In a previous blog post, we discussed why a blog is an essential marketing asset for any company or institution. In fact, nearly 40% of U.S. organizations use blogs for marketing purposes, and organizations that blog have
5% more website visitors.
In particular, blogging plays an important role in marketing for higher education, especially for attracting students to your school. Prospective students do a majority of their college research online, so an interesting, informative blog on your school’s website will help your school attract website traffic and increase public awareness for your school. The more content-rich pages you create through your blog, the better the chance is that your website will rank higher in search results.
In addition to helping you increase your rankings in the search engines, blogs let you tell your story and build thought leadership, which will help you earn student trust. Consider it a way to showcase what your school is all about and show social proof through sharing stories.
Blogs are also a way to nurture student interest by placing Calls-to-Action in your blog posts. CTAs are buttons that prompt visitors to taking the next step. For example, a website CTA that reads “Tour Our Beautiful Campus” might lead prospective students to a landing page where they can sign up for an appointment to see the school in person. You can also use CTAs that prompt readers to sign up for alerts and newsletters.
Finally, blogs help build your brand identity by coordinating and integrating blog posts with other forms of marketing communications across a variety of channels, such as social media and print materials. Show prospective students who you are and what you stand for.
Generating content ideas is one of the hardest parts of maintaining a blog. Fortunately, schools have an advantage over many other organizations that blog. There is a wealth of information and a large pool of writers available to you at any given moment, which makes it simple to create original, rich content for every blog post.
Reach out to those in your institution who serve as primary sources of communication with the outside world. Ask them to write down all the questions people ask them. This will give you a list of topics to help you generate blogging ideas, and you can be sure that you are addressing relevant issues.
Other possible writers for your blog include students, staff departments, faculty, and alumni. Utilizing these different sources will create a variety of topics and perspectives to help your blog appeal to a wide range of readers.
Maintaining a blog is hard work that requires a lot of planning. As you begin this journey, prepare for the workload that comes with content management. Build an editorial scheduling calendar and start using content resources that have been lying around, such as reports or informational brochures.
Ultimately, the hard work is worth it to gain interest in your school from those who are looking into higher education, not to mention your alumni.
If you would like to learn more about how inbound marketing works in higher education, check out our free eGuide titled How to Use Inbound Marketing to Attract New Donors.
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