I’ve been thinking a lot lately about content marketing for schools after I was recently honored to be included in the Alltop Content Marketing News page. I believe in the power of social media for schools especially as it relates to helping a school refine, or define, their brand but was troubled after listening to the Duct Tape Marketing podcast interview with the authors of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. Fairly early on in the podcast, C. C. Chapman defines content as “anything that an individual or an organization creates, and shares, to tell their story.” I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the definition but was at the same time troubled with the word “shares.” Sharing your content is a central premise of content marketing and I’m not sure that schools are ready to share their once proprietary informational assets which could diminish their perceived competitive edge.
What is Content Marketing
According to Wikipedia, content marketing is:
an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
Content marketing is a central tenet of inbound marketing which posits that by creating killer content a few things will happen:
- People will find you and inquiry about your school.
- People will share your information on social media, and through other channels, which will allow more people to find you.
- People will link to your content which will improve your search engine optimization and in turn, allow more people to find you.
Challenges for Schools
There are two challenges for schools with regard to content marketing: 1. Finding the resources, both in terms of people and dollars, to create content, and 2. Be willing to share their proprietary information for free.
I believe in content marketing. As a result, we will find the necessary resources to create killer content for my school. Additionally, I think “lifting the veil” on all the wonderful things we do at my school will be good for our marketing efforts. But do all schools feel that way?
I want to hear from you. Do you think schools are ready for content marketing?