High quality content that informs and educates the reader helps the marketer to establish a relationship based on trust. In most cases, the prospect is in search of an answer to a specific question. If the content delivers what the prospect is looking for or directs them to the right place, an emotional bond can develop, encouraging the prospect to view the source of the content more favorably. Good content makes for better marketing.

Marketers that are looking to deliver effective content need to address the issues that drive people to the products or services offered in the first place. The focus should be on the customer, rather than on marketing messaging or pitches. This holds true with colleges and universities as well. For instance, instead of explaining how the college achieved top rankings, the focus needs to be on how studying in a top ranked college would add value to a student’s experience, career and life.

Colleges and universities also need to map content to the relevant stage of their prospective student’s journey in the marketing lifecycle. For example, a prospective student exploring different course options may be interested in an interactive mobile app or tool that allows the user to input their hobbies, likes and preferences, with the tool generating possible career options and degree programs of study offered by the school.

Smarter marketing: Have them at hello

An engaging, consistent story, which initiates dialogue, helps. Two-way interactivity, curated by social media is here to stay, and any outward-only communication, no matter how compelling, will have only limited appeal. Gone are the days when prospective students treat college websites like a brochure. Websites are now gateways to learn and interact with schools, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Throw in email communication, interactive campus maps, social media engagement, and even interviews or Q&A sessions via Skype or FaceTime and suddenly students from around the world can engage with your college or university in a way previously only made possible by an in-person college visit.

Consumers find relevant content that meets their needs only 42 percent of the time. The opportunity for colleges and universities to captivate prospective students by improving the quality and type of their marketing content is huge.

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