If you are trying to increase awareness or enrollment in your academic institution or department, here are 8 reasons you should integrate blogging into your market strategy:
1. Blogs allow you to answer prospective and current student questions.
Whether you work in admissions, student affairs, career services, or an academic department, blogs can provide a mechanism for providing relevant information and updates to your audience.
2. Blogs allow you to get feedback from your readers.
You can get several forms of quantitative and qualitative feedback. Google Analytics provides quantitative feedback in terms of posts viewed, site visits, time spent on page, number of pages viewed, and many other useful metrics. Blog post comments provide important qualitative feedback about what people like and dislike about the posts.
3. Blog posts show up in search results.
This allows people searching for relevant content to find your blog. Most of my department's search traffic comes from Google, but that may change over time.
4. If you don't answer their questions, someone else will.
Many prospective students want access to self-serve information. They want to learn as much as they can on the web and social media before they make an inquiry or apply. The institution that makes quality content accessible to prospective students where they spend time on the web will attract increased numbers of ideal students.
5. Blogs allow you to build trust with your audience.
By consistently publishing helpful content over time, you will build a community of people how value your influence and view you as an authority or thought leader.
6. Blogs can help increase website traffic.
If your college or university has a content management system that allows blogging, you can add this functionality to your page. If not, you can start a blog using Blogger or Wordpress or many other platforms. In either case, you can include calls to action that prompt readers to click a link to relevant pages on your website. You can also include links to related posts from your blog or website.
7. You can use blogs to communicate with internal and external audiences.
While you can use blogs to reach prospective students, you can also use your blog to reach current students, faculty, staff, or alumni. A simple Google search will yield many examples of these types of blogs. You can also use a blog to reach a specific group within a larger population. For example, a university Greek Life director might have a blog highlighting the positive contributions of greek organizations on campus. All students may not be interested, but those interested in Greek Life will. In addition, a university department with low enrollment might use a blog to attract prospective students interested in a specific major.
8. Blogging can give you a better understanding of student needs.
Listening to feedback on the blog will help you understand what your readers want from you. Again, Google Analytics and blog comments will give you information upon which you can act.
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