Education is a unique environment - which brings unique opportunities and challenges for marketers. When it comes to content, education is bursting with fantastic and inspiring stories that can capture the hearts of target audiences, but getting the content from academic staff can be a challenge. Here are some handy pointers to enable effective collaboration.
Collaboration is the key to inbound marketing success in education. Showing your prospective students that your school, college or university is the right place for them can be achieved through sharing engaging content and answer any questions they may have.
So how can you get the best content? Teachers, lecturers and other staff that are student-facing are witnessing exciting, engaging and heart-warming stories daily. From a Year 3 student who learns a new skill, to a university student who achieves the top grade in their latest assignment, the stories that show the real day-to-day learning moments are the ones that will win over your audience.
So how can you get the stories you need from your teachers? Here are some tips for success:
Attend department meetings
By making a guest appearance at academic department meetings, you can build a stronger rapport with your teaching colleagues. It is also a great way to be the first to hear about what the department has planned, from exciting practical experiments in science, to engaging field trips in Geography. Having an awareness of what the teaching departments have planned will give you the chance to plan your content.
Explain the importance
Use INSET/training sessions to deliver a presentation to your academic staff at the start of a term or academic year. Just a 15 minute presentation will be an effective platform for you to explain the importance of content creation in growing student numbers. Show some analytics from your blog articles and how they have resulted in open day visitors and enquiries or enrolments. Getting your teachers to think like marketeers can help them to understand the importance of quality content and also act as a gentle reminder that marketing is everyone's responsibility in a growing school, college or university.
Provide the best tools for the job
If your marketing department is small or has a super busy schedule, it can be a challenge to attend everything with your camera! Encouraging teachers to capture content themselves is a great way to get photos and videos from events when it just isn't feasible for you to be there yourself. If you are providing cameras or software, make sure you are offering support too.
Nudge when necessary
In the busyness of term-time, teaching staff have a large number of priorities and providing the marketing team with content will very likely slip off their radar at times. Provide a helping hand by keeping up-to-date with events taking place and giving a friendly reminder that a photo or a bit more information following the event would be really helpful.
Get your leadership team on board
In education, the majority of senior leaders will be academic staff and have responsibility for other academic colleagues. Getting the support of your leadership team, will help you to keep colleagues focused on generating content and letting you know when something exciting happens in their subject area.
Feedback any results
Let your teachers know when one of their stories is popular, if you share a photo on social media that generates some positive comments and meaningful conversations, report these back to the staff that shared the content. Everyone loves a bit of praise and a pat on the back for doing a good job, taking a moment out of your day to thank your teachers for the stories they generate will make them smile and also encourage them to share their activities with your marketing team in future. Win win!
Generating exciting content to engage your target audiences is stage one in their journey to enrolment and becoming ambassadors for your brand. Learn more about the other stages of the flywheel with the inbound methodology.
Need a helping hand to make your growth goals a reality? We offer marketing consultancy and training for education professionals. Find out more: