Content strategy is the foundation that helps you with modern-day Higher Ed marketing.

By creating and sharing engaging content that informs and educates, you can ensure your message reaches prospective students.

To compete with the universities, you need to boost your brand presence and make it recognizable to increase enrolments. Therefore, content marketing for universities has become imperative to make an even more impactful and powerful impression on its prospects.

Today’s content marketing strategies can make your university stand out and motivate prospects to take action by creating a distinguished brand identity that defines your institution.

In this guide, we’ll explore how content marketing for educational institutions can help them showcase their expertise, highlight their unique selling points, and demonstrate elements that set them apart.

Let’s dive into the details. 

10 Effective Content Marketing Strategies for Higher Education

An effective content marketing strategy can help universities foster a lasting connection with prospective students by talking about their interests and concerns. It helps you to build a solid and deep relationship between the educational institution and students through content. Higher ed marketing trends are constantly evolving and it’s important for universities to stay up-to-date with the latest trends to ensure their content marketing strategies remain effective. It will ultimately translate into increased enrollments and better outcomes for both.

1. Start a Branded Blog

Higher education marketing mistakes can occur when universities fail to effectively utilize branded blogging as a tool for content marketing. While, branded blogging is a powerful tool that facilitates content marketing for higher education by building the brand’s unique voice, values, and foundations.

To put it simply, branded blogging helps universities deliver consistent messages and reach more prospects. Also, it makes the content easier to share and carve out your niche that prefers to associate itself with the brand.

Here are some key benefits of branded blogging for Higher Ed:

  1. Increased brand awareness.
  2. Improved SEO.
  3. Increased engagement.
  4. Strong brand personality.
  5. Lead generation.

Create a Successful Branded Blog

  1. Niche Selection and Keyword Research.
  2. Content Creation and Optimization.
  3. Promoting Your Blog for Maximum Visibility.

For example, Northeastern University has created a branded blog for its graduate programs that focus on brand building, programs, and other important information for the University.

Create a Successful Branded Blog  for higher ed content marketing

SOURCE: Northeastern University

2. Build a Community around Your Campus

Higher ed branding is all about creating a strong and distinctive identity for the educational institution. Starting a university community can be a great way to foster a sense of belonging and lifelong associations. A vibrant, active, and engaging community can strengthen your brand.

Educational content marketing can be done through online community building, bringing like-minded students with similar interests and preferences. The community will act as a platform to communicate and stay connected.

Tips for Building a Community of Students and Alumni

Here are 3 key tips for building an online community of students and alumni:

  1. Encouraging Reviews and Testimonials.
  2. Creating Brand Hashtags and Promoting them on Social Media.
  3. Fostering Two-Way Communication with Your Audience.

For example, Manchester Metropolitan University has created a community for their students, prospects, and learners to interact, engage, communicate, get personalized guidance, and get insight into all the happenings.

Build a Community around Your Campus to promote higher ed content

SOURCE: Manchester Metropolitan University

3. Create Digital Guide & eBooks

EBooks can help learners explore programs in depth, through research findings and academic disciplines. While digital guides can cover a variety of topics such as career exploration, communities, programs, and campus life.

Create Successful Digital Guides & eBooks

Here are a few important tips to keep in mind while creating digital guides and eBooks for universities.

  1. Repurposing Existing Content to Save Time and Effort

As a Higher Ed marketer, you can utilize the available content, information, and materials in new formats while still providing valuable insights to the prospects. It will help you save time and effort.

  1. Crafting High-Quality, Detailed eBooks that Showcase Your University’s Expertise

It is another great way for higher education universities to showcase their capabilities, and insights and share information with the prospects to establish themselves as thought leaders and attract more enrollments.

  1. Promoting Your eBooks through Social Media and Email Marketing

Your digital guides and eBooks must reach the target audience at the right time. It can be achieved through increased visibility and engagement derived through social media and email marketing tactics.

For example, the University of Chicago offers eBooks and digital guides for prospects, current students, and alumni to get information and learn more about the programs, courses, environment, and resources.

Create Successful Digital Guides & eBooks for higher ed content

SOURCE: The University of Chicago Press

4. University/College Virtual Tours

Marketing campaigns for universities can benefit greatly from incorporating virtual tours as part of their content strategy. With the rise of digital platforms, it has become imperative for higher education institutions to provide an immersive and engaging method for prospective students to experience the campus environment and on-campus facilities to help them make informed decisions.

Virtual tours can be accessed from anywhere, and at any time, highlighting the unique selling points of your educational institution.

Tips for Creating Successful Virtual Tours

Here are some key tips for creating virtual tours that you must consider:

  1. Choosing the Right Technology and Platforms for Your Tour.
  2. Highlighting Key Features and Attractions of Your Campus.
  3. Promoting your virtual tour on your website and social media channels.

As part of the content marketing strategies to increase student enrollment, universities can promote virtual tours on their websites and social media channels to maintain a consistent brand voice. Additionally, universities can develop and run PPC and SEO marketing campaigns for higher education to ensure virtual tour posts reach the targeted audience.

For example, UC Davis offers a complete virtual tour for prospects to explore the campus, get into detail, and learn more about their community.

Tips for Creating Successful Virtual Tours for higher ed


5. Utilize Social Media To Promote Current and Upcoming Campus Activities

Social media is a powerful tool for higher education institutes to market their content and implement effective student recruitment strategies. It allows universities/colleges to engage with their target audience, reach beyond traditional channels, build long-lasting relationships, and showcase unique value propositions to establish themselves as unique and best educational institutions.

Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Content

  1. Using Videos, Images, and Other Forms of Media to Showcase Campus Life

Social media is a great way to showcase your university through engaging videos, images, and important events on campus such as virtual tours, building images, and happenings from the events.

  1. Fostering Two-Way Communication with your Audience

For direct and ongoing interaction with the audience, use polls, quizzes, and surveys to obtain feedback and acknowledge your audience through reposting their stories.

  1. Using Social Media to Promote On-going Campus Activities and Events

You can share behind-the-scenes from on-campus activities and events, share a glimpse of the event, and promptly respond to the audience through messages and comments to maintain interaction.

For example, the University of Central Florida leverages the social media platform Facebook to feature an upcoming event and provide images from campus for prospects to learn more.

Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Content for higher ed

SOURCE: University of Central Florida

6. Create Student Case Studies

Many students are more inductive than deductive and look for logical examples as their starting point for selecting a university/college. The use of case studies is an effective marketing technique that compels prospective by highlighting real-life examples of students who have successfully finished their programs.

Case studies are vital, enabling prospective students to relate to and influence their decision-making. Here’s how you can create case studies that generate maximum outcomes.

Tips for Creating Successful Case Studies

Case studies are a powerful tool, as they enable prospective students to relate, to and influence their decision-making. Here’s how you can create case studies that generate maximum outcomes.

  1. Choosing the Right Students to Profile

Make sure you choose a student profile that maximum prospective students can relate to and resonate with their circumstances.

  1. Highlight their Achievements and Successes

Case studies highlight a student’s achievements and success, but they also demonstrate how universities facilitated and supported students throughout their journey.

  1. Promoting Your Case Studies through Social Media and Email Marketing

Share case studies on social media and send emails to prospects. Engage and attract prospects with fascinating case studies that inspire them to enroll in the program.

For example, IOWA University Distance and Online Education showcase student success case studies that highlight how they started their lifelong journey towards success at IOWA.

Tips for Creating Successful Case Studies for higher ed


7. Create Compelling Videos as a Key Element of Your University’s Content Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing strategies for universities are constantly evolving, and video content is becoming an increasingly important tool for universities looking to boost their brand awareness and engage their target audience and boost conversions.

Videos are a highly effective storytelling medium that can maximum reach a wider audience, improves comprehension, and drive engagement. Videos communicate the message easily and stand out in a crowded digital space.

Tips for Creating Engaging Videos

Getting your audience’s attention and then holding on to it makes your video compelling and motivates viewers to continue watching.

Here are some quick tips on creating compelling videos for universities.

  1. Shorter Videos Convert More

Create short videos with clear and concise messages, and get your point across quickly.

  1. Storytelling Videos have High Engagement

While creating stories, consider different scenarios students can face in educational institutions and how your university facilitates the process.

  1. Integrate Brand Elements for Persuasive Content

Incorporating your University brand elements in your videos is essential to create appeal by ethics, emotion, and logic. It allows you to too connect with the audience and develop credibility.

For example, Seattle University shared a video on Homecoming that most audiences can relate to and develop an instant emotional connection with the visuals and storyline.

Tips for Creating Engaging Videos for higher ed

SOURCE: Seattle University

8. Generate and Share Compelling Infographics to Attract and Engage Prospective Students

As a professional content marketing higher education marketer, you must know how to combine images, visuals, stats, and text to create infographics to deliver key messages to prospects.

Educational institutions can convey compelling facts and information through easily digestible content that gives a clear picture of the university. Also, infographics are great for illustrating complex information to prospects.

Tips for Creating Compelling Infographics

  1. Create an Outline and Have a Clear Title

It can help you decide what elements to put together to help prospects understand your institution.

  1. Choose the Right Fonts & Colors

Keep the theme and colors relevant to create visually appealing infographics that make prospects establish a connection.

  1. Create a Flow & Tell a Story

Ensure your infographics share a relevant story or information that compels the prospect to take action and open their minds to explore your university/college.

For example, the University of Michigan has a webpage that shares all the relevant information about its programs, faculty, campus, and other critical areas through infographics.

Tips for Creating Compelling Infographics for higher ed

SOURCE: University of Michigan

9. Podcasts as an Essential Component of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing for universities is not limited to blogs and posts. To stay connected with the audience, you need to incorporate podcasts in your strategy to stay relevant and drive engagement.

Podcasts offer an exciting opportunity to answer questions and concerns of prospective and current students. It is always a great medium to communicate stories, share insights from industry experts, talk to alumni, or interact with faculty members to convey the message.

Tips for Creating Podcasts Content

Podcasts have evolved and continue to grow. Universities can leverage the benefits of podcasts to drive engagement and excitement. Here are a few tips for creating compelling podcast content.

  1. Know Your Audience

Narrow down and identify your audience if you want your podcast to reach as many people as possible.

  1. Plan Your Podcasts

Plan your podcast, and discuss the most relatable topic/subject that interests your target audience.

  1. Invite Experts on Show

Make a list of relevant questions that prospective and current students can ask from the expert, and come up with interesting things to say on the spot.

For example, the University of Oxford has created a webpage showcasing all the podcasts conducted and the upcoming podcast.

Tips for Creating Podcasts Content for higher ed

SOURCE: University of Oxford

10. Assess the Influence of Microsites

Enrollment trend is an important aspect to consider when it comes to Higher Ed marketing strategies. Microsites can be an effective content marketing tactic for Higher Ed to feature informative and interactive content that engages prospects. Microsites can help brands achieve multiple marketing goals and generate leads.

However, microsites are well-suited for short-lived campaigns. Colleges/universities can utilize them to promote their programs and appeal to a broader audience. 

Tips for Creating Microsites

  1. Add Value for Your Leads

Microsites can help you increase enrollments by guiding the prospects about the admission process, accommodation booking, and program details.

  1. Align Your CTAs & Content

As part of the marketing strategy for Higher Ed, CTAs should be aligned with your main website, and the prospects must see relevant CTAs to take action.

  1. Design & User Experience

Websites Design can have a serious impact on microsite visitors. Keep your microsites user-friendly, and create an intuitive user experience keeping all the relevant information on a deeper level.

For example, The University of Arizona created a microsite that engages prospects to Apply for First-Year Admission and Apply for Transfer.

Tips for Creating Microsites for higher ed

Frequently Asked Questions:

What content marketing strategies do colleges use?

  • Blog Posts
  • Infographics
  • E-Books
  • Virtual Tours
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Microsites

What are the four keys to content marketing in Higher Ed?

  • Awareness about the target audience
  • Evaluation of the topics
  • Content delivery across channels
  • Leverage data insights

What is educational content marketing?

Educational content marketing is essentially a strategy used to market your products or services to prospects. It basically involves teaching a prospect rather than selling them something. In the higher industry, your product or service would be the programs your university or higher education institution offers.

To Sum Up

Today the Higher Ed market has become highly competitive. Universities must stand out in a crowded space where the number of students seeking enrolment is increasing, and the demand is growing more than ever. Content marketing for universities can help you enhance your visibility, reach, and engagement.

You can now curate a strategy best suited to your needs through a combination of content marketing strategies for universities elaborated in this blog. It’s time for Higher Ed to make efforts using the content marketing strategy to reach prospects on their terms and rank high in search engines. Partnering with a higher ed marketing firm can provide valuable insights and expertise to ensure that your content strategy is effective and reaches the right audience.