If you work in college admissions or marketing, by now you have probably heard about inbound marketing – the strategy for attracting new applicants online using educational content that answers their questions and nurtures them to the point where they are ready to apply.
In inbound marketing, content is used to move students through the four stages of their research and decision-making process:
- Awareness Stage – Prospective applicants are just starting the search process. They’re asking questions like, “What is the admissions process like?”, “Is college even right for me?”, but they have not yet started seriously considering any specific schools.
- Consideration Stage – Prospective applicants at this stage can be considered leads, as they are actively considering different schools and have started to require more information about specific schools.
- Decision Stage – These leads are ready to schedule campus visits and apply.
- Enrollment Stage – These are enrolled students, but they may have questions or challenges about whether they will continue to be students (financial pressures, academic challenges, etc.).
Any good inbound marketing strategy relies on a detailed content strategy that addresses the needs of a prospective student at each stage of the enrollment journey. This content plan should include specific blog titles used to answer the questions and pushbacks that a potential applicant may have at each stage. Each blog article should include a call-to-action at the end to entice the reader to click on it, leading to a landing page that promotes a piece of premium content (like a video or eBook) and includes a form that captures some of the prospective applicant’s information (name, email address, potential enrollment date).
If you follow this inbound marketing strategy, over time, your admissions and marketing team will build up a substantial collection of blog articles and pieces of premium content. How can you get more value out of this “leftover” content?
How to Keep Old Content Assets Working for Your School
As an inbound marketing agency working with colleges and schools, we have challenged ourselves to find news ways to put these assets to work.
One idea that we have begun to implement is to create a very robust resources page on our clients’ websites. We organize this page around the various stages of the college admissions process with very well-defined content topics for each stage. The content groupings include the premium content along with the various blog posts that were created to promote it.
We label these “content bundles” clearly on the resources page so anyone scanning the page will be able to find content that is applicable to their specific need.
As an added bonus, this website page has become a resource for our client schools’ admissions teams. With an easy-to-navigate, well-indexed resources section, admissions officers can quickly find the appropriate content that they can use when engaging with a prospective student. The resources page now serves as the document repository for the admissions team.
Well-written, educational content that addresses a prospective student’s questions and concerns at each stage of the admissions cycle can be leveraged by both the marketing and admissions teams, paying dividends for many admissions cycles.