According to Seth Godin, “Content marketing is the only marketing that’s left.” Why? Well, times have changed and audiences are fragmented. That means that for schools it is less important to send out traditional press releases, rely on the news media to report stories on the district, pay for expensive advertising, and on and on.
Here are some facts about the way your audiences are consuming information:
- According to eMarketer.com, mobile and internet consumption continues to rise among consumers, while traditional media usage continues to fall, especially with print media.
- According to eMarketer.com, the top two reasons social users follow brands on social media is because they want to keep up with the latest content and share that content with family and friends.
Content matters, then, because people want to see relevant, interesting, local and specific information directly from your district. In effect, you are now your own publisher of content. The model should look like this: owned media (original content you create as the most important), earned media (local news media coverage), paid media (advertising). By owning your media, you become a good storyteller rather than a good story (and by “good,” I mean sensationalized or controversial most of the time in the media). Also, your content never expires the way paid advertising does.
Since owning your own media is so important, and creating original, engaging content matters, here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you begin to shape your own stories:
- Your content strategy is just as important as the content you create or curate. What are your goals? What are your platforms? How will you distribute original content? How will people know about it? Part of the process is planning ahead and re-educating your constituents about how the district is going to be communicating.
- To own your own media and to make a content strategy effective, you must communicate internally and train administrators and staff. Try to invest in mini-campaigns on Facebook (feature a different school or program in your district weekly or monthly on your page) and use the power of hashtags on Twitter to aggregate conversations. Also, involve the voices of your students and your staff in your content.
- Always be in a storytelling mindset. Showcase your school’s culture. Introduce your school’s characters. Educate your community. Keep your audience’s attention.