5 Reasons Why Education Companies Need Content Marketing

Dec 6, 2018 by

For an industry that is supposed to teach new things to people (predominantly young people) education is surprisingly inflexible and unwilling to learn new tricks on its own. Take a look at most universities of today and you will see them using the same methods they’ve been using fifty or even a hundred years ago, with minor and seemingly unwilling alterations due to technological progress. It is even more obvious when you look at the way most educational institutions promote themselves – yes, these days most of them do have websites, but they usually look more like token effort without any real expectation of achieving anything with it.

Other than that, universities still think in categories of brochures, flyers and white papers describing how awesome they are – however, this approach only works for colleges that are well-known enough not to need any kind of promotion at all. But what about those not belonging to these happy few? Their answer is content marketing. And here is why.

1.    It works via emotions

Surprisingly enough (or not), but when asked why they’ve chosen this or that particular college from all the alternatives, most students cite not the school rank, the quality of research or other rational reasons, but purely emotional ones – they liked the people, felt welcome, were impressed with the campus and so on. This means that just like with any other purchase a person’s choice of a college (a school, a course, etc.) is primarily dictated by emotion, not reason. Meanwhile, content marketing works via storytelling, one of the most powerful conduits of emotion in existence. If you want your educational company to trigger positive emotions in potential students, you have to resort to it.

2.    It helps to build up connections

What does a potential applicant learn about a college or an education company from a traditional website? Such websites usually describe what an institution is, when it was established, what its purposes are – all completely generic stuff that can be found on a website of almost any other institution of this type. When an applicant sees a generic website, he immediately feels that it is something that exists for the sake of appearances and isn’t expected to be taken seriously.

Now, when he sees a website that tells about faculty accomplishments, interesting stories by the college alumni and mixes in useful content related to what one expected to learn there, it is another thing entirely.

3.    It builds credibility

By publishing useful and relevant content an educational organization utilizes the principle of “show, don’t tell”. It demonstrates its expertise in a particular field, gives potential students a taste of what they can learn, which can be much more powerful than simply mentioning academic rankings and other achievements that don’t really mean all that much for an individual applicant.

4.    It sets you apart from the generic competition

Take a look at a dozen websites of colleges and other educational organizations, and you will see that they are depressingly similar. They don’t contain any individuality. They use more or less the same keywords to get to their readers, make more or less the same offers and do nothing to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd. They copy each other, creating a kind of generic educational website feel that immediately devalues what little they have to say to their visitors.

Content marketing allows your organization to create its own unique voice that would appeal to the kind of people who apply to your specific institution. It emphasizes the qualities that are particularly strong in your institution and shows what you do differently from others.

5.    It promises viewers future success

One of the most effective applications of content marketing for educational institutions is showing how their alumni are doing now. Any college alumnus (or a person who took a course, if you represent an online educational company) is influenced by the education they received, and the kind of life they live now depends on what kind of education they got. Anybody who sees content dedicated to them is going to draw parallels between himself and that person and be motivated by the success they enjoy now.

All in all, education is not all that different from any other industry, and an educational institution can benefit from content marketing just like any other business. And it doesn’t involve all that much creative energy to produce such content – students, alumni and faculty members of any educational institution have plenty of personal teaching and learning experiences to create any amount of unique, high-quality content based on them. You simply have to approach and encourage them to share these experiences, and you are going to receive a never-ending source of content showing unique perspectives of people your potential applicants will be able to relate to.

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