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Using Content to Connect: 4 Keys to Digitally Connecting with Parents and Perspective Students

A blog by our Summer '17 Intern Tucker Hallowell

In a world with an abundance of information, how can educational institutions differentiate themselves and connect with parents of perspective students? Content.

With this abundance of information, parent’s preferences are varied and they want a variety of options to gain knowledge. Parents want to absorb tasteful, bite-sized blurbs on Twitter or short videos and stories on blogs that provide them with useful and engaging info as well as an authentic look into the community.

Planning the distribution of this content is just as important as developing it. Creating a journey for parents and perspective students relies heavily on how content is delivered. Let’s take a look at the four main ways to create a rich journey that engages parents and helps them understand the “vibe” of an institution.

Blogs
Blogs are a proven way of engaging people with content by sharing authentic stories on campus and within your community. By using photos, videos, and concise blurbs, blogs present stories that are both informative and expressive. By focusing on student interests and needs, a blog provides the student perspective on the community. Along with this, Blogs also help drive traffic to an institutions website.

Did you know that institutions that blog experience 55% more website visitors?

Facebook
Facebook creates a space that allows for news and information to be distributed publicly or to a private group. Details of upcoming field trips, school closings, special events, and pictures of student work are all examples of information that people look for on this particular media platform. It also creates a forum that allows for two-way communication. Facebook gives parents a space to engage with an institution and each other, rather than just relying on one-way communication through newsletters. Facebook serves as the social home base as it links parents to other less familiar outlets such as Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and your blog. Although Facebook use is lessening with younger generations, it is still very popular amongst adults.

Did you know 79% of all Internet users and 68% of all U.S adults are on Facebook?

Twitter
Twitter is a very effective platform to engage prospective students in news and events happening in the community. Twitter provides a versatile and active social media platform that has a far reach in its application for institutions. From announcements about events, such as homecoming and sporting contests, to tips about how to organize your first year at an institution, Twitter allows students to interact with your institution as well as with each other.

Did you know that, according to Time Magazine, 91% of young adults use social media? Thus, it is important for institutions to have a strong social media presence

Instagram
Instagram tells the story of the institution through videos and pictures of genuine experiences in the community. Rather than telling people about the vibe of the institution, Instagram shows this vibe and translates these experiences into an authentic and attractive visual journey. The key is authenticity. Students post photos in real time so that it becomes a platform for sharing relatable experiences. By creating this real time authentic visual journey, an institution can, similar to Twitter, facilitate student interactions. A contest for best photo on campus is an example of how to use this interaction to engage people with the community and the campus.

Did you know that 76% of American teens age 13-17 actively use instagram? 

- Tucker Hallowell

Tucker Hallowell, 22, worked as a marketing intern with the Kor Group for the 2017 summer researching and writing about current marketing and technology trends of the new generation. Now a senior at Trinity College, Tucker majors in Political Science and minors in English creative writing and resides in Arlington, Massachusetts.

References:

https://www.impactbnd.com/blogging-statistics-55-reasons-blogging-creates-55-more-traffic

http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

http://www.schoolinboundmarketing.com/blog/marketing-your-school-to-millennial-moms-in-2016-and-beyond

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170421113306.htm

 

image credits:

https://unsplash.com/@rawpixel?photo=lRssALOk1fU

https://unsplash.com/@saulomohana?photo=D_kOW7iHNnw

 

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