Content is the great equalizer. Harvard University has published its alumni magazine since 1898. Today, the majority of universities publish alumni magazines. It is content marketing at its best. They share stories of students, faculty members, career paths, etc. The content creates the story around the school. It gives lesser known schools a chance to make a name for themselves. Yes, it is possible. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. There is no 100 percent sure formula, but you can increase your chance for success if you follow some key guidelines.
It’s tough to get noticed. There are universities that are older than yours. They might have more history. They might have more students. There is a good chance that they have a lot more money than you. You won’t be able to create more content unless you have a dedicated marketing staff that can constantly churn out new stuff. Instead of focusing on quantity shoot for quality. If you read some very high traffic sites, you see that most of their content is plain vanilla. They can get away with OK content, but you can’t. If you create the same type of vanilla content, you will get lost. You have to create something so good that people won’t be able to ignore you. David with great content beats Goliath every time.
When Google started out the web was much more democratic. A small business could compete with giant corporations. Today, large companies can outspend you when it comes to buying ads or creating content. YouTube started out with home made videos. Today, content created by businesses get the majority of the eye balls. If you want to stand out and compete, you must have unforgettable content.
Focus on Helping Not Selling
When I read your content I don’t care about you. I only care about me. Don’t sell me. Kill the pitch. Be helpful. Create stuff that helps me learn, save money or time, make money, solve a problem, get a job, or entertain. You are creating value. Don’t be tempted into selling too soon. Your content is there to attract, then convert prospects into students. Your content helps you to be known and be trusted.
Always Be Creating
Content marketing requires discipline. If you want to build an audience, you must post content regularly. Make a commitment to regular publishing and stick to it. Set yourself measurable goals. If you don’t have time to post every day, post three times a week, or four times a month. If you make a commitment follow through. It is easy to get started, but difficult to stay consistent. There are some great tools to help you stay true to your editorial calendar such as the “Wordpress Editorial Calendar”. Create systems to make it easier on yourself.
The best content marketers develop for multiple formats. Just because your video went viral once, it doesn’t mean it will always work. Even if video works for 50 percent of your market, it won’t get everyone’s attention. One format is not enough. Experiment with articles, white papers, press releases, studies, infographics, videos, audio, podcasts, presentations, webinars, and anything you can think of.
Let Google Help
It’s not just about search engines, but Google is still one of the largest source of traffic for many sites. As you plan for new content, find out what people are searching for that is relevant to your market. Create your content around these topics. If you are not finding relevant keywords, getting traffic will be much more difficult. A great tool for this is the Google Keyword Planner tool.