What is a #ContentStrategy & why does your school need one?

Content is king, but distribution is queen…and she wears the pants
— Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed

Marketing is not the same today as it was 50 years ago. Ok…it does seem an obvious statement to make - a lot has happened since then after all. However, would it be as obvious to say marketing today is not the same as it was just five years ago? 

In terms of technology, more breakthroughs and shifts have occurred in five short years than they have in 50 long ones! Via the prevalence of technology, and the surge in social media, the way we buy as consumers has changed dramatically.

In a recent article we explored the 4 C's (consumer, cost, convenience and communication) of modern marketing. It highlighted how the Product - the traditional focus of marketing - has been replaced by the Consumer. This shift puts marketing in a customer-first mindset: does the customer respond to this? Does the customer empathise with this? Does the customer appreciate this? In order to be valued by the customer you need to possess value for the customer.

What IS a #ContentStrategy?

In modern terms, a content strategy is the drive behind the development, planning, creation, delivery and management of your content.

In other words, it is the who, what, where, why and how for all your marketing. Since the consumer now desires content they can engage with and that adds value to them, it is down to you and the school to see that this is delivered. 

Luckily, schools have a wide range of outlets to help communicate and share their content, including:

  • social media
  • school website
  • newsletters
  • parent portals
  • apps
  • digital publications

It's about knowing which platform will reach which demographic. The first two, however, are essential. Get these spot on - using a well devised Content Strategy - and you are more than half way there!

How to create a #ContentStategy

Devising a top content strategy is a task requiring lots of adaptation. But you can start building the foundation of your strategy by answering who, what, whenwhere, why and how.

Who

The first step demands research and understanding. You need to know who you are targeting with your marketing.

To do this you should curate personas - parent profiles - of your community. These different personas will cover important information such as:

  • gender
  • income
  • family size
  • career
  • values / goals
  • education / background

Use this handy checklist to help develop your personas, and what questions should be answered about them.

Armed with this information you will be able to select the content that will resonate with your community most effectively; you will be able to curate your what...

What

The what is defined by your who. In other words your audience will mould everything about your content, such as:

  • substance (great stories must have substance)
  • form (the type of media used)
  • style (funny, cute, monochrome, flashy?)
  • topic (which conversations will your demographic engage with?)

With a clearer picture of who you are marketing to, it should be easier to decide on what type of content you will use. 

TOP TIP: Be willing to experiment with the different forms of content you can create. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • visuals (photos / infographics)
  • blogs / vlogs
  • audio
  • video
  • newsletters

When

When should you post to social media? When should you send your weekly newsletter? When should you publish your next blog or article? Knowing the answer to these questions will form a core part of your content strategy.

For social media refer to the infographic below (click to enlarge), to help form a basis for scheduling content. To make this even more efficient try using these scheduling tools to streamline your school's marketing.

CLICK TO ENLARGE: Infographic by SurePayroll.com

TOP TIP: As a school your optimum times are likely to change, particularly with networks like Twitter where you should be sharing #SchoolStories as they happen. With this in mind be experimental with your posting times and use analytics to review impact and level of engagement.

Where

An obvious consideration for your content strategy is where to put your content. As noted above, schools have a wide range of channels to share their content on - so it becomes a question of which channel works best for the selected media (what) being used.

What media works best on what channel?

What media works best on what channel?

Understanding the where is something we really get, and we are here to help you understand it too. Get in touch if you want to talk to us about social media training or marketing strategy

Why

Perhaps the most important question to answer - why are you posting the content? Perhaps, as as school, you are looking to boost your pupil numbers? Perhaps your are looking to boost numbers, but in a certain year group (i.e. nursery / pre-prep)? Perhaps you are over-subscribed and looking to increase your school's profile nationally or even internationally instead? 

These considerations are incredibly important if your content is to have the desired effect. Launching a tailored campaign to your community will only be as good as the relevance it has to your why.

How

The final question to answer is howHow does your content, and the strategy behind it, answer all of the above. If this in itself cannot be answered then your marketing will not have the desired effect. 

To answer your how, your strongest ally will be in reports and analytics. These will allow you to actively see what is working and what isn't. For social media there are plenty of great reporting tools to help you with this, and for your website look no further than Google Analytics.

We are experts in digital marketing tools, and Google and social analytics - and what you to be too. This is why we run our #intSchoolsLIVE workshops for schools (for FREE). There are still places left on our Google Analytics masterclasses, at various UK locations.

 

We are here to help! We see the future of school marketing residing within social media and want to see more schools sharing their unique, amazing #SchoolStories with the world.

We offer training days for schools - where we will come and talk to the whole school, to inspire their part in marketing and sharing all those great #SchoolStories. We will help define your content strategy and support you in its employment across the entire school. It's time to ✨stand out✨ from your competitors!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. We'd love to discuss this or anything related - so be sure to leave comments / thoughts in the comment box below. Have a great day.