I am working at a college in Norway, and I have been thinking a lot about how to promote the college (how to recruit more students) by using inbound marketing. So, when I received this guest post by Mariana, I was really happy. Not only is it a great post, but it will also keep my thoughts focused on creating the new marketing strategy for the college. I would love to discuss what type of inbound marketing I should be focusing on for the college. Please leave a comment.
Here’s Mariana for you:
There are two primary categories of marketing that companies and organizations use to generate profit: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on finding customers through advertising and promotion, while inbound marketing focuses on being found by customers. There are plenty of advantages to both marketing strategies. However, in certain sectors of sales, inbound marketing may be a stronger option. Rarely do we think about how colleges and institutions of higher education market their services. Many colleges have successfully used the inbound approach to marketing to their advantage. Because customers find the services they seek on their own, there is a strong sense of ownership and pride involved with inbound marketing. This can work to the college’s advantage and plays a huge role in marketing higher education. To implement an inbound marketing strategy, try these three techniques.
Creating quality content that your customer base would be interested in seeing is the first step in an inbound marketing strategy. One of the most common and often most successful platforms for content marketing is with a weblog. Universities and colleges can create a blog online that discusses commonly asked questions and points of interests for current college students and high school students looking to choose a collage. A blog that is run well has a way of feeling both personal and informative for their readers (and potential customers/students). Blogging lends itself well to colleges in particular because college hopefuls are constantly seeking insider and expert knowledge. This is exactly what a higher education blog can provide. Feature posts by professors, administrators, students, and applicants. This will help attract “shoppers” to your university or program because they can build a relationship with you and your school before ever attending. However, before a blog can be truly successful, close attention must be paid to the search engine optimization process.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website on all the major search engines. If your university has a blog, but it is not visible when an individual Googles things about higher learning or college, then it won’t be very worthwhile. Search Engine Optimization takes into consideration using keywords in blog posts and titles, so that those posts appear when they are searched for. As the internet becomes ever more prevalent in every aspect of the buying process, SEO has become more and more essential to drawing a profit. If no one can find you blog, no one will read it. If no one is reading your blog, no one is buying your product or attending your school. Good SEO tactics include creating quality content that is unique, using keywords that people search for, getting your links out there, and much more. Just as SEO is part of quality blogging, social networking is part of successful SEO.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ have changed the way in which our society communicates and interacts. So much of what we see comes to us through our use of social media and social networking. Colleges trying to market their school using the inbound approach should pay close attention to social media and networking. Once you have created a marketing blog for you institution, use social media outlets to advertise your posts. Let your potential students find you on Twitter and Facebook. On these outlets provide information that students and potential students are interested in seeing and link visitors to your blog. With inbound marketing, social media networks increase the impact your compact has on the public and make you more visible. Each of these three aspects of inbound marketing are necessary for a successful campaign.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.