Higher education has not only become an increasingly competitive market; it has also become an increasingly digital market. Universities and colleges can no longer rely on traditional marketing methods such as handing out course brochures or advertising in newspapers and magazines.
In order for universities to compete on a global stage it’s essential that they go digital. Being ahead of the digital game means remaining relevant and competitive. This means having a first-rate website, an active presence on social media, a solid investment in SEO activities and a blog that provides value to its readers.
Blogging is relatively new in the world of higher education and so far, most universities aren’t utilizing it to its full advantage...if they’re using it at all. Has your university gotten on board with blogging yet? If you haven’t then here’s why you really should:
Blogging connects you with potential students
How do you create a meaningful relationship with prospective students who you only have a limited time to impress? Social media and blogs are the best ways of showcasing your university’s unique selling points. Prospective students will do a thorough background check on schools they’re considering and will check out blogs and social media. An active and measured digital presence gives you a much better chance of leaving a lasting impression on students who are in the midst of selecting a school.
Blogging helps drive website traffic
There must be a catch, I hear you say. Well there isn’t. Effective blogging drives more visitors to your website by improving SEO. Frequently publishing keyword-optimized blog posts means you are more likely to show up in organic search results. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to create a steady stream of fresh and up-to-date content which will make you popular with Google and influence how you are ranked. Don’t just write for the sake of it however, the key to effective blogging is to write for your intended audience (prospective students).
Blogging provides fuel for your social media engine
Blogging not only increases web traffic through SEO, it also provides your university with content to share across your social media platforms. This will help connect your university to new and wider audiences who you may not otherwise have reached. You know what this means, more clicks, more website visitors and with a bit of luck more students enrolling in your university.
Blogging builds your brand and establishes you as a thought-leader
Whether we’re booking a hotel, downloading an e-book on Amazon or selecting the university that will shape our future career, we’re more likely to purchase something if we come across a blog that gives it a glowing review. A blog builds trust and recognition for your university and an effective recruitment blog should feature topics that provide the answer to common questions students and parents have.
Blogging gets people talking
Finally, blogging generates awareness and buzz about your institution. Blogging is about being part of a conversation so encourage your audience to get involved, comment and promote the blog on social media. Consider featuring guest and student bloggers as it will put you in touch with new audiences.
Some key things to remember if you’re just starting your university blog are:
- Write for your audience- Stay current by actively monitoring hot-topics in higher education
- Post frequently and consistently- Blog as often as you can
- Create a content calendar
- Establish ownership of the blog
There’s no steadfast formula to creating a successful university blog but having interesting, well-written content is one way to keep your audience coming back for more. Have fun with it and remember blogging really does work!