Updated: May 24
When Google talks, you need to listen. Content is king and queen when it comes to optimizing your online presence. Use this step-by-step guide to learn the basics of content marketing, tips for optimizing it, and how to position your content to maximize your efforts.
What Is Content Marketing?
Your school’s website is the most important gateway to your school, and often the first place where prospective parents find information about your program. Your website is your marketing workhorse.
What happens if your school’s website isn’t easily found? Talk about missed opportunities to share your school with more prospects. It also likely means a drop in enrollment. Yikes.
Good web design, a positive user experience, and page optimization are all key to ensuring your school’s website can be found. When compared to other types of marketing, content marketing comes with a very diverse payload of benefits that you can take advantage of.
Content marketing is a form of promotion that uses content–articles, blog posts, videos, how-tos, and other resources–as a way to increase awareness about your school. Prospective parents (and students) are searching the web for information and you’re providing it! In return, your school benefits from increased web traffic, a more valuable website, and an engaged audience that values the information you’re providing.
Plus, content marketing can also boost your search rankings so that your school is better positioned to be discovered when parents search for schools.
And bonus! Your content helps position your school as an educational thought leader.
How Can Content Marketing Help Your School?
Let's take a closer look at how content marketing benefits schools and some steps to get you started:
Build Authority and Credibility with Humans
Sharing your school’s expertise is one of the most important reasons to utilize a content marketing strategy. Prospects and current parents want to know where your school shines and producing content that illustrates your expertise is the best way to put a stake in the ground and get the word out. The savvy content marketer shares their school’s expertise, but in a way that helps answer parents’ burning questions and needs. A great blog gives you a venue to show off your credibility.
Build Authority and Credibility with Google
In addition to building credibility with parents, schools also need to be seen by search engines as website authorities. One of the keys to good SEO is ensuring that your school’s website is seen as informative, authoritative, and helpful. Search engines like to point their users to the best and most highly regarded websites and a content marketing strategy can be used to boost your search rankings as part of your SEO strategy.
Website authority is a measurement of how seriously your site is being taken. The more content you have online, the greater the chances are that other sources will link to your content and it will show up in Google’s search results.
Backlinks are a major factor in search engine rankings. As the number of incoming links to your content increases, you should see an improvement in your search engine rankings. And the more relevant content that you have on your site, the more backlinks you'll have. Google will notice that high-authority websites have linked to yours and will send a message to Google that your school is a trustworthy source for the topic. You get Google’s “Stamp of Approval” which then raises your school’s rank for those keywords and increases your chances of being found by users asking the questions you've so expertly answered.
Step 1: Identify Your Content Marketing Objectives
Now that you have a basic understanding of the benefits of content marketing, it’s time to start thinking about how to develop a strategy for your school! The most important part of this process is to start with an understanding of your overall marketing objectives, where your school shines, and what expertise you want to share with the world. For example, do you have a marketing objective to build awareness and name recognition for your school? Or do you want to correct misconceptions? Or perhaps you want to recruit more students to your Kindergarten program? Think deeply about where you want to focus your efforts and the content will follow.
Step 2: Identify Your School's Area of Expertise and Parents' Needs
Once you know where you want to focus, it’s time to delve deeper into how to approach content development.
What do your current parents love about your school?
What are prospects excited to know more about? What are their most frequently asked questions?
When asked on a tour, what do your teachers rave about?
In what areas does your school legitimately have expertise? A special program, special staffing, certifications, unique facilities, etc.
What are the most common parenting issues you’re seeing? Can you offer resources to help?
Step 3: Identify What Kinds of Content Are Right for You
It's easy to think of content marketing as this monolithic marketing idea. Yet what does it look like on the ground level? The truth is, content marketing is a very diverse field and there are multiple avenues that you can go down.
Strategic content that actually solves a problem is what wins you leads. Let's take a closer look at some of the different types of content marketing that you could use:
The most common kind of content online is blog posts, and there's a reason for that. A great blog post is one of the best ways to tell a story or build up your credibility.