I love using principalaim to highlight an educational perspective that I share or that I am wrestling with. Today’s “Read This Now!” features an interesting blog posting from Joe Pulizzi. Admittedly, Joe’s post would probably not be featured on your typical education blog. However, while reading it today, I was struck by how much I enjoyed reading it (primarily because it spoke to the marketer in me).
Joe’s blog is all about how to create effective brand content when building a company; however, I would argue that any industry (including education) would benefit from understanding what it takes to create and market content in the current economic environment. His topic also resonated with me because many non-profit institutions are entering a new phase where marketing to one’s base may not be the only way to build and maintain your brand. I know that this is true for many private institutions of learning. In previous years, most private schools could solicit their alumni base and rely on them to give year after year to the school. Now, however, people have choices in everything (including where to invest discretionary capital) so those resources can no longer be the primary source that schools rely on — thus the need to expand when marketing. Therefore, every industry must sell itself in order to set itself apart in any competitive market. Check out five of Joe’s key suggestions for creating and marketing effective brand content in any industry:
“First and foremost, build an audience by understanding who the who is.”
“Focus on a content niche where you can truly be the leading informational provider for THAT particular niche.”
“Find one channel [or means of communicating with your audience] that you can make your own.” More importantly, when choosing a means of communicating with your audience, choose a method that “aligns with your passion and makes sense for your target audience.”
“Be consistent in your communications.”
“Connect with the influencers in your industry.” Knowing who the movers and shakers are in your industry is a great idea because they can help you get your message out to others. For instance, in the world of education, I would definitely work with folks who love to blog and those who are enthusiastic about Pinterest. Like Joe, I think it is essential to know who your influencers are and to partner with them.”
I realize every industry is different, but I do believe these five simple suggestions can make a big difference in the way that any company/institution shares its story. Enjoy! tlb