Feb 15 '17
There are times when the saying ‘too many cooks spoilt the broth’ really does fit; splitting the bill in a restaurant, filling in the pub quiz sheet, choosing toppings on a pizza…. However, according to research 61% of the most effective marketers meet with their content team regularly and encourage all of their content cooks to get involved in creating the perfect marketing broth.
It made us think – is it only the content team that should part of the process? What’s stopping you from getting your whole college involved in your marketing strategy? After all, it’s the teachers, students and staff that you’re representing – so why not give them a say in how its done?
We’ve listed a few ideas to get you started…
Break the Blogging Mould
A blog in any shape or form is a fantastic way to communicate with your target audience. But to really get them on board, you need to offer them an insight into what student life is really like at your establishment. One way to do this is by setting up a student blog.
The University of Manchester does this extremely well. They have a dedicated blog that follows the lives of a handful of students as they make their way through their degrees. It’s personal, funny and informative and covers everything from career advice to dealing with placements, Manchester’s nightlife to the every day of being a student.
Vary your video content
We’re not the first, and certainly not the last, to tell you that video content is where it’s at. Many colleges and universities have jumped onto the visual bandwagon already but, once again, there’s room for more by involving staff and students.
In the essence of the topic, it’s easier to show not tell and The University of Sheffield is the perfect example of video content done right. Their videos are broken down into a number of categories that do include the slick campus tours and promo shots. However the department and student videos are the really interesting ones.
Their YouTube channel has a wealth of playlists including Student Profiles, My Sheffield Story and Student Video Diaries. There are also recordings of the city from a student’s point of view, interviews with staff and parents, even guides in everything from taking great photos to songwriting – put together by students. One of our favourites has to be their equivalent to Gogglebox, putting Forensic Science students in front of TV shows such as Sherlock and CSI to scrutinise the facts.
Sharing is Caring
We can almost certainly guarantee that students are taking photos in and around your college or uni every single day. And, it’s very likely, that a bunch of these photos will be rather flattering of the establishment. Encourage your students, staff and visitors to include a hashtag in any photos they post with the understanding that this means they could be featured on your social media profiles.
A good example of this can be seen on Imperial College London’s Instagram feed. They have a number of re-grammed photos from students that show off the best bits of their college. It’s an easy and effective way to showcase a college or university from a student point of view.
Student Story Takeovers
In one of our recent blogs we wrote about how 28% of students turn to Instagram to research a university. The under-21 category is turning its back on Facebook and Twitter in favour of Instagram and Snapchat. Both now have 24 hour story options on their profiles and it’s something that colleges and unis should be tapping into.
One way to involve students is to offer them the opportunity to ‘takeover’ accounts for the day. A fantastic example of this is one recently posted by the University of Bristol. They’ve put a call-out for graduating students who would be interested in documenting their experience of the day for the university on Instagram Stories.
Not only will this provide a ‘live’ experience for anyone checking Instagram Stories that day, it can also be downloaded at the end so that you have it permanently and can re-share at a later date. The same goes for Snapchat.
If you’re a little hesitant to pass over your login details to a student or member of staff, there are other ways round it. If you can find someone who is willing to send over the documentation to you as it happens – fantastic! Alternatively, consider using photos only so they can be uploaded by your marketing team on a ‘takeover’ day. You could collate photos from a hashtag (like in the section above) and add them to your story manually. It may not offer the exact same ‘live’ experience but you could have stories to fit themes, document upcoming events or run competitions.
These ideas are just a glimpse of the way your content marketing can be improved with a little help from your students and staff. If you’d like more information about this, or any of your education marketing, take a look at our education marketing brochures.