With IEPs working hard to place emphasis on academic excellence, effective curriculum, and student success, administrators are often left wondering: what is the value of a having a blog? In addition to showcasing content and visuals that don’t have a “home” on traditional college webpages, blogs provide a direct line of communication between the institution and its current (and potential) students, and play a key role in Search Engine Optimization. Here are 10 of the reasons universities need blogs for both current and potential students.
#1: Direct communication with potential and current students
In a world where brochures, PDF flyers, and websites seem to repeat the same, tired content, universities need blogs to provide students a “live” aspect to the school: an online platform where the institution can communicate directly with their current and potential student base and highlight research advancements, academics, student life, and university successes. Blogs provide a direct line of communication between the academic institution and the current and potential student and breathe life into the materials that are seen as stagnant by younger generations.
#2: High (and easily tracked) ROI
Blog content can be produced and published quickly and–with the implementation of carefully selected keywords and content written for high search engine optimization–can result in higher ROI than traditional paper campaigns. Tracking the blog’s success is also a simple process: Google Analytics reports make it easy for clients to track their readership, including the regions/countries most often searching for the blog’s content.
#3: Universities need blogs for PR
Scientific breakthrough? New research grants? Press releases are rarely read by current or potential students. Blogs provide a fresh platform for promoting the university’s academic achievements.
Blogs allow the school to highlight activities, students, and programs that are not always given proper attention in brochures and on websites, and allow this content to be shared “in real time” when a content specialist is on-hand to produce the necessary materials. Furthermore, blogs allow for expansion of PR materials: newsletters, brochures, and web pages are limited in space, and these restraints require selectivity which leads to vital information not being shared with the public.
#4: Contact with potential students
Blogs are a vital resource for potential students and provide students with honest insight into life at the school. What better way to provide potential students with a look into their future as a student than to highlight the campus events, social activities, and regional tourist draws? Universities need blogs as another form of advertisement. (Remember: potential students do not read press releases!)
#5: Visual AND content marketing
Blogs allow an appealing visual aspect, allowing for visual marketing in addition to content marketing. Brochures, pamphlets, webpages, and other materials are limited in their ability to share the professional images taken by hired photographers; blogs allow a “recycling” of this expense. Blogs allow for further use of professional videos and photos, ensuring that these materials are seen by a broader audience.
#6: Blogs provide an additional (and vital) student service
By working together with staff, faculty, and students, it is possible to create a blog that serves all parties. Blogs can be used as an additional resource for teachers, a method for staff to provide extra information to current students, and an excellent reference for agents. Consider recycling content into a newsletter for students or agents: this is a cost-effective way to get more mileage out of blog content.
#7: Ease of integration into marketing plans
Blogs easily work into larger-scale marketing campaigns for the school, including events, newsletters, Facebook or email campaigns, or more for any programs the school would like to promote. A competent Blog Editor will work closely with the school’s internal marketing to stay informed of–and prepare content related to–upcoming events or important concepts the school would like to showcase.
#8: Platform for testimonials
What better way to showcase your school than through the experiences of happy and successful current and former students? Blogs allow this in an uninhibited manner and allow for constant updates, rather than waiting for brochures to undergo copy editing, proofing, and publishing. In this way, blogs serve as an immeasurably important marketing tool for universities.
#9: Blogs significantly improve SEO
Proper site indexing, incorporation of keywords into posts, and SEO integration ensures that the blog will attract students via Google searches. In fact, in many cases, Blogs provide the majority of the web traffic for schools.
As blogs are more adaptable, the keywords implemented are more flexible and can change with time. Additionally, the more casual language often used in blogs make it easier to organically implement long-form keywords, which are quickly becoming an important factor in publishing and in SEO.
#10: Blogs reflect a school’s “personality”
The widespread acceptance of varying blog content allows the school to design a blog that reflects the school’s needs and the institution’s personality.
Lastarria Media produces viral blog content for IEPs. For more information on how to create a blog for your IEP, contact Lastarria Media.