5 Steps to Success
A school blog can be an extremely effective tool in drawing more traffic to your school website. If you are new to school blogging or are considering launching a school blog, here are 5 important factors to consider:
1. Understand the Purpose of Your Blog
It is important to understand that, as a marketing tool, school blogs are not about advertising. While your school’s offerings and accomplishments might be something to be proud of, depending on who your target audience is and where they are in their buyer’s journey, these accomplishments may be of little or no interest to them.
A school blog is not an online newsletter or a platform for self-promotion. It is about understanding your potential prospects, meeting them where they are, and providing them the right content at the right time to meet their needs. Does this mean you should never highlight school-specific information? Not at all. The key is striking a proper balance between prospect-focused and community-focused content by following the 80/20 rule of school blogging and presenting community-focused content in a way that will not turn prospects off.
2. Know Your Audience
While blogging is a proven way to increase traffic to your school’s website, for a blog to be an effective marketing tool, you need to be able to create content that will attract the right traffic to your site. The kind of traffic that will convert into leads and ultimately into new students for your school. To create the right content, you need to have an understanding of your target audience. How? By creating what is known as a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and educated speculation about demographics, behavior patterns, motivation and goals. Developing buyer personas is an ongoing process that begins by taking a look at and talking with your current population to identify trends and make assumptions regarding what your ideal customer might look like. Buyer personas are not only beneficial for blogging, but are crucial for your overall content marketing efforts.
3. Create and Publish Quality Content
Creating quality blog content involves identifying the topics most relevant to your target audience and presenting the information in a way that will engage and keep the attention of your audience. Content that will address your audience’s greatest challenges and pain points. Content that will appeal most to your audience’s interests and desires. Publishing quality content can help establish you as a trusted and reliable resource.
4. Be Consistent
For blogging to be effective in generating business for your school, it must be done on a consistent basis. To achieve consistency, you need to devise a content development strategy. This strategy should include realistic, sustainable goals. How often will you plan to post? Do you have the in-house resources to be able to create content on a regular basis or do you need to consider outsourcing all or part of this function? Who will manage the blog? These are important questions that need to be addressed to be able to sustain your blogging efforts over the long haul.
5. Planning is Key
To maintain consistency in blogging, planning is key. Effective planning begins with identifying a planning process that works for you and sticking to it. The effort you put forth in up front planning will save you time and hassle in the long run and greatly improve the chances that your blogging efforts will lead to enrollment growth for your school.