It’s become a widely-accepted fact these days that one simply must host a blog to showcase one’s market authority and earn credibility with prospective students.
If you've bought into that hype, good for you; you're a wise person. Blogging is one of the best ways to help attract prospective students, shorten the time between discovery and application, and engage alumni. Plus, every quality blog post you create can continue to attract prospective students to your website for months, sometimes even years after it's published.
A quality blog post is worth its word count in gold.
Creating valuable content means knowing your persona profiles, how your topic relates to the enrollment journey, and offering real solutions to real problems.
Readers wade into the infinite pool of virtual information with a specific issue in mind. They may not know exactly what the problem is, but they’ll know it when they see it. For your content to be valuable to your school, it must be useful to your audience.
If your blog isn’t doing as well as you’d hoped, you may be missing the point of blogging altogether. Here are three signs you’re missing golden opportunities to showcase the value of earning a diploma from your school and how to improve.
You Aren’t Getting Click-throughs
You’re promoting your content everywhere. You have a solid social media presence, so you know your offer is being seen. Still, no click-throughs. No one is following the link back to your website.
If this is your pain point, chances are you aren’t writing captivating titles. Your title should clearly and concisely summarize the problem addressed in the blog post.
If you’re title is ok, it could be your description that’s turning readers off. Make sure your description succinctly summarizes what readers can expect from the piece. If your description portends anything other than the solution to the reader’s problem, it’s not going to win attention. No one wants to be advertised at.
Your Posts Aren’t Getting Read All the Way Through
You’re getting plenty of click-throughs, but no one is making it through the entire post. This could mean a few different things.
It could mean your headline is engaging, but it doesn’t relate to the content within the post. That’s not good for your reputation. If readers are following through to your website with an expectation that is not being met, your audience will perceive you as incompetent or worse, dishonest. Add self-promotion to the mix and your reputation is doomed. Make sure your title matches the content of your blog post.
It could mean your writing sucks. If your writing is not engaging (boring), if it’s riddled with grammatical errors, or if it’s a meandering mess of off-topic diatribes, no one is going to invest their time into finishing it. Furthermore, you characterize your company as inept, incapable, or unorganized based on the content. You can avoid any of these issues by having your work professionally edited or hiring professionals to create and optimize content for you.
Your Content Isn’t Getting Shared
You’re getting click-throughs, so you know your headline and description are engaging. And readers are making it through your posts, so you know your writing is sound. But your posts aren’t getting shares.
Sounds like you’re holding out on your readers. If your content doesn’t answer a question, offer a solution, or create value in some way, it’s not going to get shared. No one is willing to waste their network’s time on content that hasn’t benefited them in some way.
Inbound marketing and education have a lot in common.
The goal of every academic institution is to educate and nurture students. That goal is in absolute alignment with the goal of inbound marketing: inform and nurture prospects until they’re ready to make a commitment. Answering your readers' questions, sharing quality information that can help ease readers' pains, reveals your school's sincere dedication to your value system. It showcases your concern for graduate satisfaction. Most of all, it proves the quality of your product.
There is a difference—a major difference—between pitching your school and nurturing your prospects, students, and alumni. There is a time and a place for each. A solid understanding of your ideal personas and where your content fits into the enrollment journey will help you determine exactly what to say to begin forming the kind of relationship that nurtures your audience from insecure dabblers to brand-loyal graduates.
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