In the ongoing effort to appeal to an ever-changing audience of potential new students, colleges and universities have leveraged every angle they can theorize as having a possibly beneficial result: tweet-ins, Facebook groups, photo caption contests, the list goes on and on. So in a recruitment landscape that is always evolving and introducing new platforms through which to communicate, it can sometimes seem like there is no constant, no anchor that it can all be tied back to…but there is.
The one constant when marketing to student populations, regardless of the method, whether though handwritten letters, 140 character tweets, or landing page, quality content is essential. Sure, the content itself has evolved and understanding how to effectively deliver your message in a conducive way to the platform being utilized is essential, but without content, without a compelling, meaningful message these efforts are all for naught.
When creating content for the purpose of appealing to students, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Don’t try to mimic your audience.
This is extremely tempting at times. Sure, you only have 140 characters available in that tweet and a lot of your audience might substitute a “2” for “to” but your institution, which should represent higher ideals, should figure out a way to make the tweet work grammatically.
2) Have fun with it.
Wait, you just said to keep it professional? Right. You can keep it professional (i.e. use real words) and still have fun with your content. The description of the biology department on your institution’s website doesn’t need to read like the Declaration of Independence. Don’t get me wrong, your content needs to be professional and accurate, but using a few adjectives and exclamation points (not tons) every once in a while can go a long way.
3) Don’t stretch the truth.
Here’s the thing, the internet makes students far more aware of environments outside of their immediate proximity in a way that previous generations haven’t had to contend with. So when you claim that your dorm is the greatest living quarters in the Midwest, students can check Instagram, do virtual tours, or go visit other institutions and know, unequivocally, if your dorm rooms are…what’s a nice way to say this…old. Stick to the facts. If you were voted a US News & World Report Best Buy last year, tout it! Did your volleyball team go to the national finals? Shout it out! But clearly biased, self-serving statements like “Known to many as the Harvard of the Midwest!” is cheesy, a matter of opinion, and doesn’t help your cause.
The list can go on and on and on about how to cultivate the most impactful content for your purposes. In fact, a simple search engine query could have you reading articles for days, but the truth is that your content should be relevant, accurate, and engaging. If you start there, what you build on top of it will only increase your institution’s marketing success.
Curious to learn more about creating compelling, impactful content that delivers quality calls to action? Contact us!