Why Working With a Technical College Marketing Agency Is Essential

Over the past decade, the higher education system has changed dramatically. Courses are offered online, highly competitive schools allow students to work full time while pursuing their degrees, technical skills are more valuable than ever, and real-life work experience or work-study programs have become the norm.  

These changes allow students to become skilled employees faster, while building communities through the talent that fuels their economy. Technical colleges play an important role in this evolution, which is why getting the word out with the help of a technical college marketing agency is so important.

Help students discover important educational alternatives

High school diplomas no longer hold the same weight they used to, and most high school graduates feel pressured to pursue a college degree. The growing expectations that all students will attend college delays skilled employees from entering the workforce and can lead to an unsuccessful college experience for those who are either disinterested or unequipped to participate in a four-year program. According to the Institute of Education Statistics, 40% of students drop out of four-year degree programs, and 60% of those that do complete their degree take longer than four years to graduate.

Ensuring your technical college is easy to find and learn about empowers students to explore alternatives to a prescriptive college experience. A technical college marketing agency can help your school become more search-friendly by enhancing your SEO presence and building a robust content strategy that answers your future students’ questions at every stage in the exploration process, on any device, at any time.

Become a building block of your community

Technical colleges are no longer a fallback option for high school dropouts. They help talented students who need more scheduling flexibility or more economic education options to get a college degree without strapping themselves with debt. Allowing them to enter the workforce faster and start earning a meaningful wage.

But don’t take our word for it. The average earnings for a new technical graduate are $55,270 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is on par with post other college degrees. Because most technical degrees are two-year programs, enrollment in your school will push skilled labor into the economy faster each year. This creates a dynamic job market for both employers and employees.

On average, technical colleges are also less expensive than four year programs — which have increased 260% in cost over the past decade.  Use a technical college marketing agency like ours to help you build strong relationships between major employers and high schools in your area that will break down outdated stigma about technical colleges. Your program deserves to be top of mind within your community and seen as an affordable, expeditious source of talent in your community.

 The takeaway

Learn more about why a digital marketing agency is a critical partner in building these relationships and recruiting the next wave of talent by clicking here to contact our team. We will share case studies and success stories from educational institutes just like yours and help you build a strong digital footprint to drive success.

The only guide you & your content marketing agency should use

Faced with an ever changing landscape of marketing trends, keeping your content fresh can feel like a daunting task. We’ve seen many brands reach out to a top Florida advertising agency when they hit a breaking point and their content has become unmanageable, but we want to share an effective how-to guide that will make your (and your content marketing agency’s) life much easier. By following these simple steps, you can keep your content fresh … without the stress.
1. Create a foundation of evergreen content

While current news, timely statistics, and cutting-edge trends all have a place in your arsenal of content, evergreen material that never goes out of style or “ages” should be the foundation of your digital footprint. This content should anchor your search strategy with keywords that will always be relevant to your brand.

Many companies shy away from creating evergreen content in fear that all the related, popular topics have already been covered. Even if that were true, you can leverage your team’s unique voice or expertise to add a brand-specific spin that will freshen up timeless topics. Your brand should also consider developing content for secondary, or long-tail, topics and keywords that will still drive site traffic, but have less competition against them

2. Repurpose your best material

Partner with a content marketing agency or use a search tracking tool such as Ahrefs to monitor how your content is performing in search. If you see a certain keyword ranking drop, it’s time to refresh your material on that topic. Repurpose your best features by punctuating evergreen content with links to news or new statistics. In addition to strengthening your brand’s position on a certain topic, this also helps build backlinks within your site, establishing your credibility in the search ecosystem and bolstering your ranking.

Remember, you aren’t the only person speaking about a certain topic, so just because you’ve said it once, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit the topic with relevant updates  for your ever-growing audience.

3. Let your content marketing agency spice up your content type

You may also want to republish popular topics in a new format. While you may be great at writing blog posts, that same content could capture a different audience if it were translated into an infographic, how-to guide, or formal whitepage.

 Most people gravitate toward the type of content they create best, so we recommend using a digital agency to help break out of your routine and reframe pieces into new formats. Learn more about how our team can translate content into new and engaging styles here.

4. Don’t forget about User Generated Content (UGC)

If you have awesome followers and influencers engaging with your brand, let them shine. Share and promote your users’ good content. Contributors love to be recognized and will probably consider being featured on your social media, blog, or page as a tremendous compliment. UGC also has the added benefit of generating over four times the clickthrough rate of brand content according to Shopify, so you can’t go wrong.

Once you’ve mastered these simple steps, you should be well on your way to a maintainable content strategy that serves your brand and your customers. Click here to contact our team and get started on refreshing your content today.

Tips to develop an effective content marketing strategy

Smart content marketing helps businesses grow revenue, deepen engagement and expand audiences.
Why does a well-executed content marketing plan have such a positive effect? Because it touches on virtually all aspects of your marketing efforts. It boosts your search ranking, increases the value of your online offerings and provides you with the material you need to grow your social media footprint. All of this results in more traffic and conversions, as your audience will appreciate useful, high-value content tailored to their interests. After all, there’s a reason why the majority of businesses report putting more resources toward content creation year after year.

So how does one design an effective content marketing strategy? Let’s review a few key tips:

Articulate your goals

No strategy can be effectively implemented without a blueprint, so defining your near and long-term goals should be the first step you take. Ask yourself the following: “What do I want my content marketing plan to achieve?” “Am I looking for more sales?” “More traffic and leads?” “Positioning as an authority in my industry?” Once the broad contours are drawn, you’ll be in a good position to start implementing your vision.

Develop a buyer persona

Knowing your audience is fundamental to good marketing. You simply can’t create and deliver highly-targeted, deeply relevant content with a scattershot approach. One of the best ways to ensure you’re using resources wisely is the creation of a buyer persona (a generalized and fictionalized profile of your ideal customer). These personas should be informed by hard data (demographic information you’ve collected via various channels/market data you have access to etc.) and your subjective impressions of your clients and your niche.

Do your research

Are your competitors investing in their own content marketing plan? If so, audit what they are doing and see if it’s driving engagement. There are a variety of software tools you can use to gauge the performance of your competitors’ content, in terms of likes, shares, traffic, etc. You’ll want to use these same tools (Google Analytics, Yoast, etc.) when evaluating the performance of your own new content.

Focus on quality

When your strategy is firmly in place, you’ve done the research, and you’ve decided which content management system best suits your needs, it’s time to focus on content creation. Here, it’s essential that you offer your audience something of value. Invest in high-quality, authoritative writing. Make sure your content is optimized for search and social. Mobile and video offerings continue to grow in importance; by at least one metric, video will be responsible for 80-percent of all online traffic by 2019, while mobile video consumption grows at a staggering 100-percent year over year.

The takeaway

Content marketing is a powerful tool that helps businesses grow their audiences, boost revenue and increase brand awareness. Follow the tips outlined above when creating your content marketing plan.

Are you interested in creating more targeted content to enhance your marketing strategy? Contact our team today to learn more about our content marketing services!

Is your company spending too much money on the wrong content?

We all know that content marketing and social media are important elements of a well-rounded and engaging customer experience — in fact, we go deep on this topic in our recent blog post titled “5 Reasons Your Business Should Invest in Content Marketing”, which you can read here. But how do you know if you’re spending the right amount of money on the right content?

There’s no question that brands are spending more money on content than ever before. With over 64% of B2B marketers outsourcing the content creation process according to TopRankBlog, there is no shortage of content flowing into the marketplace. There is content everywhere, from videos to interactive emails, to white pages, to webinars, and many others. But is it working? Calculating the ROI on content marketing can be challenging, and highly interactive content such as infographics and videos can be expensive. Before you invest another dollar in content creation, we recommend that you ask yourself these two questions:

Question 1: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall, did it actually happen?

 No, we aren’t trying to be cheeky with you. With so many marketing dollars going toward content creation, we have to wonder whether there is enough left over to effectively invest in the targeted distribution of that content. You might have the most engaging infographics in the world, but if your target audience isn’t seeing them, you’ve just wasted your budget.

Omni-channel marketing is the answer. Understand where your audience is already consuming content and which types of content they engage with most organically, then mimic their natural consumption patterns. Simple social listening tools, attribution marketing models, and A/B testing can help you understand your best customers’ behavior and begin targeting prospects with the right content, at the right time, in the right place.

This allows you to invest in your most valuable channels and begin plugging existing content into marketing mechanisms that will inspire action. You may find that you have enough content right now and that your dollars would be better spent targeting prospects with the amazing assets you have, rather than continuing to create work no one will see.

Question 2: Why are you writing your own content? 

If you find that you still do need content, we recommend flipping the creation process on its head. And don’t worry, we won’t tell your creative team we said so. While curated and professional content is hard to beat, it sometimes overshadows one of the most effective and free content creation resources available to you. Your customers.

Don’t fight it. Today’s consumers have a big voice. They are blogging and reviewing and posting everywhere. Use this to your advantage. By adopting your best customer-generated content and investing in distribution around those assets you accomplish three things. First, you reduce the cost of creating content. Second, you make those creators feel connected to your brand by elevating their opinions and efforts into the spotlight. And third, you expand your reach by utilizing your customers’ own spheres of influence and follower bases to support your distribution efforts. We agree, that sounds like a pretty amazing opportunity.

Right now, marketers spend close to 80% of their budget on content creation and only 20% on distribution. By flipping the content creation model, you just freed up that money you have been looking for to kick off your latest test and target campaign. You’re welcome.

Let us work with you to perform a comprehensive content audit on your brand to understand which of your assets are strongest, where you should be promoting them, and how effective your current distribution strategy is. Together, we’ll make sure you never have to say you spent too much money on the wrong content.

5 reasons your business should invest in content marketing

It seems like everyone is talking about content marketing. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of brands using interactive content plan to increase their content distribution in 2017. But if your mom taught you anything in middle school it was probably that, just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should too. We never recommend our clients jump on trends unless there’s a defensible reason behind those strategies. Before you join the content wave, we’re going to tell you why your business should invest in content marketing so you can make an informed decision. Spoiler alert: it’s a great investment.
     1. Consumers are increasingly less trusting of paid marketing:

Social media has made it difficult for brands to hide their values, products, or services behind a sheen of marketing razzle-dazzle. People are constantly snapping and posting pictures, videos, sound bites, and reviews onto the internet via blog posts and social channels. And because paid advertisers would never shout their faults or weaknesses from the rooftop, most people believe customer-generated content is a more reliable source of honest information about a product. A good content marketing strategy builds from and mimics customer-generated material so the messaging you have in market matches the good feedback you’re receiving and addresses areas of opportunity your customers are pointing out.

     2 . Content marketing augments your brand messaging:

Use your paid efforts as your thesis statement and content marketing as supporting proof. No matter how prevalent user content is, you still need paid advertising to control and build your foundational brand storyline. Use content marketing to augment and prove the validity of your paid efforts. Create a blog, link to outside content, and build your site as a trusted source of information. All these tools back up your paid efforts to give customers enough confidence in your brand claims to choose your company over the competition.

     3. SEO and SEM still matter:

It may sound simple, but it’s worth noting: search engine optimization and marketing are still a big part of the brand awareness process at the top of the marketing funnel. This is especially true if you have a regional business that would benefit from local search discovery. There is no better way to ensure your website and company rank on your preferred search engine than by creating relevant, meaningful, and timely content. It takes search engines approximately three months to fully index and catalogue content updates, so publish content early and often to stay current.

     4. Content starts a conversation with your customers:

Not everyone will like your brand. Some people will absolutely love it. Instead of fighting the inevitable bell curve of opinions, lean into your customers’ conversations using content marketing. Shy away from generic or vague content and opt for big, bold information that will inspire a response from your clients. Even negative feedback lets you know how you are performing and gives you a baseline from which to grow. There’s a reason they say all publicity is good publicity. While we aren’t advocating you take a “shock jock” approach to your content strategy, we do encourage you to create authentic, interesting material that will truly engage your audience.

    5. Content is the most powerful tool in your marketing tool box:

Most importantly, your business needs content marketing because it helps you understand how your customers are searching for information and interpreting your brand values. You can test content to see what is most effective and learn from content that is not. As you fine tune the creation process, you’ll be able to plug and play content across a wide variety of marketing channels, letting you be more agile in the marketplace and adapt to your unique marketing needs.

 

Aside from all these benefits, content creation is just plain ole’ fun! Click here to learn about our creative team and how they can help you refresh your content strategy for 2017 today.

 

 

Should I use a content marketing agency or freelancer?

To freelance or not to freelance? To hire an agency or go it alone? Those are the questions. Depending on who you speak to, you’ll probably bump into a wide variety of (sometimes polarized) opinions about the benefits of each option. The reality is that, whether you choose a content marketing agency or hire a freelancer, the “right” answer lies within your unique needs. Here are a few pros and cons of each.

Building your content marketing with a freelancer:

If your content marketing strategy is fairly straightforward and your team has the time and expertise to guide your freelancer’s work, hiring a writer can be a powerful tool when you need to ramp content up quickly (or down without cutting staff). Hiring a freelancer gives you flexibility, and usually provides a good bang for your buck because you can generate large quantities of high-quality content quickly and affordably.

PROS:

  • Speed to market
  • Scalable
  • Use for seasonal needs

However, freelancers generally require a little extra “hand holding” because they may not be engrained in your company culture or have full access to your vision and strategy. Your team will need to field questions about tone, topics, keyword strategy, and content roadmap to ensure you get the best results.

Get the most out of your freelancer by treating them like an employee rather than a third party. Don’t skimp on sharing creative briefs, ideas, and feedback. If you’re worried about privacy or exposing sensitive and strategic information, you can always ask your writer to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Content marketing made easy with an agency:

Agencies really shine if your content marketing plan hasn’t been fully fleshed out or you have a smaller staff that may not have time to manage your freelancer’s writing process. If you aren’t sure what content you need, or how to maximize your reach and impact through content, an agency will provide critical insight to make sure the work you have planned will be beneficial and impactful.

Sometimes, agencies offer a la carte services (like freelance writing) so you can enjoy the scalability of a freelancer, with a little extra support from content marketing pros in the background. Talk to your agency about your unique needs to determine how they can best support you and work within your budget.

PROS:

You’ll get the best results from a content marketing agency if you plan to build a partnership with them. Think of your agency as a secret weapon, a hidden CMO, the wizard behind the curtain. The sky is the limit when you work with a good content marketing agency that understands your short and long-term goals, knows the market, and can make thoughtful recommendations about placement, supplementary advertising material, and unique ways to distribute your content.

With a content marketing agency, you get so much more than … well … content. You also get the manpower and expertise to really do something with it. The bottom line? Freelance writing offers a quick, straightforward solution to generate content … but an agency can start a marketing revolution.

The great news is that you don’t need to choose one or the other. Many of our clients start their content marketing with us and use freelance writers to maintain the work we do together when their team is stretched thin or they want to begin a new project and need an extra boost of manpower. Naturally, we are there every step of the way to support so there really is no wrong answer. Contact us to get started!