The nature of marketing is changing - data, digital, social, mobile, analytics, real-time agility - these buzz words are now part of marketing vocabulary. As a school marketer you realise you need to shift your focus from pushing messages at parents to engaging them in an ongoing conversation and relationship. However, unless your content appears when and where parents need it, it may as well be invisible.
While some content spreads virally, the majority needs to be distributed to reach the widest audience possible. Use this content marketing distribution checklist to maximise your reach with prospective parents and students.
- Website: Create a section where you promote the latest school news and content on your site.
- Email newsletters: Curate content that you’ve published elsewhere in your on-going newsletters. Where appropriate, re-imagine the information as a short newsletter article.
- Blog: Link to courses and co-curricular when it’s mentioned in your blog posts. Additionally use your blog to feature other related content such as your YouTube channel. Also offer parents the ability to receive your posts via email or RSS.
- Employee email signatures: Leverage the power of your employees’ correspondence. Create a unified email signature that employees tailor with their name and title.
- Internal communications: Create a human sounding email (rather than one that sounds like a robot wrote it) highlighting your current content offering. It not only keeps teachers in the loop; it can help them with their jobs.
- Handouts: Create parent handouts incorporating your relevant content.
- In-school signage: Put up signs promoting your content. Create an easy-to-remember URL. Incorporate some of the information into the sign. Consider using a QR code to provide the rest of the information.
- Yearbook: Use this opportunity to highlight your key events and achievements from throughout the year. The goal is to position you as a thought leader in your field.
- Facebook: In addition to sharing links to your school content, distribute photographs, short clips and data graphics (such as school performance results) at different times to maximise your reach.
- YouTube: Post your videos with related text to YouTube.
- Twitter: Add hashtags and mention parents who are cited in your content. Create additional tweets from the information in your blog.
- LinkedIn: Promote your content on LinkedIn as well as in groups.
- Google+: Share your content on Google+. Consider hosting a hangout to discuss your information.
- Pinterest: Include at least one pinnable image in each post or article you publish. Don’t forget to add your school’s URL in the picture.
- Slideshare: Get your content out there with presentations, video, audio and ebooks. This platform is particularly useful for educational content.
- Tumblr: This is a great place to share visual content, especially if you’re trying to reach a 13-29 year old segment.
- Social sharing buttons: Include relevant social sharing buttons to maximise earned impressions.
- Social media advertising: Test using ads, such as Facebook, to highlight significant pieces of content.
Third party platforms
- Parent information articles on third party sites: Distribute articles on other media sites. At a minimum, ask sites where you currently advertise, for example the local newspaper.
- Influencer outreach: Either through a PR firm or directly, build a relationship with education bloggers, and other influencers you admire, to help get wider dissemination for your content.
- Education conference presentations: Spotlight your content offering at the end of your presentations. Where appropriate make a special offer to attendees.
- Educator tradeshows: Incorporate your content offering into the handouts you have at your tradeshow.
- School Open Days: Be creative in how you hand out your information. It can be a preloaded flash drive or a paper handout.
- Press release: Issue a press release to highlight your major content pieces. It’s useful to have a related reason for the release.
- Associations: Use professional associations as a conduit for sharing your content, both online and offline.
- iTunes: Promote your podcasts through iTunes to build a broader audience.
- Play Store or Play Books: Promote your podcasts and ebooks through Android’s store to build a broader audience.
- Guest blog posts: Borrow a blogger’s audience in return for providing great, unique content. Understand that if it’s duplicate content, it’s not going to perform very well. Re-imagine your articles or part of a larger piece of content.
Not every one of these options will work for each piece of content, but it’s important to ensure that your medium and long term content are broadly distributed. Also, be aware that you may need to re-imagine some of your content to fit different platforms.
Here are some more blogs on inbound marketing which might be of interest to you.
Need help with your content creation and distribution efforts to achieve your goals?
Contact us today for a complimentary phone consultation to find out more about our Inbound Marketing Program. It has been specifically developed to guide you through this process. The program is designed to create quality content that will turn strangers into customers, and then customers into parents who promote your school.
This blog was written by Celina Farrell