successful when we have the right audience in mind while designing the content. The kind of audience we might expect on the website of an institute includes students, parents, professors, alumni, researchers or recruiters. The content on the web page should be formulated keeping them in mind. While a student might look at the curriculum and the courses offered by the institute, a parent might look at the faculty and other facilities the institute provides. A recruiter or researcher might be more interested in the blogs and student columns of that institute. An effective marketing strategy will be reaching your audience through the right digital channels and putting out curated content that will appeal to particular segments of your audience.
Content aligned to your marketing goals
You must understand what you want to achieve through marketing. Your objectives decide the content you put out and hence the kind of attention you get. Receiving more applications for admissions, being one of the most searched institutes in Google search, increasing social media followers, building the institute’s brand image can be a few aspirations that an institute might have. Each of these objectives needs unique and relevant content with relevant channels for the marketing campaign to be successful. To increase social media followers and attract more students, the institute needs to have a trending social media page where they put out informative organic posts, discussions on career choices and admission methods. On the other hand, to build a brand image, the institute needs to have a solid landing page, educational blogs, and videos on social media by influencers, links on various relevant websites leading to the institute’s webpage. The purpose of putting out your content should be answering questions, addressing concerns and also providing information. A student looking for placement should find information on your website about your corporate tie-ups, the institute’s placement mechanism, an introduction to the placement cell and also stories or testimonials from already placed students. These small touches make all the difference and help you in converting a prospect to your user (student).
Choose the right channel
Your content is as good and illuminating as your channel of marketing. Let us discuss a few channels that bring impeccable results for institutes. Blogging is the most compelling form of marketing for an institute. Students are always on the lookout for more information about education, institutes, college etiquette, and campus rules. If an institution uses the right SEO guidelines and publishes informative blogs, it gives a huge boost to their website ranking with Google. Apart from this, an institution can engage its faculty or team to write newsletters, e-books and how-to guides on the trending topics related to the educational advances and recent discoveries which makes them an updated and well-informed body of education and answer a lot of problematic areas for students. Email campaigns and social media campaigns are also two other ways in which you can attract attention of the masses towards your institution. Making sure that the content put out is free-flowing, easy to understand and also appeals to the masses is very important.
Contemporary and efficient way of sharing content
By now we have understood how important content is to the marketing strategy. Sharing good content with readers regularly helps build domain expertise/authority. The content has to be fresh, should address a concern and should also share remedies to overcome that concern. Share your content through videos, podcasts or storytelling platforms. These platforms help build awareness about your institute. People want to see a representative who they can relate to, basically the face of the institute. Flaunt your experienced staff and alumni, share podcasts and videos; even have online interactive sessions where they talk to the audience directly. This will help you establish a strong online presence.
The planned and systematic use of content the above-discussed marketing channels can help an institute achieve the kind of boost it needs to be the best. Considering how content has become the master of all digital tactics, it is important that you keep generating creative and quality content. Keep yourself updated about the trends with respect to the changes in content delivery as well as new platforms for content promotion. Make the most of them to reach out to your audience and build a brand.