Inbound marketing is a valuable strategy for schools looking to connect with prospects. Not only can inbound help you boost brand awareness, but it can also be key in generating high-quality leads. A quality lead shows interest in your school and its program offerings, indicating a high likelihood that they will convert and become students at your school. You can generate high-quality leads by understanding your student persona and creating targeted content with a clear CTA. Content that prompts prospects to share their contact details, like lead magnets, is also key.
Inbound marketing encompasses everything from blogging and social media to email marketing. It’s a strategy to attract prospects with high-value content and personalized experiences.
Your school can use inbound marketing to boost student recruitment and attract new leads. You must follow industry best practices and understand your audience strongly to get results. Here are a few tips and insights to help your school get started!
1. Understand the Value of Inbound Marketing for Lead Generation
Good inbound marketing relies on good content marketing techniques, all tailored to a specific student persona – a semi-realistic representation of your school’s target audience. In a general case, your target prospect will likely turn to the internet to discover information about your school or topics related to your program offerings. Good content enables you to capture and maintain their attention.
By providing your prospects with credible and high-quality content, your school can better secure their trust and loyalty. These essential components lead to a strong relationship with your audience, which plays a big part in lead generation. Besides, organic traffic produces substantial-high-quality leads and a great conversion rate. 27% of marketers reveal that organic search generates the most leads for their business.
With this strategy, you can provide your audience with real value and enjoy the long-term benefits of a loyal audience, all while being cost-effective. Research shows that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing approaches and generates three times more leads. You can establish your school as a credible authority in a particular field through high-quality, targeted content and improve student recruitment.
2. Create Engaging Content Designed to Draw Leads In
Your school’s content can be your secret to drawing prospects in, so you must create what your audience wants to see. Be sure to review your personas to get a sense of the topics your audience cares most about and focus on creating content around those subjects. Good content drives traffic; the more traffic you produce, the higher your chances of generating high-quality leads.
Produce Blog Posts and Video Content to Captivate Prospective Students
You can do a lot with blog posts, from sharing valuable insight on key subjects related to your program offerings to highlighting your school’s unique selling points. You can create many posts, including listicles, reviews, and case studies. This content aims to answer a prospect’s question or solve a problem, providing them with the knowledge they seek while presenting your school and its programs as a potential solution.
This content is generally cost-efficient since it doesn’t require your school to purchase additional equipment. You can simply host your blog on your school’s website and post the content that your team produces. To get the most out of your efforts, you can apply SEO best practices and increase your chances of ranking higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
Example: The Canadian Business School uses its blog to attract prospective students interested in supply chain management. Those wondering about career prospects may be especially drawn in by their blog post detailing why a career in this field is easy to establish. By reading the content, prospects may be inspired to learn more about their potential in the field and decide to view the school’s application page—where they can submit an application and become high-quality leads:
Source: Canadian Business School
If you want to go further, consider creating a video content marketing strategy for your school. Video is one of the most popular forms of content, and for good reason. Research shows that short-form video generates the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy. It can easily capture the attention of your prospects and delight them, motivating them to stick around longer and follow your school until they become high-quality leads.
Example: Prospects interested in enhancing their business acumen may be drawn to learning about this interest through short-form videos. The London Business School uses this type of content to attract this audience and establish itself as an expert in the field. Prospects engaging with the information the school provides may be more inclined to view the school as a credible resource and explore more of its content as they consider a business school for themselves:
Consider Social Media and Infographics for Generating High-Quality Leads
A social media strategy and presence are necessary for schools looking to reach audiences in today’s digital marketing landscape. You’ll want to focus on platforms that your prospects frequently visit and create content you know they will want to see. By sharing targeted content on platforms that naturally promote engagement and communication, you can begin building deeper relationships with your prospects and nurture their connection to your school.
Over time, your efforts will build loyalty and help you generate more leads. Besides, with social media, you can link to your website and drive more traffic to your program pages, boosting your chances of generating high-quality leads.
Example: John Cabot University uses social media to showcase its vibrant student life. Prospects who value fun activities and trips as part of their ideal college experience may gravitate towards John Cabot University more seriously after stumbling upon their Facebook post, which directs users to their website. Not only would this drive web traffic, but it would also motivate some prospects to follow the school and potentially apply:
Source: Facebook – John Cabot University
Infographics condense complex information into easily digestible content that is also aesthetically pleasing. They’re especially useful for showcasing your school’s knowledge and brand identity in a shareable format. The more shares your infographics get, the more people learn about your school and its offerings. It can even entice prospects to dive deeper into your other content and explore your program pages and offerings—solely through inbound marketing efforts.
Example: Hult International Business School posted an infographic highlighting fascinating Black Friday statistics on their website. The infographic features the school’s branding and summarizes statistical information in an easy-to-digest, fun way. These statistics may interest prospective business students and entice them to look up the school and consider it as an option for their professional growth:
Are you looking to create fun, engaging content that drives traffic and generates leads? Contact our expert education marketers to learn how inbound marketing can help your school achieve its goals!
3. Embrace Lead Magnets when Generating High-Quality Leads with Content
A lead magnet refers to a specific offer that incentivizes prospects to submit their contact information in order to gain access. They serve as essential school assets, allowing them to develop their email list and begin forming more profound relationships with their prospects while boosting enrollments.
Content used for lead magnets needs to entice prospects specifically. The key is to focus on what values most to prospects at this stage, considering all the CTAs. It offers in your TOFU to BOFU marketing strategy—that means factoring in offers at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel for quality lead generation.
Create E-Books and Guides to Increase Leads for Your School
E-books, guides, and reports are some of the more popular lead magnets out there, and your school can use them to provide prospects with high-value content. This content goes beyond what you may share in a simple checklist, blog, or infographic. It typically covers in-depth information, research, case studies, and other important insights that may interest prospects.
You want your prospects to feel like they stumbled onto something precious, something worth giving away their contact information for. By putting time and effort into creating these types of lead magnets, you can show prospects that your school is actively seeking to provide value—increasing their trust in your school. As a result, you’ll be in a better position to generate high-quality leads.
Example: On its homepage, Juno College invites prospects to click on a button offering a “Student Outcomes Report.” Once they go to that page, prospects can view a summary of what the report promises to offer—all topics that address the prospect’s motivations and concerns regarding the field. To access this information, they must submit their name and email, becoming a lead after doing so:
Source: Juno College
Host Webinars and Events to Appeal to New Leads
Webinars can attract prospects interested in more interactive experiences and those who want to learn more about the field they’re considering studying. To cater to these prospects, your school can host career-specific webinars and events that make it difficult for them to pass up. This content may entice them to share their contact information and register or stay up-to-date on similar events.
Schools can also use this approach to spotlight other events, like campus tours and information sessions. The idea is to create an opportunity for prospects to interact further with your school, submit their contact details, and experience a positive interaction with you. From there, you can strengthen your relationship with them by crafting personalized messages for quality leads marketing.
Example: McGill’s School of Continuing Studies is hosting an info session for those interested in English language and culture. The program coordinator will host the session and cover a wide range of topics related to the program. Prospects who are interested in taking the next step but aren’t yet committed to enrolling can take advantage of this offer and register—sharing their contact information and becoming a lead while gaining access to a conversation they most likely want to be a part of:
4. Make the Most out of Your School’s Lead Magnet Landing Page
Landing pages can be summarized as web pages that prospects access once they click on a link, leading them to a page uniquely designed to encourage a specific action. In this case, these landing pages are meant to promote the lead magnets your school creates, and your team needs to optimize them to maximize the return on investment. Doing so saves time and resources while ensuring that your landing page attracts the right audience and keeps them engaged.
If your landing pages don’t convert prospects, your inbound marketing efforts for generating high-quality leads will fall short despite how much traffic you may produce. Schools must apply lead generation best practices and create a successful landing page. This includes:
- Creating a compelling headline with a strong opening and an interesting introduction
- Having a mobile responsive, fast-loading page that is easy to navigate with good UI/UX elements
- Featuring appealing visuals and creating an uncluttered layout
- Including a single and clear CTA that guides prospects through the content
Example: The Toronto Film School applies these techniques on its landing page, prompting prospects to request more information about their Graphic Design Diploma program. The landing page is well-structured with a single and clear CTA, eye-catching visuals, exciting text, and event testimonials—making it an excellent example for schools:
Source: Toronto Film School
Using this approach, your school can create a landing page focussing on a lead magnet instead of a program. Although the content covered will differ, the same best practices and techniques will be required for success.
5. Boost Lead Generation with Email Marketing
Consider email marketing if you’re still wondering how to improve lead quality using inbound marketing techniques. You can use your email marketing list to find new opportunities for generating high-quality leads. By encouraging your current audience to share your email content, you may get more exposure and increase your chances of boosting lead generation.
You can make it easy for current leads to forward your email to others in their network, those who would be just as interested in your content, and share your email content on social media. This way, you can broaden your reach and attract other likely high-quality leads.
You can motivate your email marketing list by including social sharing buttons, adding a sign-up link, and offering incentives for sharing your content. Alternatively, you can remind readers and ask them to share your content in the copy itself.
It’s important to note that some techniques may work better for your school. As a result, track your efforts and review your analytics to discover which strategies and channels produce the most organic traffic and conversions.