Content marketing seems to be a new concept in marketing activities, isn’t it? But would you believe if I say content marketing is nearly 300 years old concept?
Yes, it’s true in 1732, a well known and popular scientist Benjamin Franklin used it to promote his printing business.
Surprised to know this, aren’t you?
Now as the technology grows the mode of content marketing shifts from offline to online.
According to a detailed survey done by HubSpot, the importance of content as a marketing tool was clearly substantiated. It’s no secret that traditional forms of marketing, which interrupt audience members, are less effective than they once were for reaching prospects and converting leads into customers. That’s why content marketing has become a popular way for businesses to reach and engage their target audience. By providing audience members with useful content to educate them on your products and services — and show them how those products and services effectively solve their pain points and challenges — you can increase conversions, improve brand awareness, boost revenue, and more. Sounds interesting?
So, what exactly is content marketing?
As defined by Wikipedia,
Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.
It is often used by businesses in order to:
Attract attention and generate leads
Expand their customer base
Generate or increase online sales
Increase brand awareness or credibility
Engage an online community of users
Fig 1: Recent stats regarding content creation
Source: Point Visible
Content marketing could be a long term, continuous process but when utilized in a properly planned manner, it reaps effective benefits.
Education enterprises can also make full use of content marketing to properly nurture prospective students. Content marketing is a very strong lead generating tool if done properly.
Don’t Believe us?
Have a look at some of the universities who are nailing their marketing through content.
Here is the overview of How they do it……..?
Please note we do not have any affiliation to any of these universities. This is just a blog to educate peers about how the bigger players have succeeded with their strategy and to provide them with some key takeaways.
Harvard has always had a high focus on content marketing. The university started publishing news by the name ‘ The Harvard Gazzete’ and have been actively sending daily emails of the latest Harvard news and events. There are more than 1.5 lakhs people subscribed to their emailers. As Harvard University is a big brand and recognized everywhere and one can say content marketing has helped them to maintain their brand presence online
Fig 2 : The Harvard Gazzete
Stanford University is well known for business school & has impressive programs in social science, engineering, and sciences. The university is also known for diverse study body and innovative research in business and technology. For them, it is very important to convey all this to the students who dream to study at Stanford University. So, University comes with a unique way that provides content via video i.e. video marketing. Stanford has an account on YouTube with more than 1M subscribers and tons of video with thousands of hits.
Fig 3: Sample videos of Stanford Youtube Channel
The Chicago School of Business publishes “Insight”, a magazine to promote its institutional brand. Insight makes it easy to reach and deliver what’s new in the field of psychology to the students and professional psychiatrists. Insight magazine use blogs as a tool for content marketing. They publish blogs on a weekly basis which is well-researched and ties up with information in the psychology world.
Fig 4: Sample screenshot of Insight : the magazine of Chicago school of professional psychology
Source: Insight, Chicago School
MIT is famous for providing incredible technology, it is full of innovative students and has a strong alumni base. MIT has huge competition, obviously, but to stay ahead in the race MIT provides free OpenCourseWare which is an open online course and certificate program. Due to this content marketing strategy, the students from all over the globe are provided with an opportunity to be part of the institute from anywhere. This helps MIT to better their position with respect to others. No wonder they are one of the top institutes in the world.
Fig 5 : MITOpenCourseWare Dashboard
Writing content alone is not enough, it is equally important how you market the content that is being produced at regular time intervals. Social Media posts come to rescue to efficiently market your content. The main objective of such posts is to reach the proper target audience & provide valuable information to have a positive impact on the brand of the institute.
Kellogs school of management has been successful in achieving that with their strong presence on all their social media channels. Their twitter handle is very active with at least one post a day and has around 226.9 k followers. Similar to that their Facebook and youtube channel is full of quality content which is posted every day. This post includes case studies, blogs, events and news which helps to reach to the audience and strengthen the brand that the institute possesses.
Fig 6: Kellogg School Twitter handle
Source : Kellogg
Nowadays, education marketers are shifting their focus from offline marketing to online marketing to a large extent. Earlier 70% of marketing cost of education institute was offline marketing and the remaining 30% was on online marketing. But now the scenario is almost the opposite. Most of the education institutes prefer online marketing over offline. So to be competitive and relevant in online marketing there is a requirement of frequent and quality content.
“You saw how top universities of the world started counting on content marketing to increase their overall brand presence and admissions. Indian institutes around the world should also include content marketing trends to be relevant in today’s era. Because as the CEO top rank marketing Lee Odden says,” Content is the reason search began at the first place””.
About the author :
Neelotpal Gadre is Product Marketing Specialist at ExtraaEdge. He has done his MBA in Marketing & is a certified digital marketing individual. He is one of the major contributors to content creation & content marketing at ExtraaEdge. His other core expertise lies in Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC & other digital marketing activities.