Have you ever thought about blogging for your college or university?
First of all, if you haven’t read our awesome post about blogging yet, you should. And if you have, you'd know that blogging is still a pretty solid way to attract visitors—or in this case, students, to your school, as long as you’re using it as a way to showcase your school’s identity.
1. Blog as a resource
We know that the upcoming generation of college students is pretty skeptical—it’s going to take a lot of convincing to get them to pick your university, let alone decide if they’re going to a university in the first place.
Growing up with Google, it makes sense that the internet is where they’d go to start their search. When Junior Jessica types into the search engine: What college should I go to? Think about where you want to rank in the SEO. It’s a competitive world. But, if you approach your blog as a resource and strategically use those keywords, topical information, and CTAs that feed the SEO on Google, your school will be more likely to stand out to Junior Jessica as it lands higher on the top-ranking pages—so long as you share the relevant and valuable information that she, and Google, are looking for.
To stand out, HIGH QUALITY CONTENT IS A MUST. Be the resource that provides the answers she’s looking for.
Speak to students in a way that resonates with them and center your blog around the content they want to see. Highlight success stories, student life, programs, getting to know the faculty and staff, and whatever else your student personas are interested in. Center it back to your current and potential students and make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Remember, blogging is still the best way an organization can boost its organic search engine rankings.
2. Blog as a navigator
Use blogging as an opportunity for you to guide potential students in the direction you want them to go—while on their terms. Develop multiple channels where you can share your content that will be found by prospective students on their turf.
Are you staying on their radar when it comes to the apps they visit most? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat? Is the content you’ve made motivating? Informative? Simple? Consumable? Who says your blog has to be all writing? Vlogging attracts a huge number of views and subscribers and video is great for breaking content up and sharing to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram; where a viewer can be directed to your university’s page.
3. Blog as a friend/advisor
What do your prospective students really care about? Prove that you have the answers, and show that you are available to help them along the way. What better way to show your expertise and personality than through a blog? You have an opportunity to speak their language and take them through the stages of their buyer’s journey.
And it all starts with creating the relevant and compelling content they are searching for. Do your students want to know what their life will be like as a freshman? Do they want to know what life is like as a student-athlete? Do they want to know what will help them as they save for school?
Blogging for the sake of blogging won’t get you anywhere. You have to have a clear goal in mind and keep tying it back to your own strategic goals or it won’t be worth your time.
Blogging isn’t just a tool, it’s an opportunity to tell your university’s story while engaging with who matters most: your students. It increases your credibility and gives you a chance to share quality information, opinions, and news with prospective students; allowing them to see what life is really like at your university.