Colleges across the globe are privy to the benefits of having a blog. Many B-schools at some point or the other had ventured to maintain a blog that went into disuse and are now looking for ways to revive it. The rest are still skeptical for they do wish to drive the MBA applicants’ traffic but do not know how. It is only healthy to think this way as according to a study, nearly 40% of U.S. organizations use blogs for marketing purposes, and those organizations that blog have 55% more website visitors. Furthermore, by placing calls-to-action (CTAs) on your blog, you can capture the information of the readers, and nurture them to become applicants and – ideally – students.
Placing calls to action
Now what are the possible intermediate stages of converting an MBA aspirant into a prospective student? If you are doing it through your blog, the first step is to make them subscribe to it. Hence do not forget to ask them to subscribe to your blog and follow you at social platforms towards the end of a post or through a pop up message. To get them closer to applying, you can provide an option to download your tuition and financial aid information, and an offer to attend the campus tour. Do not forget to provide options to talk to someone at the admission cell, or a place to submit a query. Finally, a link to application submission is a must as that is the ulterior aim.
Optimise past posts
Maximum leads generated come from blog posts that were published in previous months or perhaps, years ago. ‘Historical optimisation’ means revamping the old blog content so that it is fresh and up to date. These old posts are the posts that already exist on your blog. One can always get recurring, lasting value from the old posts of a blog.
There are posts that are good for call to action conversions but unable to generate traffic. When updating the content, take care of accuracy, comprehensiveness and freshness. Search engine optimisation of such high conversion posts could help entice more students to apply. You can then republish those posts on your B-school’s Facebook page and website. Obviously it is less work than creating a blog post from scratch.
Sources of content
The potential content for your blog posts can be tapped from various sources, the first and foremost being the student community. The current students of your B-school can write about their life at the institute, why they chose your Business school for an MBA, events they have managed with clubs or societies they are involved in. Your alumni can talk about their experiences at the institution and how their respective study program helped them leapfrog in their careers to success. Most of the times, the graduates are eager to give back to their school so do not shy away from approaching them. Make your faculty blog about their pedagogy and their opinion about the programs your B-school has to offer. And now most importantly do not forget to make the admission officers explain the admission criteria, deadlines and upcoming events. Infact, covering as many departments as possible will be an added pro, especially the development and fundraising cell of your college. It’s a professional development opportunity for all those you offer to blog.
To tailor the content, you can offer educational ebooks which can be downloaded when the students submit their contact information.
You can also make your institute’s magazine available online that covers information for both prospective, current, and past students, as well as faculty.
Make it visually compelling
Images and graphics are obviously pleasing to the eye and therefore help generate interest. The student can get an idea of what the article is about before he/she actually reads it. Moreover, images break the monotony of the text.
Titles do the talking
First impression is the last impression they say. Your title is the attention grabber, make it or break it. With an aim for less than 10 words, devise a title that will pop up as soon as a student makes a search with those certain keywords or phrases. But this does not imply you become a bore. Use casual and engaging language that students find endearing, not forgetting to state the contents of the article.
You’ve got only a second to grab the student’s attention with that title of your post.
Use social media sharing buttons
At the end of the day the ulterior motive is to become more visible and reachable.
Every time you blog, it’s one more indexed page which means it is an increased chance to drive traffic. Not only that, you create content that people can share on social media — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest.
To extend your reach to the students who are not directly accessing your blog posts, you can place ‘like’ button for facebook, a ‘tweet’ button etc on each post so that the student reading it can share it among his/her friends. It can extend your reach a tad lot.
You can always contact us to help formulate the blogging strategy for your institute. Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org