Nailing Your Content Strategy: 5 Tactics to Attract Students via Content
Content marketing is one of the best ways to boost your brand and engage your customers, regardless of which industry you’re in.
When it comes to the education sector, content should be a key aspect of every provider’s marketing strategy. It can help you reach more students, support their decision-making process and empower them to pursue their education and career goals.
The versatility of content makes it the cornerstone of every marketer’s toolkit.
Short-term, content provides financial value in the form of leads and revenue. Long-term, content improves the lifetime value of your customer – from attracting student traffic to nurturing prospective students through their learning journey.
If you’re ready to invest in your content marketing, here are our top five tips.
Define your content pillars
As you’re planning future content, aim for a balance across the funnel. It’s important to diversify your content strategy so you can reach your audience at every stage of the student journey.
If you’re attracting thousands of readers every month as a result of great SEO, but none of your content converts, you may be lacking bottom-funnel content. Alternatively, if you have compelling success stories and testimonials but no eyeballs landing on them, your content strategy may benefit from more search content.
At Candlefox, we’ve adopted a three-pronged approach to our content strategy:
1. Search content
Top-funnel content that is produced specifically for search algorithms and involves targeting relevant keywords. This type of content is created and optimised for user search intent.
2. Sales enablement
Bottom-funnel content type showcases your products or services in action. In the education industry, these can be testimonials, success stories and interviews that highlight the benefits and outcomes of your course.
3. Thought leadership
Content that leverages your authority as an education provider and leader in your field. For example, if you specialise in providing aged care training, create content that demonstrates your unique knowledge and credibility.
Experiment with content mediums
There are a variety of content mediums to create, produce and distribute – anything from ebooks and blog posts, to infographics and podcasts are fair game.
The best content marketing strategies incorporate a solid mix of short and long-form, written and visual content.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by choice, here are six popular content types for you to choose from:
55% of marketers say blogging is their top inbound priority. Medium to long written content, such as blogs and whitepapers, enable you to increase your site traffic, improve brand awareness, boost conversions and increase your revenue.
Quizzes or forms – like our Course Navigator – are incredibly effective lead generation tools. The interactive nature of these forms means learners can engage with your brand and content no matter which stage of the funnel they’re at. They’re also handy for capturing content information and data for future nurture strategies.
Infographics organise and communicate data in a more compelling, snackable format. Because of their ability to break down large amounts of data, they are a great medium for readers who may lack the time to read a 1000 word article. They are also a great option for those who enjoy a healthy mix of written and visual content.
People are consuming more video content than ever – the average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching videos online. Not only does this make it a great opportunity for more readers to consume your branded content, but video has proven to boost SEO.
Landing pages with videos are 53% more likely to rank on the first page of search results. So, although videos require bigger time and resource investments, its benefits and ROI significantly outweigh the cost.
Although the newest medium on this list, podcasts are giving other content forms a run for their money. Like video content, podcast consumption is on the rise. In fact, postcasting will be a $94 billion industry by 2028. New technologies and the growing involvement of celebrity talent has made this a medium to watch.
Once you’ve established a regular publishing schedule, you may want to think about how you can expand your content reach via various distribution methods. Social media is the most popular choice for content distribution among marketers.
Worldwide, people spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes per day on social media. Therefore, using social media means being where your customers are, and reaching thousands of additional prospective learners.
When it comes to distribution, you may want to:
Regardless of publishing or distributing, you’ll want to adjust your content to better suit the nature of the social platform you’re on.
For example, on Facebook, we noticed that users interact with content at a much higher rate when there is no hard-sell. Users tend to prefer content that fosters engagement, two-way communication and healthy discussions. On more visual-based platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, you may find short-form video content more impactful.
Therefore, take the time to conduct market research and identify which platforms your learners are on, and which content might suit them the best.
Harness the power of social proof
Success stories, interviews and testimonials should be a core pillar of every content strategy.
Sharing successes from past students can really concrete a prospective student’s willingness to study. Not only do they outline to the learner what their post-study outcome might look like, but they can also help build credibility for your brand.
Besides the obvious reasons – such as the direct impact on revenue – many marketers prefer producing success stories over other types of content. This is because they are actually one of the more versatile types of content. Testimonials and case studies can take on various forms – blog posts, ebooks, infographics, videos and podcasts.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the outcome, rather than the content, is what resonates the most with students.
Remarketing with content
Content has much more value than supporting short-term lead generation. When used correctly, it is an extremely valuable retargeting tool.
Take a prospective learner who is visiting your website. If they navigate to any commercial or course pages, you now have valuable information on what subject areas they’re interested in and which courses they may be looking to enquire about.
Having this vital information allows you to nurture this learner to conversion by serving them content you know they’ll be interested in.
If a prospective learner has navigated through several course pages but has not enquired, they are demonstrating low-intent signals. Instead of funnelling this learner back to the course page where they are still unlikely to convert, direct them to informative content which can better assist their decision making process.
Better yet, encourage them to middle and bottom-funnel content with job outcome data and student testimonials which are more likely to push them to enquire.
This tactic is more of a ‘softer sell’, because it is less intrusive than typical advertisements and provides value to the learner.
While it can be tempting to churn out new content every week, stop and think about what value your existing content can bring – whether that’s through repurposing, distribution or remarketing.
And if you’re on the other side, where content is not a big focus in your marketing strategy, it might be time to reconsider. Add rich value to your digital marketing strategy by experimenting with a range of content themes and mediums.