It’s not just large corporations that use social collaboration tools and content to connect different audiences. Institutions of higher learning are reaching out and communicating with their various stakeholders through different types of content as well.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors … these all represent different audiences for whom content must be tailored. Those colleges that are using content to engage and create stronger community are going to the head of the class.
- Students want to read about what they’ll discover at the school or get information about courses, clubs and schedules; staff needs access to content regarding employee policies and procedures or financials.
- Prospective and current students may want to read the school’s blog on career advice, the advantages of various majors, or learn about successful graduates and their paths to success.
For example, the Fashion Instituteof Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in California had needed to create content and platforms for its various groups to use. Students, staff members, alumni, student prospects all need access to different information and applications (not the enrollment kind).
The college needed solutions that would weave together the thousands of students, employees and others. Three portals are used (one for the public, one for students and alumni, and another for employees), the different programs are related to those specific audiences, but all users have a single point of access to get the content they need and enjoy online collaboration. You can read the full case study of how solutions from IBM helped various stakeholders access the online information and apps they need.
Content for different users: students, faculty and staff
There are many ways to create content geared to the different constituents in a college/university setting—and many reasons to do so. From developing and maintaining a donor base to recruiting new students, content can be a dynamic growth generator. And because the audiences are so diverse across ages in particular, the need to communicate across traditional and digital channels is important. Here are a few ways to bring content marketing into higher education and go to the head of the marketing class.
Articles may be about interesting faculty or alumni, new research or curriculum initiatives, and showcase outstanding students or staff. These stories all engage alumni and can help keep endowments strong and develop the next generation of students there.
For younger students or alums who are accustomed to doing lots of reading online, digital editions make a lot of sense and save money over print versions.
- Another CASE study* (about the use of social media in higher education) found that many school administrators think of email as a legacy medium that is being replaced by texting and other short messaging tools; however, the white paper states that, “When asked to compare email to social media for its success in meeting unit goals, 46 percent of this year’s respondents confirmed that they considered email more effective than some social media channels, and an additional 31 percent rated it over all social media.” [Source: *Social Media Enters the Mainstream: Report on the Use of Social Media in Advancement, 2014 by Jennifer Mack and Michael Stoner