When schools seek our help, they typically want us to help them take their marketing strategies to the next level. Often, school officials know they need to make an investment in marketing and are looking for help to make the transition to a mostly digital and inbound strategy.
In order to reach prospective families, a robust digital presence is not a nicety, it’s a necessity. In other words, it’s important to reach families where they live – online.
An easy and affordable way for schools to expand their digital footprint is to start blogging. According to school marketing guru, Nick Leroy – “For potential families, running a frequently updated –and SEO optimized – blog improves search engine rankings while giving prospective parents deeper insight into the school and why they should send their children there.”
Here are some blogging tips we share with clients:
Tip 1 – Have a broad focus and recruit contributors.
A school blog with a broad focus allows you to feature different departments and give prospective families a glimpse into everyday life at your school. Many school blogs are stagnant, because their focus is to narrow or there is an over- reliance on one person to create content. Asking different departments to contribute content means there’s a shared workload and allows for a wider variety of posts on the blog.
One of our clients developed a blog schedule that is shared among students, faculty, administrators and the marketing team. They are on a four-week rotation with one group contributing each week – and it’s working.
Also, consider guest bloggers from outside your school, like a parent or like-minded curriculum expert, that can provide validation or testimony about the approach your school takes.
Tip 2 – Mine your calendar for content
Your school calendar is a great place to go looking for content. Throughout the year, there are dozens of events that sets a schools apart from your competitors, so make sure you work in any of these to your content calendar for the year. Whatever you post, make sure it reinforces your schools values and allows for an authentic look into your school.
Tip 3 – Don’t get hung-up on content types
A blog doesn’t always have to be a written post with an image. Think out of the box! Sharing a series of photos and videos can be just as effective. Other popular content that drives blog viewership are lists (ex-10 Reasons Why Your School is the Place for Your Child) and compelling infographics.
Tip 4 – Repurpose blog content
While a blog definitely helps with SEO, you shouldn’t just let your content live on your website. Blog posts make a great addition to your social media share calendar – and you can repurpose the content many different ways – by taking different approaches to the post and breaking up content. Always remember to link back to your original post, directing prospective families back to your website.
Simply put, school blogging is a great way to increase your school’s digital media footprint and is an easy first step into inbound marketing with an added bonus of being able to tell your school’s story to prospective parents.