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Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

February 12, 2019
Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

With more than 200 million users, Instagram Stories has surpassed Snapchat as the leader in applications sharing real-time (disappearing) content. Is your institution taking advantage of this free marketing tool? Here are some of the many ideas for using Instagram Stories to promote your school or business.  

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #1: Show a typical day as a student

Potential students will benefit from content that shows what a typical day is like. Recruit a student to be an ambassador and show what a day is like, including transportation to and from the school, coffee or cafeteria breaks, classes, and after school programs. Save these and make them a “saved” story that users can easily access at the top of your Instagram page.

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #2: Give campus and classroom tours

Provide insight into what your campus and classrooms look like. Have a student advisor or administrator provide tours and introduce the staff members that students may work with when they attend your school. This serves as great orientation content for new students as well!

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #3: Highlight activities

Many schools put together incredible activities, yet feel frustrated that potential students do not see this content. Instagram Stories is an excellent way to give potential students an idea of what they may experience after school. It’s also an excellent opportunity to show some of the area’s highlights.

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #4: Highlight campus events

What is happening on campus? Share this in IG Stories!

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #5: Share blog posts

In addition to sharing blog posts on Facebook, use IG Stories to notify followers that a new post is up. You can also recycle old posts to generate more readers for articles that were published in the past.

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #6: Post news for students

Let students know of school news using IG Stories. Examples include posts on the following:

  • Last-minute changes
  • Tuition and application deadlines
  • Weather advisories
  • Birthdays

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Idea #7: Share user-generated content (student photos)

Utilize user-generated content by sharing photos that students posted. It’s an excellent way to highlight the experience of students through their own eyes!

Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

 

Did you know? A third party marketing team can help organize and motivate your internal staff to continually promote your school on social media channels. Contact Lastarria Media for more information.

Higher Education Marketing Newsletters

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

February 5, 2019
The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Email is the preferred method of communication for most people in the workforce . . . are you taking full advantage of this opportunity to communicate with your agents? While newsletters might not be appropriate for all industries, they are a highly valued and effective method to promote sales in the higher education sector. Read on to learn more about the benefits of creating newsletters for agents.

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Benefit 1: Newsletters keep agents up to date

You could share your latest news with your agents via a traditional email or an easy-to-read, branded newsletter with graphics, images, and catchy fonts. Which would you prefer to read?

Schedule your newsletter to coincide with the release of new price lists, programs, course schedules, or the publication of other marketing materials (such as a video testimonial).

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Benefit 2: Newsletters provide useful data about your agents and the information they are seeking

Did you know that newsletters are a valuable tool for data collection? With a newsletter, you can gain access to the following information:

  • Which accounts received your newsletter (and which accounts caused the email to bounce back)
  • Which email accounts opened the newsletter (and how many times it was opened)
  • Which URLs and images were clicked on
  • What PDFs were downloaded

This data illustrates which agents are utilizing your newsletter, which in turn helps you better understand its effectiveness (and what information should be included in future newsletters). Furthermore, your email newsletter data tells you where agent interests are: the most clicked hyperlinks or most highly downloaded PDFs indicate which programs agents are promoting (and which they are not).

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Benefit 3: Newsletters provide an opportunity to brand your institution and recycle marketing materials

Are you getting enough use out of your logo, your written and video testimonials, your blog posts, and your professional photos? Newsletters provide another opportunity to use these materials and present them in a professional, branded way. Be sure that agents understand your school’s message loud and clear.

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Benefit 4: Newsletters ensure you have the most current agent contact information

People change jobs all the time. Are you 100% sure that every email address you have for every agent is up to date? If not, consider a newsletter. Each time you send an e-newsletter, you will receive a report of emails that bounced back. Some are “soft” bounces, meaning that there simply may be some spam software installed on the agent’s email account. This is an opportunity to email this agent directly, provide them with the link to the newsletter, and show them that your school has a high attention to detail.

Sometimes, the bounces are “hard bounces.” These are emails that no longer work. Either your institution has the incorrect email listed (this happens often!) or this person is no longer with the company. Either way, this is a red flag . . . and something that should be investigated further. In doing so, you are ensuring you are up-to-date on your partner agencies and their personnel.

The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Agents

Higher Education Industry Statistics Marketing Marketing Guides SEO Social Media Video Content Web Content

Weathering the Storm: Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

October 26, 2018
Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

The international enrollment numbers are in, and they reflect what those who work in international education know: these have been a troubling few years for the U.S. international education industry. The strong U.S. dollar, disturbing media reports about safety amid gun violence, xenophobia, and the current political climate are all factors contributing to this downtown in enrollment numbers.  

In the middle of this perfect storm, international education administrators and recruiters are left with the challenge of promoting U.S. programs. To weather this storm, Lastarria Media has provided some tips for surviving the U.S. international education recession.

Weathering the Storm: Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

1. Reorganize/restructure internally as needed

Numbers are down: use this time to your benefit. Take a look at the administrative structure of your institution and make the changes needed to survive (keeping in mind that you will probably need to implement another restructure when numbers again improve). Plan for these fluxes accordingly: have one structure for assigned duties based on low enrollment, and another based on high enrollment. Utilize this period of low enrollment to prepare for the implementation of each of these plans.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

2. Complete a website audit

Your website is a marketing and recruiting tool . . . are you using it as such? Take this downtime to review your website and make sure that it has all of the elements it needs. During this audit, ask the following questions:

  • Is all information up to date?
  • Are all programs fully explained?
  • Are the photos fresh?
  • Do all links work?
  • Are all forms updated?
  • Is the privacy policy GDPR compliant?
  • Is it the site easy to navigate?
  • Is it easy for students to sign up for classes?

Consider hiring a consultant to make suggestions regarding user experience (UX) and to edit the site as a whole. The best time to double your online marketing presence is during times of economic slowdown.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

3. Consider revising/updating admissions forms and systems

Now is the time to fix or improve your admissions system. Instruct employees to test your systems and review each step of the online admissions process and PDF application process. Remove unnecessary items and streamline the application to ensure the application process is fluid.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

4. Review your message and marketing materials

What is your institution’s message? Do your marketing materials reflect this? Do they clearly show what sets your institution apart from your competitors? While looking for the answers to these questions, it is a good idea to take a look at your competition’s websites and marketing materials. This will show you how your school stacks up.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

5. Update and refresh your branding

Is your logo up to date? Is it used throughout your materials? Now is the time to look at this and decide if your school needs a marketing makeover. These investments will pay off when it comes to recruiting in 2019.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

6. Focus on your message through social media

Social media costs very little, but the rewards are great. During restructuring, recruit an internal employee to share your school’s message via social media. Have this person do the following:

  • Carefully select your school’s branded hashtag
  • Follow agencies and partners on Instagram
  • Post daily: share school activities, classroom activities, and anything that makes your school special!
  • Run IG contests with small prizes (and have students use the hashtag in order to participate)
  • Promote activities on Instagram and Instagram stories
  • Use Canva to create IG posts (it’s free!)
  • Share all IG posts on Facebook
  • Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

7. Pay close attention to Google Analytics and use Analytics for sales plans

Google Analytics provides useful metrics in regard to your website: our article about Using Web Metrics for a Successful Website explains the ways to turn these statistics into effective marketing and sales plans.

Use your Landing Pages and Pages reports to understand user activity and trends over time: these reports will also aid in identifying underperforming pages that need SEO improvement. Use the Location report to identify emerging markets, and consider translating your website’s main pages into other languages based on this data.

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

8. Blog, blog, blog

A blog is your marketing tool, your way of connecting to current and potential students, and your key to improving SEO (learn all about this in our post, Why IEPs Need Blogs). The most important aspects of blogging are to blog consistently and to integrate keywords into all posts: both will improve your SEO rapidly.

When blogging, follow these ideas:

  • Encourage teachers to host writing contests: publish the winner on the blog
  • Have teachers guest blog
  • Ask your Activities Coordinator to provide photos and updates
  • Have a Student of the Week
  • Share on social media

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

9. Connect with alumni

Word of mouth remains an excellent marketing tool. Connect with your alumni through a newsletter, alumni events, or a LinkedIn group. Offer them specials if they’d like to return, and seek testimonials from them as well. Consider embedding a custom Google Map to illustrate the diversity of your student population: add testimonials and photos to each popup to recycle your testimonials in a unique and engaging way.

Tips for Surviving the U.S. International Education Recession

Marketing Marketing Guides Video Content YouTube

Getting the Best Testimonials: Tips While Interviewing

October 3, 2018
Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your School

Documentary-style testimonial videos are an incredibly effective marketing tool, but require many elements: high-quality equipment, a skilled cameraperson, a quiet and aesthetically pleasing place to film, and an interviewer who creates a relaxed and welcoming environment are just a few key elements of quality film production. After filming, a video requires skilled editing from a videographer who knows how to present the message and branding of your product, program, company, or institution.

Each of these aspects is vital to creating engaging video content, and many aspects (such as practicing the interview process) can be prepared for in advance. Here are some tips and tricks to the interview process that will help to produce the best footage.

Getting the Best Testimonials: Tips While Interviewing

  1. Let the interviewee know that you will repeat questions several times to allow them to express themselves in several ways.
  2. Remember that these are sound bites. Instruct your interviewees to speak in snippets, not in long paragraphs.
  3. Instruct him/her to sit still and not make faces, nervously laugh, etc. after finishing a response. (People often do this to indicate that he/she is done speaking. It ruins the shot.)
  4. Before filming begins, check that the mic is not showing, that interviewee hair is not out of place, that clothes are in order, and that no one is behind the shot.
  5. Don’t begin asking questions until the cameraperson states that we are rolling.
  6. Look the speaker in the eye as you ask questions and listen to his or her answer.
  7. Do not speak while the interviewee speaks.  
  8. Pause for several seconds before asking the next question.
  9. Make sure that the speaker looks at you and not the camera.
  10. Have the speaker state his/her name, city/country of origin, and other details several times. (Chances are that you will need several options for this sound bite.)
  11. Make sure that every question begins with a statement. For example, “I choose X because . . . “ rather than “I chose it because . . . “ Explain this to the interviewee so that they understand what is needed of them: for example, tell them that in the final product, your questions will not be stated or revealed.
  12. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewee to state something again if you KNOW that this will not be a useful sound bite because of something that happens or is said. (For example, if an interviewee accidentally stutters too much, or if a noise in the background creates a distraction.)
  13. Have fun and be comfortable: this will help your interviewee relax as well!

Lastarria Media, LLC produces high-quality testimonial videos for the international education sector. Here is just one example of Lastarria Media’s work: to see more samples, contact us.

Marketing Marketing Guides Metrics Web Content

How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

May 29, 2018
How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

A website’s metrics can provide useful information about an IEPs web presence, allowing administrators to better understand their website’s audience and make educated decisions regarding investments into website updates. Content creation, SEO improvement, marketing ROI, and even recruitment strategies to target specific audiences all rely upon metrics. Is your IEP or institution using them effectively?

How to use metrics for a successful website

Alexa

How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

Alexa is a website owned by Amazon that provides web traffic data and analytics. The website is best known for Alexa Rank, which categorizes websites into groups and then ranks each website’s popularity (based on site visits).

Alexa is a useful tool for understanding the effectiveness of your IEP’s website, identifying your competitors, and establishing how you rank against your competition. If your IEP hires a third-party marketing and web development team, ask to see their statistics regarding other client’s Alexa rankings. This will provide insight into the effectiveness of their SEO strategies.

Lastarria Media is proud to have developed and continue to manage the website ranked 3rd in the U.S. for language schools. Contact us for information on how to improve your site’s rankings on Alexa.


Copyscape

How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

Since duplicate content can negatively affect Google rankings, it is important to have unique content on your site. Copyscape is a plagiarism detector that checks if your site contains content that is also on another website. Simply insert your website’s URL into Copyscape and it will detect any duplicate content on the internet.

 

Google Analytics

How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

Google Analytics remains a critical tool for understanding a site’s traffic and user behavior. This information is useful in formulating marketing campaigns, understanding industry trends, and analyzing and improving your website.

Through customized Analytics reports, users can track:

  • The total number of visitors to a site (and a site’s individual pages)
  • The location of these visitors (broken down by country or city)
  • On which page visitors enter the site (called a “Landing Page”)
  • The languages used to access your site
  • The number of pages users visit when on the site
  • The length of time users spend on each page
  • The device used to visit the site (for example, mobile devices)
  • The referral source that drives users to the site (for example, Facebook, Facebook mobile, Instagram, or links from another page)

Google Analytics also allows user to compare this data with data from other years, which provides useful information regarding traffic trends.

 

PageSpeed Insights

How to Use Metrics for a Successful Website

Another useful tool from Google is PageSpeed Insights, which reports on the performance on a page and provides suggestions for how page load speed can easily be improved. By plugging any page into PageSpeed, users can see a site’s Speed Score and Optimization Score. The report also provides optimization suggestions, such as its uses of images (which could be sized smaller for quicker load time), its redirects of URLs, its use of JavaScript and CSS, and more.

 

Blogging for IEPs Marketing Marketing Guides SEO Web Content

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

April 30, 2018
What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

Once an institution has decided to hire a content marketing service to provide quality content,  many administrators find themselves faced with questions regarding pricing, qualifications, and services. What should you look for in content marketing services? Follow these guidelines to be sure your institution is receiving the right services when it comes to content creation and publishing.

A content marketing service should provide the following:

  • Keyword analysis
  • Editorial content calendar
  • Quality blogs that include well-incorporated SEO through content, images, and

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

Relevant keyword analysis

To attract the right customers or clients, content development agencies begin with a relevant keyword analysis. This analysis is based on many factors, including the client’s current rankings for relevant keywords and rankings in comparison to competitors.

These keywords should be organically incorporated into the website content, including the content itself, URLs, title tags, meta tags, meta descriptors, and images.

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

A clearly defined editorial calendar

A client should have the final say in an editorial calendar and at all times know what has been published and what is scheduled to be. Make sure that your web content/digital marketing agency provides you with a clearly defined, well organized editorial calendar (and that you are given plenty of time to request changes before the scheduled posts are published).

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

Well designed, quality blogs

Quality blogs will have the following:

Correctly formatted URLs

A correctly formatted URL should be keyword rich to improve its visibility with search engines and its readability: URLs are shown in search results and are one of the key factors when readers determine whether or not to click on your article. Other factors determine a URLs strength, such as the use of characters (or spaces, which are converted to “%” symbols by search engines and which are impossibly confusing).

A URL should also:

  • Avoid “stop” words (such as prepositions)
  • Have roughly 50-60 characters
  • Be carefully organized with the site’s folders

Digital marketing companies will often run checks of your present site to test URL lengths and viability (and will make suggestions for URL rewrites and web organization based upon this analysis).

Keyword-rich titles

The titles of articles, blog posts, and web pages must be highly optimized for search engines by naturally using the carefully selected target keywords. Keywords should be placed at the beginning of the title to further improve optimization; for example:

  • [YOUR SCHOOL] Named School with the Highest UC Berkeley Transfer Rate
  • Highest UC Berkeley Transfer Rate Award Given to [YOUR SCHOOL]

Assuming the words “Highest UC Berkeley Transfer Rate” are the keywords, the second option is the most viable for a post title.

A professional digital marketing company will take the time to incorporate your school’s keywords into the title in a natural and effective way.

Well hidden “advertising”

Any online content from your institution is a possible marketing and advertising tool: Facebook posts, blog posts, brochures, newsletters . . . everything should be branded and used as an opportunity to attract clients and agents. However, this must be executed subtly, and without the glare of flashy advertising. An experienced digital marketing company will use all online content to your school’s advantage while also creating engaging, useful content for the reader.

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services

Rich snippets

This catchy (yet odd) phrase is best remembered as “the little things” that improve SEO. Examples of rich snippets include how the images are labeled and titled, the words selected for the page/post/article description (which appears underneath the title in search engine results), and Google reviews.

One rich snippet that is well known is schema markup. Schema markup is basically coding placed in a website that “talks” to search engines: it tells the search engine what is on the site and what to display in the search results.

A knowledgeable digital marketing company will take care of all “behind the scenes” rich snippets (such as correctly labeling all images) and schema markup and will advise you on ways that your school can improve SEO through these snippets (such as encouraging Google reviews, one of the growing factors in SEO results).

Lengthy content

A common misconception is that articles should be roughly 300 words. Today, search engines are placing more focus on finding results that are the “authority” on the subject a reader searched for. One of the factors that establishes authority is post length: several SEO studies have proved that longer content tends to rank higher in search results; in fact, posts of approximately 2,000 words are now considered ideal in many markets.

The international education sector, however, is unique: readers are language learners, and 2,000 word articles can actually deter a reader or potential agent. An effective digital marketing agency will produce content of varying lengths, with some posts written to “go viral” and other (shorter) articles published to attract potential students and entertain current students.

Detailed analytics reports

How well is the content you paid for performing? A content marketing service should provide detailed Q1, Q2, Q3, and yearly reports on the following:

  • Overall traffic by country
  • Audience behavior
  • Pages visited (top performing pages)

The digital marketing agency should also provide customized, detailed reports when requested.

To learn more about the services of a quality digital marketing agency with content writing services, contact Lastarria Media, LLC.

Google Reviews Marketing SEO

How to Get Google Reviews for Your IEP

April 4, 2018
How to Get Google Reviews for Your IEP

You do not have to be an SEO guru to understand the importance of Google Reviews to an institution’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In fact, the relationship between Google reviews and Google performance is quite logical:

  • Google creates algorithms to determine a website’s ranking
  • Many factors contribute to this algorithm: the website content, word choice, blog, social media posts and videos, and images all play factors.
  • Another factor is Google itself: how many reviews does this institution have on Google Reviews? This will boost your rankings.

Asking for Google Reviews can be awkward for any company, but particularly uncomfortable for IEPs. We develop a relationship with our students that is based on education, not business, so it seems out of place to ask students for reviews. For this reason, many IEP Google rankings suffer.

Asking graduates for Google Reviews can be made easier by providing students with a handout. Download the handout below, which can be customized with your institution’s logo, and provide students with these simple instructions.

Google Reviews Flyer for IEPs

How is your institution performing online? Contact Lastarria Media for a free consultation on your school’s web presence and website performance.

Marketing Marketing Guides Social Media Video Content YouTube

YouTube for Higher Education: Tips for Creating and Sharing Video Content

April 4, 2018
YouTube for Higher Education: Tips for Creating and Sharing Video Content

YouTube is a valuable marketing tool for higher education and allows institutions to send a message about the voice of their campus. Is your school using YouTube effectively? Follow these tips to ensure your higher ed institution is creating useful content, engaging with users and providing a pleasant user experience, and getting the most out of the content that is created.

YouTube for Higher Education: Tips for Creating and Sharing Video Content

Creating valuable content

What types of videos should you make? With higher education, there are many options.

  • Guided tours of your campus and/or department
  • Guided tours of housing accommodations
  • Testimonials: students, alumni, staff
  • Student services interviews
  • Tips for incoming students
  • Facebook Live events
  • FAQs video

YouTube for Higher Education: Tips for Creating and Sharing Video Content

Tips when filming

Remember that a user will subliminally connect the quality of a school’s video to the quality of its programs. Be sure to create videos that are clear to see and hear, and choose backgrounds and shooting locations wisely.

  • Choose well-lit locations
  • Record videos with a minimum of 1080p resolution
  • Make sure the camerawork is steady: use a tripod
  • Beware of background noise that can distort
  • Test the sound and lighting before filming all of the testimonials
  • Get plenty of b-roll footage (footage of the campus, buildings, etc. to play while a person is narrating or providing a testimonial)
  • Brand when possible: have people giving testimonials wear a shirt with the school logo, or place students near a sign with the campus name.

YouTube for Higher Education: Tips for Creating and Sharing Video Content

Tips when posting

Posting content is an opportunity to improve your school’s SEO. Don’t miss this opportunity.

  • Video title should be within 70 characters
  • Use keywords in the title if possible to improve SEO
  • Use proper tags: YouTube provides suggestions when uploading
  • Make sure the video description is clear in the first 100 characters: this is what is shown when sharing on social media.
  • Feel free to use the rest of YouTube’s allotted 1,000 characters for the description: this is a good place to use keywords and link to the other sites and social media accounts

 

More tips for producing quality video content

  • Include closed caption for a better user experience: YouTube makes this process simple
  • Always include a call-to-action (Book Now! Learn More!)
  • Remember that call-to-actions can now be included throughout the video using YouTube’s “cards” (this helps catch the attention of users who do not watch the entire video)
  • Create YouTube playlists for an easier user experience. For example, make one video focusing on each program you offer and then make a playlist called “Our Programs.”
  • Get mileage out of your content: share on several platforms! Embed on your institution’s website, share links on PDF versions of flyers, include the link in email signatures, and share on social media.

For more information about producing quality content for your higher education institution, contact Lastarria Media.

 

Higher Education Industry Statistics Instagram Marketing Marketing Guides Social Media

Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

April 4, 2018
Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Instagram has become a valuable marketing tool for many industries, including higher education. Yet many institutions are unsure how to utilize Instagram (or remain unconvinced of its influence on consumers). Is your institution profiting from this beneficial form of social media?

Why use IG for marketing?

  • Reach potential students: 80% of IG users live outside of the U.S.
  • Target international student demographic: ​​59% of users are ages 18-29
  • 80% of IG users follow a business
  • 71% of businesses use IG, double from 2016
  • Influencers overwhelmingly prefer IG for brand collaboration: consider scholarships for international influencers*

Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Tips for posting school photos on Instagram

  • Develop/use branded hashtags (7 out of 10 hashtags on IG are branded!)
  • Always use a location (posts with a location  receive almost 80% more engagement)
  • Post on weekdays: this is when engagement is highest
  • Photos receive 36% more engagement than videos.
  • Post photos of students and staff: photos with faces receive 38% more likes
  • Consider the overall look of the gallery (vertical vs. horizontal photos; consistent filters and borders)
  • Use logos (naturally) in photos when possible
  • Create a gallery that is a mix of campus activities, academics, and social outings
  • Use photos to illustrate your school’s diversity
  • Make use of Instagram stories for content that is relevant but not necessary for your gallery (posts disappear within 24 hours)
  • Don’t be afraid to promote programs and specials: 65% of top performing IG posts feature a product
  • Host IG contests with your students: user-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate.
  • Don’t be afraid of emojis: 50% of content on IG has at least one emoticon

Marketing Higher Education Institutions via Instagram: A Posting Guide for IEPs

Need more tips on marketing your educational institution online? Contact Lastarria Media.

* be sure to develop a clear agreement regarding the content that must be posted in exchange for an influencer’s scholarship

Statistics source.

Copyright 2018, Lastarria Media, LLC.

Blogging for IEPs Marketing SEO Web Content

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

March 7, 2017
10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

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.

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#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.
10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#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!)

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#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. 

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#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.

10 Reasons IEPs Need Blogs

#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