Introduction: Why are Colleges and Universities investing in content?
Talented candidates who are looking to explore higher education start their journey by going online and reading up about a university’s degree programmes, campus facilities, research strengths, faculty accomplishments, student diversity and alumni success among other factors.
The proven way for elite colleges and universities to stand out from the crowd, exert their dominance, demonstrate their uniqueness and attract the best candidates from around the world is to own and manage search-optimised “content hubs” for their brand in an effort to establish their thought leadership.
From ad copies to landing pages, from editorial articles to drip emails, from influencer outreach campaigns to discussion boards and blog posts to social media stories, everything needs to be authoritatively written and passionately visualised, keeping the student (and sometimes their parents as well) in mind.
Who is our client?
A top-ranked, accredited business school that’s widely known for its innovative graduate programmes, groundbreaking management research, outstanding faculty and thought leadership.
Our b-school client has deep academic partnerships with other iconic institutions such as The Wharton School (UPenn), The Kellogg School (Northwestern), The Sloan School (MIT), The Fletcher School (Tufts) and London Business School.
Furthermore, our client frequently receives research scholars as well as visiting faculty from Cornell, Duke and the University of Chicago.
Launching and promoting a high-impact, graduate management programme to a discerning audience of top performers is no cakewalk.
Our client wanted to attract mid-career professionals (who were at the top of their game) to consider a carefully constructed, one-year learning programme that skilfully combined practical industry applications with a rigorous, cutting-edge and research-based curriculum.
Some of the challenges that the client needed help with were:
- How do we compete with other equally competent b-schools in the region for attention, and present our flagship graduate programme to a talented pool of experienced professionals (aka. overachievers)?
- What angles of thought leadership should we explore to position our Admissions blog in a way that makes it attractive and engaging to consume and share?
- How can we present our collective strengths in a succinct and subtle way that “pulls” targeted people into our marketing funnel?
- What do we have to do differently to target and attract international candidates from within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other established economies across Europe towards our flagship management programme?
Since our client had chosen to put all their eggs in the digital basket and was relying on a comprehensive content marketing exercise to deliver on their campaign outcomes, we decided that it would be best to take over their owned, earned and paid media channels and manage the entire digital spectrum for the duration of the campaign period.
As an external partner supporting the client’s internal marketing and communications team, we offered to create the following assets for them, with clearly defined objectives across the marketing funnel:
- Subject-matter specific blog posts
- Knowledge-driven editorial articles
- Landing pages
- Social media stories
- Email newsletters
- Creative ad copies and advertorials
Important factors that made the client choose us:
Every ambitious client looks at a variety of factors before they pick an external partner to collaborate with. Some of those factors are fairly explicit. Others can be very subtle and instinctive.
Here are some competitive advantages that we were able to demonstrate to our client that earned us their project:
- Background in the education sector: We had worked extensively in the education industry, and therefore, we understood precisely where our client was coming from and the kind of customers that they were trying to attract.
- Training through workshops: The simple fact that we had conducted multiple content marketing workshops at the client’s campus, been introduced with key stakeholders across all their major departments and had a great working relationship with everyone on their team, allowed us the opportunity to understand their brand from the inside-out.
- Positive and patient demeanour: We were able to get the proverbial “buy-in” from the client’s management team to execute a transformational digital project, that had never been implemented at this scale prior to our engagement. We learned that an important part of our scope would be to build trust and rapport with all the department heads, by addressing their questions, concerns, ideas and suggestions with sincerity and vigour.
- Boutique team and personalised attention: Since time was of the essence, our client wanted a partner who could roll up their sleeves and start working on their project immediately. They also sought a team that would work as an extension of their own, and bring an abundance of fresh ideas to the table. Being small, independent and nimble, we were able to offer a fully managed, integrated service on this project.
Like all good things, this project with our client achieved a successful outcome. We were happy to have had the opportunity to work closely with Nihal, Sriram and their amazing team on this project.
“Defining the problem and identifying levers to pull were things we were struggling with, and Rohan helped us solve both these long-standing problems. By asking us the right questions, he forced us to explore multiple angles and also helped us appreciate content marketing dynamics by sharing real-world experiences of how different scenarios play out.
He's also very easy to work with, and his enthusiasm is contagious! Companies and individuals who are serious about content marketing should connect with Rohan.”
- Nihal K. (Associate Director of Marketing)
Like Nihal, if you are someone who is looking for a capable team of professionals to step in and change the game for your business by taking a content-first approach, please know that we’d love to start a conversation with you.
We offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation to those who are serious about starting their content marketing journey with us. Schedule a chat today.