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Marketing content production for higher education: Your questions answered

Tim Brown — 17 June 2022

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In June 2022, we hosted a webinar ‘Is it time to level up your university marketing tech stack?’ that showcased the role martech plays in helping universities overcome common challenges in their marketing operations. Our senior product manager, James Lee, together with Jeremy Phillips, the head of business development at Sinorbis, a China digital marketing software company, spoke to the need for quality, consistency, scale and speed in university marketing, as well as how to achieve cut-through in the challenging Chinese student market.

However, there is always more than we can cover in just an hour. In this blog, we answer the questions our webinar audience asked about how to effectively produce content for higher education marketing campaigns. We hope you find the answers helpful as you work towards building your marketing capabilities to see those student enrolments soar.

1. When using collaborative tools for marketing collateral, how do you ensure that there’s no double-handling or overriding of another user’s work?

Collaborative tools are brilliant but guidelines need to be clear on what kind of access each user has based on their business function. With role-based controls in place to govern who can access, edit, delete or control particular content, you can curb the risk of double-handling or overriding someone else’s work while still ensuring the right people can collaborate. As well as sophisticated access controls, you should look for martech platforms like Outfit that have revision histories, meaning teams are able to collaborate and work either in sync or out of sync. Older versions can be restored where necessary, providing central teams with the agility they need to create or alter content without the risk of losing important work.

2. If marketing content should be customised for each student journey, how can you do a large volume of customisations ‘at speed’?

Integrating a list of leads is a really simple and swift way of creating content that’s personalised to each student. But note, there is a difference between merely inserting the student’s name in a piece of content and actually ‘individualising’ the content to be contextual, relevant and specific to the student. The latter means getting into the nuts and bolts of customer segmentation. Of course, this can take time unless you have a really robust tech stack, including integrated CRMs or APIs. But with the right tools behind your marketing content production, you should be able to see what content a user (or segment) has engaged with and then begin to promote specific content to that individual (or group) in a fraction of the time it would take to do this manually.

3. Is Outfit’s templating a start-from-scratch function?

No! With Outfit, you can import your existing templates, such as from InDesign, into the platform so you can get started creating your campaign collateral right away. You also have access to our full range of pre-loaded templates, which cover everything from posters, flyers, invoices and invitations to lanyards, name tags, social media designs, emails and webpages. Of course, you can still choose to extend our templating functionality by creating bespoke content in the platform  – or what we call ‘context aware templates’ – that pulls specific data in to create permutations of collateral, empowering impactful content creation at scale. It’s really up to you how you choose to use the platform.

4. How can you test how your university web campaign is performing in a Chinese market?

There are two ways that you can do this, the first being that a number of free local Chinese tools that can check the load time and basic code of your website. However, this is a fairly superficial check and won’t tell you much more beyond whether your website is working or not. Alternatively, you can get a third-party marketing organisation like Sinoribis to conduct a website health check, monitor the performance and local optimisation of your campaign, and run an audit of your WeChat posture, which is critical to the Chinese market.

5. What kind of content can be pushed on WeChat?

When it comes to producing marketing content for higher education, so long as it's not controversial or offensive to authorities, promotion on WeChat can be a really effective tactic to boost your campaign. If you’re not sure whether your content fits this remit, it’s best to seek advice from people with experience operating in the Chinese market and culture. This will help ensure that your content is considerate of the market and demographics you’re speaking to.

So your marketing strategy for higher education should include a blend of information, inspiration and entertainment.

6. What are the top 3 takeaways to help you scale your content production?

  • Map out where your customers live and start to create a set of templates that are robust enough to work for a range of content variations, eg. social channels, email, SMS, etc.
  • Listen to your students, prospects and competitors and learn from them to create more engaging content – the best is a blend of information, inspiration and entertainment.
  • Start small! You won’t be able to change your whole content production process overnight. Prioritise the most critical functions for achieving cut-through.

Want to learn more about how your university can leverage new marketing technologies to scale operations and run student marketing campaigns more efficiently? Watch the full on-demand webinar now.

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