Your school’s marketing team will look a little different from other institutes, but there are key positions that every education marketing team must have to be successful.
Last week, we started our series on how to assemble a rock-star education marketing team. Jim Collins shares how successful leaders think about their teams this way:
“Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
So last week, we talked about getting the “right people on the bus” by discussing the personal and professional qualities each person on your team should have.
But today, I want to talk about the seats on the bus.
Let’s clarify the key positions or roles every education marketing team (whether large or small) should have in order to be successful.
The reason I added the word “roles” in that last paragraph is because even if you don’t have the budget to hire seven individuals to perform these functions, you should delegate these roles to the members of your team, even if your team has only two to six people.
So when we talk about “seats on the bus,” we’re talking more about the functions that need to be performed rather than the number of people that need to be on the team.
SIDE NOTE: If you have less than two people, you really need to consider hiring more staff or outside freelancers to help. There are some responsibilities that you simply cannot give to the same person. For example, writers are notorious for not being able to catch their own mistakes. Therefore, you need a separate set of eyes to edit all the copy a writer writes.
What are these key roles? What do they do? How do they relate to the other positions on the team? Let’s dive in.
Without quality content, all campaigns grind to a halt. Whether it’s a blog post, an email, a landing page or social media post, you need a top-notch writer to write it all.
Writers are indispensable, but where do you find them? You can either hire a writer in-house, look for a freelancer, or recruit a volunteer.
While there are many highly-qualified writers out there, I recommend looking first for writers who have some connection with your college, university, or independent school. Alumni, current students, faculty, or even parents are great pools from which to find good writers.
Here are some helpful suggestions if you can’t find a good writer immediately:
- Ask friends for names of writers with a good track record.
- Try posting writer jobs on reputable job boards like Problogger.
- Reach out to prolific guest posters whose work resonates with you.
- Search for ‘education marketing writer’ or ‘freelance marketing writer’ or something similar on LinkedIn or Twitter.
- Check out certified writers who’ve been verified by highly esteemed sites like Copyblogger.
Copyeditors polish writers’ work until it sparkles.
Editors check the content for good structure, flow, language and grammar so your college is seen in good light. Misspelled words and poor grammar may cause people to not take your institution seriously.
#3. Managing Editor
Sometimes a managing editor is called a Content Editor, Editor-in-Chief, or even Chief Content Officer. Whatever their title, these incredible people guide the overall content strategy of the team and ensure the quality of your content over time.
Managing editors are strict (but kind) characters. They determine and enforce deadlines for writers, photographers, and designers. This ensures that work is turned in on time and campaigns stay on track.
In addition to this supervisory role, the managing editor collaborates with writers to generate content topics. Finally, they see to it that the content produced advances the institution’s aims.
In summary, the managing editor coordinates two crucial elements to meet your marketing goals: people and operations.
#4. Graphic Designer(s)
Graphic designers are the people on the team who make sure the visual elements of your web pages, print marketing, and campus environmental marketing are communicating the primary messages of your brand accurately and compellingly.
Some of the jobs a graphic designer will do on the team:
- Capture the essence and uniqueness of your education brand using graphic symbols like logos.
- Develop website graphics and illustrations.
- Create visual elements of a college’s marketing materials e.g. infographics, brochures, custom post featured images, social media images etc.
- Collaborate with writers on new content projects.
It’s an incredible feeling to have a graphic designer on your team with experience, creativity, and real desire to grow in their creative skills.
They not only make your content aesthetically attractive, they also design it in a strategic way to help drive conversions.
#5. Social Media Manager(s)
To reach your goals on social media, you’ve got to be where your audience is hanging out. The social media manager is the one on your team in charge of keeping your brand messages front and center on your audience’s favorite social media platforms.
The social media manager’s job includes:
- Making sure the college is present on the right channels.
- Monitoring brand mentions and responding accordingly.
- Facilitating the posting of regular content as required by that particular channel.
- Safeguarding the reputation of your education brand.
- Raising brand awareness by promoting content far and wide so it reaches as many prospective students as possible.
Another visual creative that you’ll want on your team is the videographer/photographer.
These may be two different members or roles on your team, but the reason I put them together is that unlike a graphic designer who creates visual designs, these creatives create compelling visuals by capturing scenes and people who exist in real life.
And then they find ways to tell your education brand’s stories using these compelling, real-life visuals.
The videographer/photographer has a knack for capturing key events and moments. Some of the main activities of this role on the team are:
- Brainstorming ideas for video marketing projects.
- Creating audio-visual assets for the marketing team.
- Conducting video interviews with students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
- Integrating new video/visual technologies into the marketing strategy.
#7. Data Analyst
Every marketing team needs a data wizard who synthesizes and interprets numbers from different sources like…
- Google Analytics,
- Facebook Analytics,
- Google Ads traffic analytics, and
- Website analytics.
The data analyst uses spreadsheets to make sense of the metrics and simplifies them for the team. This helps the team make data-based decisions instead of relying on intuition or past experience.
Time to Recruit
Now that you have an idea of the positions you need to fill on your education marketing team, it’s time to recruit.
While you can always hire these positions to work full-time for you, be sure to consider hiring outside consultants, designers, writers, and other marketing professionals.
In fact, you can find qualified freelance professionals for any of the roles I wrote about here. Working with freelancers or an agency could be the best route for your college or university.
Of course, we’d be happy to put our decades of experience in enrollment and digital marketing to use for you. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, let’s talk!
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