Content marketing for educational institutions: two key lessons
In all the years of our providing SEO and digital marketing services, we have had the opportunity to work with several education and training providers to assist them with their lead generation/ inbound marketing. In fact, we call ourselves the experts in online marketing for this sector (probably by accident rather than design). Our experience has brought to the fore a couple of key opportunities that most education/ training providers seem to miss, ignore or fail to pursue when it comes to their content marketing efforts.
Content marketing has two arms, both of which are important in its success: content generation and content distribution. Often, content generation becomes too overwhelming and without content to distribute, the whole content marketing initiative tends to fail. We keep hearing this often: “.. but creating content isn’t our forte. We don’t have the expertise or the resources in writing content.” While this refrain is not limited to the education and training space, we feel this particular sector shouldn’t face so much of a challenge in generating good content. Here’s how:
a) Take advantage of the stakeholders: For any educational institution, there are three key groups of people- current students, alumni (past students) and its faculty. Approach and encourage members of each of these groups to create content on their learning or teaching experiences, and there will be no dearth of unique content as each individual can bring his/her own unique perspective.
Another opportunity that the institutions must consider is leveraging the content created by students as part of their assignments. For example, the institution could publish the best case studies or papers written by students on a given topic on the institution’s website. The student gets visibility and so does the institution. We are quite surprised to see very few institutions willing to take this up.
b) Take advantage of the curriculum: Too often, educational institutions narrow their content creation efforts to one or two topics (may be because they are thinking about- or have been made to think about- some high-level keywords). However, by simply taking on a broader perspective based on the wide range of topics that forms part of their curriculum, they could add significant breadth to their content. For example, let’s say the institution offers a degree in HR management. The curriculum for this course is likely to feature topics like Labour Relations, Employee Management, Staff Motivation and Engagement. Each of these topics offers considerable potential in creating content, which in turn will help in generating visibility and leads from those looking for courses in HR management.
This post has focused specifically on the content marketing for the education sector, but the basic principle suggested here can be used in various other sectors, be it travel or sports or entertainment. Are you leveraging available content opportunities to its fullest potential?
Image courtesy: Forbes.com