There is a fluid motion to marketing for every industry. Trends change, algorithms go through updates, and even how people think evolves. This means content must go through continuous updates to stay current and meaningful, especially when creating for the education market.
There is a reason we peg each new generation with their own nickname – because they tend to think and behave differently. To engage with the current students, whether they go to pre- or graduate school, the educational market must remain contemporary.
This article will discuss some ways to upgrade content for this critical sector. We’ll examine why it matters and provide tips for writing qualified education content.
The Importance of High-Quality Marketing Content for the Education Market
In many ways, the education market is no different from any other. There are certain expectations of content for any industry.
Consider some basic facts about content marketing in general:
- Content is often the first interaction a consumer or decision-maker has with a brand.
- High-quality content builds trust with the audience.
- Quality content is more engaging.
- Fresh, quality content is critical for SEO.
- More readable content performs better.
The things you would do for any marketing effort are true for education, too.
Identify the needs of your target audience for each piece. Content designed for educators might differ from what you would write for administrators. Can you find topics that engage both?
Tell a story
Storytelling is the crux of any effective content. Your goal is to humanize the brand and what it offers. Showcase the education market with stories that will engage them specifically, though. Share insights the audience relates to and then tie them back to the brand.
Your job is to establish a brand. The best way to do that is by providing the reader with the information they need. For example, you might address the target’s questions or discuss industry trends.
Make it visual
Education is a market that should respond well to visual assets, including long-form video. Make webinars and video discussions part of your content to help establish the brand as a leader. Add infographics to make data more exciting and use imagery to help tell a story.
Use multiple channels
Educators are professionals, but they are also parents, family members, and friends. Create content distribution across different channels and formats to reach a wider audience. That will increase your odds of engaging someone in this market.
Consistency matters in content marketing, so make it a priority. Create a content calendar that establishes where you will post different types of content and when.
These are basic content marketing rules that could apply to any industry. Now factor in the idea that you are creating content for educators, administrators, and institutions, and it becomes clear that quality matters. Marketing to the education sector requires a carefully mapped-out customer journey and strategic campaigns.
The education market is a competitive one, too. High-quality content is vital to generating authority and innovation. Content must be value-driven for the brand to get recognition as a thought leader.
It is that recognition that builds up SERP ratings and converts leads. High-quality content is the key to backlinks, as well. Backlinks improve search engine rankings and add value to the brand name.
3 Tips to Improve Your Education Writing
Marketers must see what is the same about writing content for the education market and what is different. You can use that to improve your overall marketing strategy as well as your content. Consider three tips that can help you improve in this arena.
Know Your Audience
The idea of knowing your audience may seem like an obvious point, but it’s not. It’s actually quite a big deal. Sure, your content speaks to students at your college or university. But that’s only part of it. On the whole, you also have those students’ parents, potential students, faculty, staff, and board of directors.
Part of your content strategy involves knowing who you’re addressing. If you’re producing content for the university website, a press release about the accomplishments of students, faculty, or the school, itself, you’re speaking to the public, at large. That includes journalists who may want to use your content as a springboard for media coverage. Bearing that in mind, this is the time that you’re putting your university’s best foot forward and your message needs to reflect that. So it’s best to keep humor out of it.
Fortunately, there are ideal times when your main audience members are college students. That’s when it’s the right time to make strategic use of humor. A great example is when you’re producing internal newsletters for students, as well as faculty and staff. Another is promotional content you use to generate that audience’s interest in an upcoming campus event.
• Education writers can write for teachers. This can include, among other topics, lesson plans, supplementary curriculum materials, guides to discipline, or general ideas including suggestions on how to implement the new Common Core Standards
• Writing for parents is another audience choice. Parents are interested in learning about how to help with homework. They want to find stimulating resources for their children specific to their grades and coursework. They may want to read about how to hire a tutor.
• Focus on a grade level. Writing for students in elementary school is different than writing for those in middle school, high school, or college.
• The general public is interested in changes in education, how test scores are being used, and Supreme Court decisions.
• For freelance education writers who want to pursue writing in a certain subject matter, a good idea is to join the National Education Writer’s Association. Membership is free. In addition to a job publication page for freelance education writers, the association publishes current news in every field of education.
Watch That Tone
When the appropriate situation to use humor does present itself, make sure you’re striking the right tone. Let’s get back to the internal college newsletter. Here you can address your audience with a more fun, relaxed tone while letting them know about those previously mentioned accomplishments.
For example, in an article announcing the drama department’s most successful performance season in school history, your lead sentence could say, “Mad props to the Drama Department for breaking box-office records this performance season.” Maintaining that tone through the rest of the body is enough to give readers a grin.
But it doesn’t end there. Be consistent with your fun, relaxed tone in the publication’s other announcements, too. It’s your secret weapon for keeping your collegiate audience engaged. Sure, your board of directors is also on the newsletter email list, but your main audience is those 18 to 20-somethings going to class and their teachers. They’re putting a lot into education, and your newsletter could be a bright spot of the week they look forward to. (And it helps that those pulling the strings know you can effectively speak to your main audience.)
But wait, there’s more. That same tone, or a reasonable facsimile, can also help you in the content you produce publicizing upcoming campus events. You’re trying to get students psyched about what’s going on, right? Whether it’s an email or social media campaign, you can do that with a fun tone and a little humor. But don’t go off the deep end and get sales pitchy. Just take the relaxed, fun tone you use in newsletters and tweak it for the occasion.
Make a Connection
Another way to incorporate humor in your higher-education content marketing strategy is by making a connection with the college students your internal content mainly addresses. Yep, once again, I’m talking about your weekly newsletters. A good way to do that is with current pop culture references.
Say you’re publicizing a finals-week game night in the student commons building. Your headline could say, “Ready, Player One.” If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know what this is, it’s the title of the New York Times best-selling young adult novel by Ernest Cline, which Stephen Spielberg turned into a film that hit theaters this past spring. Anyway, this headline effectively connects with the audience in a tongue-in-cheek way that also makes them at the very least crack a smile before reading on.
Now there’s no need for overkill. Using too many could make your content cringe-worthy. But when the opportunity presents itself, a judiciously placed pop culture reference can be the ideal tool for connecting with your higher-ed audience.
With a little creativity and wise use of humor, your higher education content marketing efforts will make the grade. After all, when you engage your audience, they feel involved. When they feel involved, faculty and staff perform at their best and students are more likely to finish their education at your school. Plus, these engaged, involved, and motivated folks brag about your school, which keeps more students coming. And isn’t that the goal?
Where to Hire Expert Education Freelance Writers?
Before you decide where to hire your next education writer, determine what you want in that professional.
A professional writer should be:
- Self-motivated – You don’t want to chase the writer to finish the work.
- Be able to grasp your ideas quickly – Content creation is a cooperative process. However, you are in charge. You want a professional writer who can understand your objectives and make the most of your topic ideas in a timely manner.
- Be attentive to detail – A good content writer is methodical and checks facts. They don’t simply parrot other blogs.
- Stick to deadlines – You set the editorial content calendar to ensure consistency in your content marketing. You need a writer who will follow your deadlines exactly.
- Adaptable – Things change, and the content writer you choose should be willing to change with them. You might write to a broad audience. You need someone who can follow your lead regarding topic and voice.
More than anything, you want someone with experience in content writing for the educational sector. They don’t necessarily have to have a degree in education, but they should have knowledge of the market and be able to research the topics accurately and quickly.
That’s a lot to ask when you start shopping for your content writer. So, where should you go? Many platforms offer content writers, but they are often just getting started. You want to partner with one that validates their talent pool and offers you options that fit your budget. You want WriterAccess.
Boost Your Education Marketing Strategy with WriterAccess
WriterAccess has some of the top talent in the world. Many of their writers have been with them for years, creating thousands of pieces for hundreds of clients. You can try WriterAccess for free to see what all the buzz is about. We offer features to ensure you get the educational marketing writer you need.
Once you find a writer, the tools on our platform can help you create briefs, develop topics, and research keywords. If you want more help, we have a pool of talented content strategists who can create innovative topics to engage your audience and enhance your SEO.
The educational sector has some of the same needs as any industry but is also unique in many ways. High-quality content isn’t just a good idea in this market but a priority. That starts with finding a writer and building a marketing strategy that targets your audience.