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October 16, 2020

Contributing author

How compelling content can generate leads for your university

For most people, the first stage in making a decision typically involves Googling the subject for more information. Finding seemingly impartial content online can be one of the most persuasive reasons for buying a product, making a life decision, taking a holiday, or even choosing which university to attend.

The latest generation—Generation Z (those born between 1996 and 2015)—is the most internet-savvy in history and uses the web as a backbone for all aspects of their lives, from communication, to shopping, to watching TV.

However, recent research has also shown those in the Gen-Z bracket search online in more varied ways and places than older people, typically including social media and other diverse sources in their searches. As Gen-Z likely makes up most of your university’s target age group, providing a wide range of content across more diverse platforms could generate more interest in your establishment.

Think about diversifying your traffic sources

Your website is by far the most important part of your online promotion; however, to drive traffic to your pages, you need to start thinking creatively about how you promote your establishment online. There are very likely thousands of universities around the world offering courses very similar to yours, all vying for the attention of new applicants.

A specialist education marketing company such as Sextant Marketing will be able to help you identify primary sources of potential traffic and devise a suitable content marketing plan for each. They will also help with your SEO (search engine optimization) and help you develop a more powerful and recognizable online profile.

Think about producing more varied content

Your website is the front-facing, official face of your university, so it is almost expected to take a more formal approach to promoting your establishment. However, you should also think about developing additional content for other channels where you can take a far more relaxed style and communicate directly with potential applicants. Some additional forms of content you should consider include:

Joining and contributing to student forums: Forums are a great place to find impartial information on almost any subject. Joining a student or undergraduate discussion board or forum will give you a chance to talk directly with applicants (or even current students) to promote your courses and address any common questions. You may even gain an insight into problems or complaints with your university, thereby helping you improve your service.

Create a blog site, supplemental to your main pages: Having a supplemental blog site allows you to include content on your site that might not be suitable for the more formal front-end—but which is still of interest to potential applicants. Blogs also promote discussion so you should encourage your visitors to post a reply at the end of your articles.

Create videos for YouTube: Most higher education establishments have a stylish corporate video, but in the minds of Gen-Z, they’re more likely to be looking for more honest and open content, filmed by students themselves. If your university offers media studies, try setting a student assignment to produce more varied videos—for example, “A day in the life at,” or videos of the societies or teams at your university. YouTube is the second-biggest search engine in the world and you can be sure there’s already a market interested in seeing your content.

Set up social media pages and post regularly: As previously mentioned, unlike their older counterparts, young adults in Gen-Z are far more likely to look for information on the main social sites. Be sure to set up pages on all the usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn) and keep your pages updated regularly.