Part one of a two-part blog series on promoting your school marketing content.
Ask a school marketer what they’d like most in the world and they likely will tell you “more inquiries” and “more enrollments”. It’s no secret that a well-executed content marketing strategy can deliver a solid return on investment for school marketers. Content marketing generates three times more leads than most outbound marketing strategies – and costs about 62 percent less than traditional marketing campaigns. (Demand Metric)
Content creation is hard work – and can be time consuming. Don’t let the effort you’ve put in planning and creation go to waste by failing to adequately promote your content. You’re just getting started when you finally hit that publish or share button.
Promoting your content can be challenging, but it’s a vital part of marketing success. In fact, many successful marketers recommend that you spend more time on content promotion than you do on creating. For example, Derek Halpern from Social Triggers recommends you apply the 80/20 rule to content promotion – 20 percent of your time creating your content and the other 80 percent promoting it.
There are many ways to promote your content using your website, but some tactics work better than others. Based on my experience, here are my top fourteen ways to promote your content on your website.
Make your social sharing buttons prominent
Since generating social shares is one of the best content promotion tactics out there, make sure you encourage your audience to take the crucial step of posting your content on their social media sites by make it easy for them to see your social sharing buttons.
If your website or blog’s current theme doesn’t prominently feature social sharing buttons, consider these tools and plugins:
Social shares not only generate traffic and backlinks for your site, social media users continue to grow at a staggering rate. Social media statistics from 2019 show there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, and that number is only growing. (Oberlo) Social media shares also increase your credibility and spread brand awareness.
The best way to get someone to do something for you is to ask them. People are unlikely to take action unless you explicitly ask them what you want them to do. Increase the likelihood your readers will act on your content by including a relevant call-to-action at the end of each page or piece of content.
Improve your headlines
I’ve written about the importance of capturing the attention of your target audience through compelling headlines before. OK many times before. But it bears repeating – headlines are more important than ever.
Consider this interesting analysis by Dan Zarrella (Hubspot) that validates the importance of captivating headlines. After reviewing more than 2.7 million blog articles, he found that 16.7 percent of webpages actually receive more social shares than they did clicks, proving that people don’t always read what they tweet. What are they responding to? The headline alone.
Take advantage of this finding by making your headlines as effective and eye-catching as possible. In addition to CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, I find these 5 tools helpful for generating the best possible headline for my content.
Mention influencers in your content
As you build your content pieces, identify and link to influencers in your community or leaders that your school identifies with philosophically that you can quote or share examples from within your text. Look to major figures, of course, but don’t forget the micro-influencers in your school’s particular niche or geographical area. A micro-influencer is someone with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers that offer opinions that are deeply trusted by their followers (parents) and who are generally like-minded folks looking for real engagement.
Including influencer mentions will help get more eyes on your content – and most certainly more followers. A word of caution: use influencer mentions only if they legitimately support the original intent of your content.
Include parents, students, teachers, administrators in content creation
Gather input from parents, students, teachers and administrators for stories and subjects of interest within your community. Post like, “15 Funny Quotes About Screen Time from (Name of Your School) Parents Who Are Honest About It” make content creation easy – and each of the parents mentioned will bring their own audience right to your digital doorstep.
It’s good for them and great for your school. Reach out to the parents, students, teachers and administrators in your school, talk to them and leverage their insight – and existing audience – for your content. Click here for 50 captivating topics for your school blog.
Write a link roundup post
Here is a quick and easy strategy for creating blog posts or social media updates that consist of link collections to relevant, engaging articles that your audience will be interested in.
Creating a link round-up post (like I send out each week to my subscriber list) doesn’t take very long, but it pays off big when it comes to content promotion. Many of the sites you reference will be share your article without any effort on your part, or at most it might take a quick email to alert them that you’ve included them.
Either way, instant audience.
Build content that parents are interested in
One of the fastest routes to success in school marketing is to solve problems that plague parents and students. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how creating content that help members of your audience can lead to the kind of viral sharing that makes content promotion effortless.
Want a shortcut to figuring out what problems your parents and students are facing? Talk with your school secretary, nurse, counselor and principal. Ask them what types of issues your parents and students are talking about, then build content that answers those questions and helps solve their pain points.
Another way to source the best content topics is to use monitoring tools to discover what topics are of interest to your audience. Social monitoring goes hand-in-hand with reputation management; these 10 social monitoring tools are an excellent way to source content ideas that are relevant to your audience. Or, just consider the problems you know parents and students are experiencing.
Create a video from your content
So you’ve got a great piece of content that you’ve published to your blog and shared on your social provides. Great start, but don’t stop there.
Take the information contained in your post and turn it into a video. Not only will doing so help you reach parents who prefer to take information in using a visual format, but it will also give you the opportunity to create “new” content for promotion without going to all the effort of researching something new. Click here for easy-to-use tools that will help you create dynamite videos.
Consider building a podcast
Once you’ve turned your blog post into a video, keep going.
Can your content also be transformed into a podcast episode? Although it might take a little tweaking, transforming your content in this way puts it in front of yet another whole new audience without much extra prep work.
Podcast listening has grown over the past few years, so you’ve got a captive and expanding audience who will be interested in good content.
Wondering what podcasting equipment to use? There are many different microphones available, but I use the Rode USB Podcaster Microphone. It isn’t the cheapest but the sound is really incredible for the price. Audacity is an open source free-but-excellent editor and Libsyn is a great file host. I use Smart Podcast Player for my WordPress plugin for SchneiderB.FM. It offers an individual player, entire podcast player and banner player.
Share a slide deck of your content on SlideShare
SlideShare may be one of the most overlooked and underutilized social platforms out there. All it takes is a few extra clicks of the mouse to drop information from your blog post into your slide deck; then, you’re rewarded with another “new” piece of content that can help spread your school’s message.
Using SlideShare for marketing is a modern day no-brainer. Considering SlideShare has:
- 80 million users
- 18 million pieces of content shared
- 159 million monthly pageviews
- 80 percent of traffic from search
It’s no wonder that some of the best school marketers use SlideShare in their marketing mix.
Release your long-form content as a PDF
One last content transformation idea. Before you move on to your next totally new piece, consider publishing your long-form blog post as a PDF. Format it nicely (Canva offers free eBook templates) then add a button to your post offering the downloadable PDF version. Since many readers prefer to store and share content this way, it’s an easy option for adding value without investing tons of extra time. Simple but effective.
Measure your results
Once you’ve tackled some of these tactics, it’s time to make sure your efforts are paying off. To do so, don’t forget to track your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) like traffic, CTR, ROI and conversion rate. Learn more about social media metrics that matter to school marketers.
Upgrade your images
One-third of marketers consider visual images the most important content for them, even beating out blogging. Consider these statistics from Hubspot:
- Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets
- Articles with one image every 75-100 words gets double the shares as posts with fewer images
- Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement
- Information paired with a relevant image is more readily remembered – we remember 10 percent of what we hear three days later, 20 percent of what we read, but 65 percent of what we see. (brain rules)
So if you’re in the habit of grabbing whatever royalty-free stock image you can find, it’s time for an upgrade. Generic-looking and amateurish stock images make you look generic and amateurish. Get in the habit of using your own pictures or spend time exploring the world of stunningly beautiful stock image sites you can use legally to improve the look of your content pieces.
Practice good internal linking
One final note on using your website to promote your content. When you develop a new piece of content, take the time to go back through your archives of content you’ve already published and add a relevant link to the older post. And, consider going back to the archived post and adding in a link to the new content if it makes sense.
Proper internal linking is great for search engine optimization (SEO), and some of the traffic your past posts have already received will funnel into your new posts and help get them seen and shared.
Building your website and blog is just the beginning. It takes a lot of effort to create relevant, compelling content; all that effort will go to waste if no one sees it! The fourteen tried-and-tested strategies listed in this article will help you promote your website and blog and increase traffic to your site.
There are tons of ways to promote your website in addition to the tactics listed here. The strategies that will prove the most effective for your school marketing depends largely on your unique competitive landscape and the resources at your disposal – timeframe, skill set, team size, budget, etc.
Have you found huge success with any of these strategies? Or have any of the methods listed here not worked for you? Please share your comments with the rest of the school marketing community in the comments below.