Do you involve your students in the development of your blog content?
This can be a scary idea at times, since as lovers of strategy and mission statements, us marketers usually know the direction in which we want to head. But students have valuable insight, ideas and yes, even content, to provide. When schools are brave enough to listen, they reap the benefits.
Here are 4 ideas that will help you tap into that student-generated genius:
Start a student advisory panel of 5-10 students who represent your ideal student. Hold quarterly meetings where they can openly share their ideas, opinions and insights. Prepare for the panel by having specific questions you want to ask the students, then let it flow. Have fun, order pizza and listen, listen, listen.
Remain open to their suggestions (and don’t get offended if their opinions conflict with yours), otherwise the panel will seem less like a great opportunity to impact the school’s content and more like a punishment. Take it for what it is: a great opportunity to better understand the nuances of what’s going on in the mind of the student.
Bonus: This first-hand glimpse into what students think can have benefits that extend far beyond your blog.
Students have amazing potential to be fantastic contributors to your blog. This works especially well if your school has a journalism program, but great writers can be found in all majors.
To make sure this initiative is helpful and not a burden to you, create clear guidelines on topics, length, tone, style and deadlines. Encourage students to submit their blog post ideas for approval before they write a post.
When you have student contributors, you begin engaging your current student population in a new way, and potential students get to hear the voice of the student body.
Bonus: You will get to take a break from writing to serve as editor.
You know that stories can create powerful connections between current and prospective students and your school. Now, it’s time to harness the power of storytelling to share stories that connect students to each other.
Prospective students who read a profile might find relief in knowing there is someone with a similar background, outlook or approach…making your school one that they can see themselves attending. But prospective students aren’t the only ones who benefit— the connections created through sharing these stories can strengthen relationships within your current student body, as well.
Bonus: With new students arriving every school year, you’ll never run out of people to profile.
When you want your audience to feel heard, the best thing to do is give them an easy way to speak up. A survey provides a simple, low-effort way to get feedback from a large student body. Send students a short survey with questions that will give you insight into what they think about the blog and what they would like to see in the future.
Bonus: You can rest your brainstorming skills because the survey results will give you endless blog post topic ideas.
Even though it might seem like inviting students to collaborate means giving up creative and strategic control, when you approach it correctly you will still have the oversight and authority you need– and you’ll see the benefits of creating precisely the content students want to read.
Students aren’t the only great resource for blog content ideas– our school blog calendar is full of prompts that will get the words flowing and keep them flowing all year long. Download it here.