What is a content strategy, and why do you need one in higher ed marketing?
Here’s the short and sweet definition of a content strategy:
A content strategy is a guide to planning, researching, creation/execution, delivery, and analysis of content.
One of our main focuses when developing a content strategy for clients is to plan, plan, and plan. Of course topic and keyword research is a huge part of developing a content strategy and content calendar, but making sure both the client and we are able to stick to the plan and goals of the strategy is more important.
Imagine an iceberg in the north atlantic (cue Celine Dion serenading Jack and Rose). Hopefully this isn’t your first iceberg metaphor, but if it is then the part of the iceberg you’re able to see is only 10% of the whole thing. That’s a great visual for a content strategy. Think of your content as the part of the iceberg you see above the water. All the planning, research, drafts, meetings, etc is the part no one really sees, but it’s the bulk of your work that makes all the difference.
What makes a good content strategy?
Research and planning are key. If your whole idea of a content strategy is to write a ton of content and share it with no research behind the topic or keywords and without a calendar plan then you’re out to lunch.
Combining keyword research, topic research, and demographic data to create relevant, topical, search friendly content will not only help your organic and social efforts, it will help you create content that your audience actually want to read and share.
Using a calendar to keep track of your content will most definitely help you stay on track and hopefully on task. We created a content calendar tool to help us provide strategic content recommendations to the client and to help the client stay on task, delegate the content creation if desired, and keep track of other events, topics, or content all in one easy to use place. I highly encourage find a content calendar tool that fits into your workflow and getting your team involved in the execution of your content strategy. A content strategy isn’t made to be a siloed and solo task. It takes a dedicated team to help pull of a good strategy.
Why is a content strategy so important for higher ed?
So why should universities and colleges be worried about having a content strategy? It comes down to do you want focus and consistency in your content and social efforts. Creating content is simple. Posting and sharing content on social channels is even easier. What isn’t simple is making sure everyone is on the same page, has the same goals in mind, has access to the right tools, and knows the why behind what they’re doing.
It’s no secret that colleges and universities produce a ton of content, but is it on brand, using the right tone, targeting the correct keywords/topic, written for the correct audience? Here’s where a good content strategy will help guide your department, school, college, and even the university to providing value to all of your campaigns- whether it’s student recruitment, alumni engagement, drop-out or stop-out re-engage, etc.
Want to know more about content strategy and content calendars? Send us a note and we’ll answer any question you have about them.