Your website is your primary online marketing tool for introducing your school to your prospective parents. And, as a marketing tool, your school website has the potential to effectively engage visitors and convert them into enrollment leads. What makes a website effective? Content. And not just any content, but content that appeals to prospective parents.
Prospective parents and any other visitors who look at your website need information about your school. If they don’t find it or are not happy with what they see within the first few seconds of browsing your website, it could be a lost opportunity for your school.
To be effective, your site should contain content that entices, educates, and engages your website’s visitors. This is a strategy known as content marketing.
Content Marketing Is A Strategic Approach
Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating valuable, high-quality content for a defined target audience, in our case prospective parents. Its main purpose is to drive them to perform a specific action that you want them to take. In inbound marketing terms, this is known as a Call-To-Action (CTA).
CTA’s usually involves having your website visitors give you something, such as their name and email address in exchange for content, such as an ebook or the opportunity to register for an upcoming school event. Content marketing helps you promote your school to prospects without having to literally and traditionally sell them anything. You stimulate interest in your school by using content. This form of marketing is also relatively inexpensive and only costs about a third of conventional marketing efforts such as print. As a result, it’s a small wonder that content marketing has turned out to be more than just a buzzword but rather a viable alternative over traditional, disruptive forms of marketing.
By constantly sharing content with your audience, you earn their trust and they regard you as an authority on the content you provide. In this way, you build a relationship with your prospective families that goes deeper as time passes and as the process goes on. If done correctly, content marketing can get you the results you need when it comes to generating leads, conversions, and most importantly, enrollments.
How to Share Your Content
There are a variety of ways in which you can deliver this content beyond your web pages. Some of these include::
- Information/Tip Sheets
We’ve touched upon some of these in a previous post.
One of the quickest ways to connect with your prospects is through a school blog. In fact, at the heart of any content marketing strategy is a well-written and well-maintained blog.
Create A Blog For Your School
You don’t need a professional writer in order to maintain a school blog. And blog writing responsibilities don’t have to be restricted to just your marketing or admissions staff; they can be written by your faculty, parents, students and, if necessary, third-party writers.
The key to effective blog writing is consistency. That, and blog writing that appeals to your target audience. To ensure this it is a good idea to create parent personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal enrollment prospects based on real and educated speculation about demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. Knowing this can help you write prospect-focused content relevant to your audience’s specific needs and offer solutions to their specific challenges.
While there are no limits on what topics you can write about, you’ll still need to make sure they’re relevant to your school and what your marketing campaigns require. For example, in preparation for summer vacation, create blog posts that focus on how students can maintain ties with one another during break. You could also offer suggestions on summer enrichment activities that can help minimize “summer slide,” or even create back-to-school checklists.
For more information, see these tips that can assist you in maintaining focus on what to write about on your school blog.
Tune-up Your Content
When sharing your school’s stories, sometimes it’s better to show rather than just tell.
If you want your content to stand out and become more engaging, you can add different media. Insert visuals to break the long wall of text and enable your readers to enjoy absorbing your message.
Here are some examples:
- Mix in visual content like infographics, videos, and photos to make your articles more appealing to read. In fact, our brains process visual content faster and easier, which makes it more interesting for people who browse your content. Visual content is also shared more than any other content on social media.
- Present statistics or complex information in the form of infographics to make the content more engaging and easier to understand.
- Take videos and integrate them into your articles to give your content more value. Aside from being entertaining and making your ideas easier to grasp, videos have been proven to increase brand awareness, conversions, as well as email click-through rates. If you can produce videos for your school, it’s an investment worth looking into.
Content marketing entails more than just blogging, so it’s important to explore and engage in other content delivery methods as well. There may not be a single formula as to what works and what doesn’t, but do ample research on trends that stimulate engagement. You can also begin by referring to what types of delivery methods your prospective parents actually prefer.
Knowing what content to share as well as when and where to share it are the most important ingredients in effective content marketing. Stick to this recipe and you’ll be sure to gain the trust and loyalty of your audience without having to sell your school to them.
Mastering the art of content marketing can take a considerable amount of time and results will not be achieved overnight. However, those schools that have consistently engaged in content marketing efforts acknowledge its advantages and benefits over time.
If you want to learn more about content marketing, we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Just click on the banner below.