We’ve reached the point where we need to talk about the engine that drives inbound—great content.
By now, you understand that inbound marketing is about drawing prospective customers in rather than pushing your message out. You understand that it’s about creating an inviting virtual space and extending a hand for leads to get in touch and stay in touch. You understand that it’s about listening as much as (or more than!) you speak, understanding what your prospective students are looking for and where they’re looking for it, and here’s where we reach the question of content: what is it, and what makes it great?
What counts as ‘content’?
‘Content’ can take endless forms, but for our purposes, when we refer to content, we’re talking almost exclusively about content that can be consumed digitally, whether streamed or downloaded. Podcasts, blog posts, tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook updates, ebooks, presentations, and YouTube videos all count as content. All of these things are means by which you can communicate your brand to your prospective students and their parents, using the inbound strategy of offering inherently valuable material to attract and delight your audience.
Did you catch that last part? It’s important.
In inbound, ‘content’ means inherently valuable material that attracts and delights your audience.
That means that all your inbound content—every tweet, post, video, photo, and update—should be created with the goal of earning attention and eliciting delight. Yes, you want to communicate truthfully and effectively what your institution is about, but not in a way that gives off the vibe that you’re selling something. Rather, you want your content to have inherent appeal—interestingness—the kind of appeal that catches your eye even if you’re not particularly in the market for whatever it is that’s actually being marketed.Unsure of whether your marketing efforts are having any results?