You’ve spent hours researching, writing and tweaking content and finally have your piece ready for distribution. Suddenly you’re overwhelmed with the many distribution channels available for your school. You don’t want to waste all that hard work on content that may not be seen by your desired audience, right? This is a concern all school marketers experience, so don’t worry.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach which involves creating valuable content across various platforms, particularly online. By following these five simple techniques, you will consistently promote and distribute content effectively.
- First things first: create valuable content
“What is your key message?”
“Who is your target audience?”
“Are they current students, current parents or prospective parents?”
“How do you want your audience to react?”
These are important questions you should ask yourself before commencing content creation. By creating valuable content, you are offering the school community insight and knowledge on information they are searching for. Creating valuable content will set you up for great success before embarking on the journey of promotion and distribution.
- Customise messaging for each channel
Think about your school key messages and who you are trying to target each time. Tone of voice is crucial. For example, if you are publishing a brochure for prospective parents, you may want to engage with a more formal and professional writing style whereas if you are posting a blog on the school’s website, your writing style could be more conversational (and perhaps witty!). Don’t waste time creating content from scratch when you don’t need to. Ask yourself, “How else could I distribute this content to a different audience?” After all, time is of the essence.
- Recycle old content
Remember that blog post from six months ago that was totally awesome and nailed the whole engagement thing? We’ll spare you fancy terminology. But seriously, you can create leads to older content (if relevant, of course) that will provide the audience with further knowledge. Recycling content is a great and often underused way to add value back into your inbound marketing whilst continuing to drive traffic. Another example of recycling content may be reworking your weekly parent newsletter into a weekly student newsletter. Take the key points that a student audience would also be interested in reading and tweak the writing style so it is more light-hearted to engage with the new audience.
- Establish your distribution network
It helps to visually map out your school’s distribution network. Plot out the connections and how they can link with one another in a mind map format, e.g. having an area related to ‘socials’. Mapping out your distribution network and creating a distribution checklist will help you to think about your school’s available channels. Assess the channels you have available and ask the question “What is my leading channel/s for this content?” and “What other channels can I use to maximise the reach?”
- Schedule your distribution
Get organised and create a content calendar, even if it is just for the upcoming month. You can also make the most of online and social media platforms by scheduling posts, blogs and newsletters in advance. Schedule your posts, emails and content at a time when your school community will most likely see them and engage – use analytics to help you decide when this should be. Distributing regular and consistent content will strengthen the perception of your school’s brand.
Content marketing is constantly evolving and it helps to keep up with the latest marketing news, and what other schools are doing. Follow these tips and do your market research to help effectively generate and promote content for your school.