Content marketing is sharing information that helps your school’s brand to be found by prospective parents seeking the perfect school for their child.
The best content marketing plans connect prospective parents with the services they need and answers they seek in real time. Sometimes, many prospective parents aren’t quite ready to enrol their child immediately. That’s where content marketing is used to nurture those relationships until the parent is ready to take the next step.
Here are 10 ways to freshen up your school’s content marketing plan.
1. Give your audience a name
We were all taught not to talk to strangers, so why treat your readers as such? Create a persona for your target reader and mould this around your ideal prospect. Consider what they are thinking and feeling, where do they live, what do they do in their spare time? By writing to a specific audience, you can craft content that is relevant and engaging.
2. Where are they in the decision making process?
Knowing where your prospective parent is in the decision making process will inspire new content to develop. If your audience is not ready to make a decision, create content types that nurture the prospect along the path, such as online seminars or an email “drip” campaign that stays in touch with prospects over time. If they have had a positive encounter with your brand, find ways to encourage them to share the great experience on various social media channels.
3. Identify your ideal enrolment process
Lead nurturing is an important part of the decision making process. What are the steps that you can set up to encourage your prospective parents to stay in touch with your brand and content as they continue their consideration phase of the buying cycle. These steps could include: signing up for an email newsletter on setting your child up for a positive future, a web series on raising a well balanced child or a monthly summary of guidelines on raising a child in the digital era.
4. What content can you repurpose?
When refreshing your content marketing strategies, always seek to repurpose existing content instead of reinventing the wheel. Look for previous articles, internal publications or even ad campaigns for opportunities to repurpose content on your website and other content platforms.
5. Leverage your ecosystem
Content marketing is more than just blogs, websites and social media – it encompasses all digital channels and even traditional mediums like community events and seminars. Here are a few lesser known platforms within your ecosystem that you can use to reach, inform, nurture and convert your prospective parents with content marketing:
- Website, Email, Chats, Opt in, Blogs
- Apps, Webcasts (pod casts)
- Social media: Pinterest, Intagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn
- SEO and search
- Landing page, Aggregator
- Static, flash or dynamic banners
6. Host quarterly content audits
Many of our clients host quarterly sessions with their principals to brainstorm new content approaches. Discussion points could include: what are parents looking for in a school? What should parents know before enrolling their child in a school? New education techniques we should share.
7. Rethink your email marketing strategy
Email is still an amazing way to stay connected with your prospective parents as part of a consistent content marketing plan – make sure it’s relevant, meaningful content. Shift from one-size-fits all general email newsletters and tailor your campaigns to the specific needs of your target audience. The more tailored your campaign, the more likely you?ll have higher open rates, click throughs and utilisation.
8. Adopt the reverse pyramid writing style
Start your article by casting a wide net – reaching the masses, then craft it into the specific services and needs based on the unique challenges facing each of your prospective audiences. This holds true for how you structure your website services as well. Give an overview and then narrow down to the more specific offerings. Your Google Analytics reports will validate this approach as you look at the length of time on your site and the pathways your audience takes in reading your content.
9. Leverage alternative ways to share content
Don’t just focus your content marketing on words and blogs – often video is a more powerful way to connect and engage with prospective parents. Another content strategy to leverage is infographics, which gives audiences an easier way to digest more complex points about your brand. And then of course, don’t forget to still include traditional methods like open nights hosted at your school.
10. Invite feedback
Remember to take time to get feedback from your audience – turn to Facebook and ask what they are interested in knowing more about, what concerns they have and what they think other parents ought to know when choosing a school.