Typically, higher education markets itself through mass mailings, flyers and cold-calling students. To boost enrollment, however, many colleges and universities are also branching out into blogs. If not done correctly, though, a blog can actually work against your goals. If your content isn’t guiding students to sign up for your school, you’re wasting an amazing opportunity. Here’s what you need to know to help convert uncommitted students into enrollees.
- How to blog effectively
When blogs are done correctly, colleges can provide answers to common problems and questions students already have. So, when choosing blog topics, select issues the students want to know about before they commit to a school, such as:
- How many students room together in a dorm?
- How hard it is to get into a major?
- How effective is the alumni association in helping them get a job post-graduation?
Anything you think will help the student navigate their first year, and beyond, is good content for your blog. Also, hearing from a current student or professor about the program being offered helps them feel more connected.
- Develop content that’s worth sharing
Most blogs are usually a video or content about how much current students love their university or college. But to really increase enrollment, give potential enrollees content they can use. Give them meaningful tips and advice they’ll want to save and even share with friends. Don’t think of it just as a day in the life of a student. If you think of your blog as a mentor that helps guide their college experience, they will look to your organization as one that can guide them on their path to success. And they are far more likely to enroll.
- Use SEO to help your blog stand out
You don’t have to be an expert in Search Engine Optimization. But if you want students to find your blogs, having some SEO knowledge will help maximize your blog’s visibility. Get an understanding of what are popular keywords or topics students care about and be sure to incorporate them when deciding on what content to write. Some examples would be, programs, scholarships, tuition and more. When you understand what your audience is looking for, the better your blogs will resonate with students.
- Socialize your blog
You’ve chosen the right topic, you’ve written your blog, you’ve added SEO, but hold on—you’re not done just yet. Once you’ve posted your blog, you have to share it on social media. The most popular social media to use are Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Sharing your posts on these platforms will even help with your SEO. Remember to use popular hashtags to help people find your posts. Great examples of hashtags might be: #college #university #collegelife #collegedays #education #leader #socialchange
- Set social media objectives
You don’t want to post to social media randomly. The best strategies have a plan and objectives, along with Key Performance Indicators. Use one of the top social performance tracking tools to measure and refine your plan. Some of the best are Hootsuite, Bitly, Google Analytics and Google Trends. But there are many, so find what works for you and your objectives.
- Don’t forget alumni
When posting on social media, sharing alumni’s success stories is one way to inspire prospective students. You can post photos, detail why they ended up in the program they chose or anything that shows how happy they were choosing your school.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to get your blogs noticed and help improve student enrollment conversion. If you’re not already using some of these tactics, they’re easy to incorporate into your marketing plans.
KERN Higher Education is an Enrollment Conversion Specialist and division of KERN – an Omnicom Agency located in Woodland Hills, CA.
To request an Enrollment Marketing Needs Analysis – please click here to contact us.