4 steps for your admissions marketing content strategy
What is an admissions marketing content strategy?
Follow Whipp’s 4 steps to get up and running.
Content is a form of intellectual capital, and unlike an advertising buy, it is something you own. It is something you can repackage, resell and redistribute. It is something you can promote, share, discuss, trade and debate with your audience. Best yet-content is around forever. The digital era is defined by an insatiable demand for content. You need to decide how to best provide that.
The good news is that most college websites are about the same with the type of content published. Some may do a better job of posting event content, but most of what is published has no strategy behind it-(thus a REAL opportunity to get ahead of your competition).
Step 1: Identify your top personas
We know you want to appeal to students and parents. That is called a target audience. We want to get deeper. That is called a Persona.
This is the first and possibly THE most important step. Do this right, and the rest of the process will work so much better.
We want to know as much about the student and parent as possible. Look the obvious and most common traits first, and group according to that, then start segmenting.
The better you define your personas, the more success you will have in attracting the right type of person to your site. GO DEEP!
Step 2: You are a Producer
Think of your site as a daily newspaper or TV show that that publishes and produces each day. That is what you aspire to. Your site is competing for the attention of millions of eyeballs. Consistent, fresh content is a must. But it must be content with a purpose. That is where the wheels come off for most college websites.
Their content strategy is mostly focused on the how and what. Basically, it is a laundry list of what the school offers with the only offer of engagement
to “fill out and application” or “take a campus tour”. Missed engagement opportunities are the number one failure of most college websites.
Step 3: You are a director
Look at the engagement gaps. Where are the opportunities and how do you take advantage of them? This is where the decision cycle comes into play.
Most admissions directors use outbound advertising (direct mail, billboards, etc) to try and reach their target audiences with the call to action something like “visit our website and fill out an application”. The application winds up being the first touch point between the admissions deptarment and the potential student to begin working this decision cycle This is another area where there is REAL opportunity, because your competition is missing the boat on this one.
But you must understand this whole process in order to capitalize on it.
Step 4: You are a writer
There is no one in the marketing world who believes that they can ever have enough high quality, strategic, and relevant content to share with their audience.
Most in-house teams can write a few Facebook posts and maybe even blog every now and then. But for this critical step to work, you need much, much more.