Too Much Content is a Bad Thing

Posted by | November 19, 2013 | Higher Ed | One Comment

Marketers create content to attract the attention of their prospects. But too much content may simply serve to dilute attention. In today’s fast paced world, people are too impatient to sift through loads of data to get what they want, and they would rather abandon their quest than undertake a painstaking search.

This is especially true for prospective college students. Many students may still be studying in high school or already working when they research colleges. Most of them know what they want and look for specific information (i.e., location, cost, degree program, etc…). When a university barrages them with many different types of content, which might not add value for the student or doesn’t specifically address what they are looking for, they are likely to mark these messages as spam or disregard them completely.

Smart higher education marketers need to focus on the power of simplicity, which can be presented in the following ways:

  • Education portals that are easy and seamless to navigate, and which focus more on delivering (relatively painlessly!) what the visitor looks for, succeed in converting the most visitors.
  • Attention capturing content that is “out of the box” may attract more visitors, but visitors are just as likely to abandon this content if not relevant, leading to a low conversion rate.
  • What matters is quality. The marketing content, to yield the desired results, has to add value and specifically address what the prospect is looking for. Nothing more and nothing less.
  • Brevity is key. Many prospects, hurried for time, simply prefer a gist of what the message is all about. If interested, they will delve further. A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that Twitter is increasing in popularity in comparison to Facebook. 16% of the teens preferred Twitter in 2011, and this rose to 24% in 2012. This is again a direct reflection on the preference for short and succinct messages.

I can’t emphasize enough the power of brief, concise and relevant information. And nowhere is it more critical than when marketing to prospective college students.

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Lauren Littlefield

Lifecycle Marketing Consultant at Right On Interactive
With over ten years of experience in technology, marketing, public relations and higher education, Lauren joined the Right On team in April 2013. She is a 2013 graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (Ind.), and a board member of Girls on the Run of Central Indiana. She has previously served as the vice president, programming and the secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren earned her BA in Communication from Hanover College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Colts.

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