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Higher Ed Needs Micro-Content for Student Recruitment — Here's Why

Posted By Zach Busekrus on 6/3/15 10:30 AM

Read Time: 2 Minutes


Dr. Seuss once said, “The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

If you were to bring in Dr. Seuss as a consultant for your enrollment marketing, he might recommend developing micro-content to attract new students to your institution. Here’s why:

Micro-content, for all intents and purposes, is introductory or brand-building content. This means that  for higher ed institutions, micro-content should aim to attract new student audiences.

Micro-content comes in the form of status updates, short videos, quick blog posts, photos, and hashtags. Unlike premium content, which typically consists of more educational and valuable content like eBooks, guides, and comprehensive videos, micro-content can be easily digested on platforms and in formats that content consumers — especially younger ones, like students — are regularly utilizing.

The very way in which we tell stories, as well as the time in which we have to tell them, is changing. Unless you already know how to tell your story and depict your school’s personality in a quick, witty, and purposeful way, using content to attract suspects and prospects to your institution will prove to be as challenging as trying to convince someone to try green eggs and ham.  

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you begin to create micro-content to attract new prospects to your university:

Be quick

Our online attention span is continuously waning — especially your institution’s target age demographic. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and then shut up. Remember that these prospects don’t have a relationship with you yet. It doesn’t matter how polished or well written your 1500 word blog post is; they aren’t loyal enough to you yet to give you twelve minutes of their time.

Be witty

BuzzFeed encapsulates the relationship between witty and educational content stupendously — take a note from them! Share a humorous meme on your Facebook page about college application deadlines with a simple and funny (but intentional) hashtag that is relevant to your institution. Publish a blog post that is chock-full of GIFs about “the real life of a graduate student” and promote the heck out of it on your social media channels.

Be purposeful

Today the average person sees hundreds of content messages each day. Your content must be unique enough to your institution’s identity while still being relevant enough to grab (and keep!) the attention of new people. These new prospects may not be willing to give you twelve minutes of their time, but they are willing to give you two minutes of their time. Optimize these two minutes by creating pieces of content that are informative, attention-grabbing, and offer the chance — but do not demand — to take the next step in the enrollment funnel.

As inbound marketing continues to revolutionize the way enrollment managers recruit students, it is important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to content creation. Admissions teams need to understand the necessity for creating different types of content for prospects at different stages in the applicant journey.

Micro-content might not lead a prospect to submit an application immediately, but it is an effective way to build relationships and brand recognition with new students from outside your traditional audiences and inquiry pool.

Need some help developing micro-content for your institution?  

Request a Content Brainstorm Session

Topics: Graduate Enrollment Management, Student Recruitment, Inbound Marketing, Content Creation

About the Higher Ed Marketer

This blog is dedicated to sharing best practices, trends and case studies for the marketing of higher education. Our content is developed out of our partnerships with both undergraduate and graduate enrollment management professionals, as well as those who specialize in higher ed marketing and communications designed for student recruitment.

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