Successful inbound marketing strategies are all about valuable content (read more about inbound marketing here). No matter where you place it, what form it takes or what topics you are covering, your content needs to speak to your audience. There are many avenues to good content – perhaps its research backed or inspiring, or informative, or perhaps it’s practical and actionable. Whatever avenue you take to creating good content, remember, regardless of platform and subject matter, it’s all about providing value.
Inbound marketing for the higher education space starts with content, and a blog is one of the best ways to attract visitors to your website. As prospective students are looking at their options for higher education, they will have a lot of questions. Your blog is a great place to answer those questions – especially evergreen topics that will be asked again and again. You may want to call your entries articles instead of blogs to add a more academic feeling to it.
Once you have created valuable content, social media enables you to share that content very inexpensively and quickly. Sharing educational content and inspiriting stories about your institution provides great value to your followers. In addition, social media allows you to listen to the feedback from your audience and interact with them in a very individualized way. Utilize the platforms your target audience frequents for best results.
Now that you are driving prospective students to your website through strong content and engaging social media activity, you need to capture these visitors and convert them into leads. This is where landing pages come in. Build landing pages with contact forms to collect data and contact information from your visitors so you can further nurture them into students. So how do you get someone to visit a landing page and fill out a contact form?
In order to get someone to submit contact info to your landing page (vital to the inbound methodology) you must offer something of value in return. A free resource such as an eBook, whitepaper, or research piece is the perfect offering. Perceived value is important. You want to make sure that what you are offering via download is well worth giving your name and email address for. Perhaps you can offer special insights into their program of choice or career prospects.
Once a visitor submits their information they are now a lead. It’s important that you capitalize on this opportunity to reach out to them. However, they might not be ready to make a decision at that exact moment. They likely still consider themselves in the research phase. It would be impossible to manually send personal emails to every person who fills out a form as they continue to weigh their options. Using an automated email nurturing strategy, you can send predeveloped emails over a period of time to slowly move them towards a decision.
Interested in a more in depth look at inbound for higher education institutions? Make sure to download our eBook, “Intro to inbound for higher education institutions.”