Keeping your alumni blog up-to-date is a building block of your alumni marketing strategy. But it can be a bit of a pain for an over-worked, higher education marketer like yourself. So leverage these 7 ninja hacks to make your alumni blog a big success.
Ninja Hack #1: Become one with your alumni blog.
For most marketers, the day they began blogging was an exciting day full of promise. Creativity was high, and it was all so new.
But after a couple months… your first year… two years in… blogging just gets old. That’s when you can forget why you started blogging in the first place, and you let it go. You miss deadlines and skip posts.
But you must become one with your alumni blog. You must remember why you started and how it connects with your goals as an alumni marketer.
Blogging is a proven marketing strategy that helps you:
- Drive traffic to your website,
- Convert that traffic into leads,
- Establish authority in the area you want your school to be known for, and
- Drive long-term results across all your marketing channels like email, website, and even direct mail.
Remember that pivotal moment in young grasshopper’s life when Mr. Miyagi gave him his first lesson in martial arts? At first, “[amazon_textlink asin=’B002R9GZG0′ text=’Daniel-san’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bartcaylor-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b6d8d5d4-e14b-11e7-97b4-879d91d62416′]” didn’t get it. It was just a boring chore that wouldn’t help him accomplish his goals.
But then there was this beautiful moment in the movie when it all came together for Daniel. In that moment, Mr. Miyagi showed him how much progress he had made—and how it all was working to move Daniel toward his goals.
That’s what your blog is like. There’ll be days you don’t see it working at all. But you must keep blogging consistently!
Become one with your alumni blog.
Ninja Hack #2: Answer your alumni’s questions.
As we talked about in this post, every journey on the Internet starts with a question. By brainstorming the various questions that your alumni audience would look to you to answer for them, you’ll…
- Increase click-through rates in your emails,
- Drive traffic to your website,
- Improve your search engine rankings, and
- Make your alumni much, much happier.
Ninja Hack #3: Automate your alumni blog.
Around here, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of automation. In fact, I save up to 5 hours a week on my social media marketing using automation tools.
If you use WordPress for your alumni blog, leverage WordPress’s blogging functions to make it streamlined….create a post template and then WordPress will automate the table of contents, organize your tags and categories, and even let you publish via email if that works for your team.
And you should consider creating an RSS-driven automated campaign in your email management provider. By doing so, your email management software will automatically pull the blogs that you’ve posted, assemble them into an email newsletter (complete with your awesome feature images), and publish it to your email list.
With an RSS-driven email campaign set up, you’ll drive traffic from your email list to your blog and produce consistent content for your email audience.
Ninja Hack #4: Run in a pack. (i.e., Guest blogs)
Do ninjas run in a pack? Well, even if they don’t, you should. By having alumni write guest posts, you can tap into their audiences and drive more traffic to your alumni blog.
Each time you publish a post written by an alumnus, have them share it with all of their friends and followers on social media. Also consider posts from beloved professors and others within your alumni affinity groups. This is an incredible way to add value to your alumni readers and expand your followers.
Ninja Hack #5: Use rich media.
Rich media such as pictures, gifs, videos, and infographics are like using ninja stars. They are powerful tools that grab attention and pull your readers into the post.
Text-heavy blogs are hard to get through—most people avoid them and read something else. Rich media will break up the text and make your alumni blog more inviting and engaging for your audience.
Ninja Hack #6: Be real.
You may represent an academic institution, but your alumni really don’t want to read academic treatises when they come to your blog. So write in a casual, informal style.
Also, write about the human, emotional, or relational side of things. You’re more than a news channel, so be sure to tell your alumni how your current students, grads, and faculty felt when they received that award, got accepted to your school, got their financial aid, or when they gave to your school.
Ninja Hack #7: Post content that matters.
The Internet has evolved a lot since the late ‘90’s. But unfortunately, there are a lot of alumni blogs out there that still read like online diaries rather than a professional college or university publication. You must remember ninja hack #2– your alumni blog is a way to answer questions and publish valuable content.
The objective is to create content that’s so useful that your alumni keep coming back for more. So post resources and tips that add value like resume support, tips for networking, interviewing skills, new job opportunities, etc.
Time for a Comeback
Your alumni blog might be in need of a serious makeover, or you might just need to crank up production again. No matter what’s ahead of you, the important thing is to get your blog rolling again.
Inbound marketing is a game of careful, patient consistency. One killer post isn’t going to meet your marketing goals. It’s the consistent publication that will set you apart and keep your audience coming back week after week.
Could you use a few marketing ninjas to help you revive your alumni blog? Get ahold of us.
The call is free… and we won’t make you wax our car.