How Content Marketing Can Increase Enrollments, Retention
Nov 21, 2018
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Source: Content Marketing Institute
Differentiating your institution from others can be difficult - especially if you limit yourself to a messaging strategy that is feature-rich and filled with overused terms like "world-class faculty", "staff dedicated to your success" and "convenient, flexible learning".
Content marketing helps you share relevant information in ways that grab the attention and interest of your prospective and current students - and, when combined with the proper offers at each stage of their decision-making process, improve retention and enrollment rates.
Your audience - Gen Z - starts their college selection process long ago. They are interested in something - maybe it's programming or game design or teaching or nursing or electrical engineering. Whatever their interest is, they have been online searching for information that helps them learn more about the subject.
Their parents have even gone online to learn more about the cost of college, financial aid, how to save and pay for their child's education. Heck, they probably headed online for articles about coping with children leaving home and heading off to college.
And you have subject matter experts in your institution on all of these topics.
Now, imagine you create an article or video or short self-assessment for these parents and prospective students that they can find online. And what if they [ex] subscribe to your engineering department's email newsletter that talks about the latest trends and discoveries your faculty, students and alumni are involved in?
That's how content marketing can work for you.
Appeal to the students based on their interests and passions. Show them how your students, alumni, faculty have the same interests. The same passions.
That's one effective way to differentiate your institution and programs from other colleges and universities! And it can be significantly more effective at increasing your enrollments that hoping at some point in their junior or senior year in college they type in the right phrase in a Google search and they wind up on your landing page submitting a request for information that leads to an email that talks about "world-class faculty", "staff dedicated to your satisfaction" and "convenient, flexible learning".
Think differently - what does your target audience get excited about? What are their interests? Concerns? Expectations?
Now, what can you create that addresses those issues in a way that helps establish a relationship with these people?
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.