In preparation for the SchneiderB VirCon5, I’m highlighting the ten school marketing experts who will be presenting on November 4, 2017. Learn More about the VirCon5.
This is 10 Questions with Sean Henri. Sean Henri is the CEO of Pepperland Marketing in Cheshire, CT.
1. What is your session title for the VirCon5?
Topics Over Keywords: How to Increase Traffic by Producing Less Content
2. What will the attendees learn/know after watching your session?
We all know that creating content that ranks well in search engines, increases traffic and helps you grow interest in your school is a challenging task, especially when you’re wearing multiple hats and competing against other schools who are attempting to do the same thing. You could just churn out twice as many blog posts as you currently do, but we all know that’s just not realistic or sustainable. It’s also likely that half of those blog posts won’t end up generating any new traffic at all, making the effort feel like a waste of time. In addition, the way Google ranks content has changed dramatically in recent years, making old SEO techniques not as effective as they once were. So what do we do? Attendees will learn the answer. I’ll explain how “topic clusters” and “pillar pages” can be used to create a more thoughtful and strategic approach to content marketing, helping your school’s website to rank for valuable high-traffic terms, generate more traffic, and capture more inquiries and applicants.
3. What is your favorite social media channel and why?
Twitter. I find it to be the most effective channel for out there for networking with others in your industry. I think it’s because of the simplicity – it’s built around simple back and forth conversations vs mindless scrolling down a newsfeed feed, and there’s less opportunity for it to be ruined by fake news or tacky social graphics. I use it more than any other network.
4. What is one marketing goal that you hope to accomplish during the 17-18 school year?
I’m seeing a major shift in marketing – text to video, forms to live chat, and people to bots. This year I’m really focused on embracing those changes and running as many tests as possible to determine what new tactics work best and which don’t, so that we can pass those insights along to our clients to help them meet their goals.
5. What is your favorite marketing piece of advice for schools?
I’m seeing more and more schools that blog, which is great, but many miss the opportunity to use their blog as an effective marketing recruitment tool because the only write about recent events or topics that appeal to the current school community You want to think about your school’s blog and website as a virtual admissions team. Make sure it answers the hundreds of questions you hear from prospective parents and students every year and you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, more inquiries, and more applicants. Parents turn to your website and Google to get answers to their questions before they pick up the phone and call or email you. If you’re not addressing those questions on your website or with blog content, some other website will – and you might not like what it says. Why not use this behavior to your advantage?
6. What is your favorite marketing book?
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)– it’s probably more geared towards entrepreneurs and startups than it is marketers, but it provides a powerful framework for sharpening or re-thinking your messaging around the value you bring to your customers, or in a school’s case, the value they bring to students and the school community. It’s a must-read for anyone in marketing.
7. What is something that people might be surprised to know about you?
I have a love/hate relationship with the internet and technology. I’ve built my career around it, but often wish we weren’t burdened by smart phones and countless screens.
8. Kindle or Actual Book?
Actual book. An audible audiobook on my iPhone if I’m being honest.
9. iPhone or Android?
10. What is one App that you can’t live without?
HubSpot’s mobile app.