This post originally published on the InspirED School Marketer’s Juice blog.
When is the last time you heard a good story? I mean a really good story – a story that captured your attention, made you think, made you feel?
If you’re spending a lot of time online, chances are it’s been a while. And that’s unfortunate.
Because although we’re surrounded – inundated – by content every day, good stories are hard to find. Why? Blame it on the short-cutters: the marketers and businesses that approach content creation as the new Search Engine Optimization.
Right now, businesses of all sizes are pushing out as much content as possible, hoping to boost their SEO and key word ranking.
(Marketing software platform Hubspot, for example, encourages clients to publish 16+ blog posts per month in order to increase traffic. And while I’m sure that’s statistically true, what can that type of churn do to your content quality? But I digress.)
This means there’s a lot of junk of out there. But there’s also a lot of possibility.
Possibility for those of us who are doing content marketing the right way – by creating and sharing stories our audiences want to hear. By focusing on quality over quantity. By providing value, and meaning, and authentic connection.
When it comes to storytelling possibility, school marketers have it made.
I know, because I’ve been helping school marketers tell stories throughout my career. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked with both schools and small businesses – and a few years ago, I decided to shift my focus and work solely with school marketers.
The reason for my shift is simple (and a little bit selfish):
School marketers have the best stories to tell. And I want to help tell the best stories.
So what is it about being a school marketer that gives you an advantage over all these other businesses rolling out ho-hum content?
Content marketing is storytelling. It’s creating original content, or sharing existing content, in a way that benefits your audience and helps them make a decision.
While many businesses struggle to find an audience-centric approach to content development, schools have this down. Audience is always top of mind. As school marketers, you work tirelessly to create connections with your communities.
School marketers also often have the luxury of tradition and legacy – a history that makes your current school story rich and meaningful. There are rational and emotional connections to be made with your audiences.
Schools not only have the stories, but also have the reasons to believe in those stories. You can back up your content with statistics and anecdotes and testimonials and emotional narratives that are real and authentic.
Your walls are also filled with knowledge – housed in people and in resources – that can benefit your audience and make your story stronger. You have endless ways to add continuous value to your audience conversations.
The school marketers and communicators I’ve worked with are some of the most dedicated, hardworking professional storytellers I’ve ever known.
You are the stewards of your school’s story. You value the story you’ve been entrusted to share, and you take that responsibility seriously. You are thoughtful and strategic, and you are able to make things happen with little time, resources or support. You are the ultimate content marketers.
Those are only a few of the reasons you, as school marketers, have a powerful advantage in the crowded world of online content. So take advantage of it! Claim your stories, share your stories, and make your stories work harder for your school.