on August 07, 2020 Content Creation Blogging

Content Ideas for Each Stage of the Admissions Journey

In a global pandemic, the way you speak and what you write about is more important than ever.

And no matter what stage a family is in the admissions journey - whether it be awareness, consideration, or decision - content that is beautiful, useful, generous, and respectful to the current landscape is essential to help nurture them through the admissions journey.

The content shared at each stage of the journey should be crafted to factor in the realities of living in a global pandemic as well as the changing needs of your prospective families to provide answers to their problems and help them achieve their goals. 

Web content that directly answers a persona’s questions, solves their problems, and helps them achieve their goals will build trust with your audience, inherently making your international school a credible resource. 

Ultimately, what you produce should help nurture your families from strangers to applicants, with an end goal of them becoming promoters of your school. 

Image source: Hubspot

 

Below, we provide content ideas for each stage of the candidate’s journey.

 

Content ideas for the awareness stage

In the awareness stage, your prospects have questions that need to be answered and they’re looking at your website to find those answers. 

Maybe they are a family of five who just found out they’re being relocated to Tanzania. Or perhaps, they are a parent who is unsatisfied with the education provided by the school their children are currently attending and are looking to switch schools. How will you tailor your words to speak to them specifically?

Though the problem or question may be different for each persona, the content should still have the same goal: educate and provide the answer without selling. 

Content ideas for the awareness stage include:

  • Research reports
  • eBooks 
  • Editorials
  • Blogs or long-form documents using (or written by) experts
  • Educational pieces
  • Whitepapers 

If you want to get more creative with more engaging pieces, consider including:

  • Virals
  • Quizzes
  • Contests

 

Content ideas for the consideration stage

In the consideration stage, your prospective families are heavily into their research and are debating whether or not your school is the best option for their children. 

Families are very likely comparing how your school is navigating the realities of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Have you addressed this in a public-facing way that is easy for them to find?

Consider the type of content you could offer that outlines your school’s plan for both in-person and online learning as well as the safety protocols that have been implemented on campus. 

Content ideas that would be most beneficial and educational for the prospect at this stage include:

  • Expert guidelines
  • Live interactions
  • Webcasts
  • Community videos
  • Podcasts
  • Comparison guides 
  • Infographics
  • Family profiles 

 

More entertaining content with a creative twist for high engagement may include:

  • Branded videos
  • Games 
  • Interactive maps

 

Content that demonstrates the school experience at this stage might include:

  • Virtual tours
  • Live videos 
  • Events 

 

Content ideas for the decision stage

The decision stage is when the family is choosing whether they will submit an application to your school. They want to see and experience exactly what it is like to be a part of your school community.

The reality of COVID-19 means that your prospective families are not likely to be able to have a personalized on-campus tour where they can physically experience (and compare) your school against other options.

How to educate families at this stage: 

  • School comparisons 
  • Curriculum comparisons
  • School literature
  • Live tours 

 

How to demonstrate at this stage:

  • Program opportunities
  • Checklists
  • Calculators 
  • Interactive viewbooks
  • Scholarship information and tuition pricing guides
  • Case studies
  • Trial downloads

 

How to inspire at this stage:

  • Community forums
  • Family stories
  • Alumni endorsements
  • Reviews

What to keep in mind while creating content 

As evidenced above, there are numerous ways to create beautiful, useful, and generous content to nurture families throughout their journey. 

In summary, the four things to keep in mind when creating content are:

  • Always focus on writing content specifically for your family persona and where they are in the admissions journey.
  • Beautiful. Useful. Generous. Create beautiful content that will be useful to your persona and be generous with the information you provide them. Resist the urge to hold back for fear of "giving too much away".
  • Keep your content educational, not promotional. As mentioned above, it's not until the decision stage where you shift to focusing on your prospective families actually joining your community.
  • Focus on the informational part of the content first, worry about the design second. If your content isn't well produced, it's not going to matter what it looks like.

Now that you understand what to write, we invite you to learn how to put those ideas onto paper.

In our new Marketing Action Plan workshop, we will provide you and your team with the tools you need to begin your marketing strategy development or to ramp up your current efforts with your existing team and resources. 


Find out more by clicking the button below! 

 

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Jessica Thompson

Jessica is a wonder with words. An award-winning writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, she's currently in a Master's program at Washington State University working to improve herself as a digital marketer and strategic communicator to better aid in bringing forth innovative, cutting edge campaigns. She has worked in the journalism field as the editor of a newspaper, ventured into communications working with the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, and now is in a position that has sparked a passion for digital marketing. When not in front of her computer writing away, you can find her in the kitchen (she recently mastered baguettes), dragging her fiancee out for a photo shoot, or on the ice braving the puck as a goaltender.