Does admissions and enrollment blogging for schools really drive inbound marketing? I recently went on a quest to find out. I specifically wanted to learn how school admissions teams were using blogging to increase the success of their admissions & enrollment programs. In my search, I stumbled across six schools that really shine in their admissions blogging efforts.
While the following list includes all types of schools, the same lessons can be applied to almost any situation. And, when combined with admissions & enrollment software, blogging becomes an even more powerful tool that greatly improves the applicant process.
Four Impressive Admissions Blogs
1. MIT Admissions Blog (University)
MIT runs one of most sought out admissions blogs on the internet. The school approaches their admissions blog in a very interesting way. Instead of primarily focusing on the admissions process and providing routine updates, they shape their blog around experiences. They have created easily navigable student, staff and guest blogger profiles that include painted portraits of each person. The blog posts feature these profile images prominently to make the blog feel more personal. In each blogger profile, a short autobiography is also included. This way every reader can surely find a blogger with whom they can identify. Overall, the blog does a great job of demonstrating what life is like at MIT for different students with varied interests, while also offering helpful and timely tips from admissions staff.
MIT blog ideas to borrow:
- Student guides: guides to the cafeteria, new student guide, etc.
- How to deal with a bad grade
- Application & admissions Q&A
2. New York City Preschool of the Arts Blog (Pre-School)
OK, this isn’t technically an admissions focused blog, but writing on relevant topics to families looking to apply at your school is still a great way to promote your school. It’s important to write about topics that your target audience cares about, and New York City Preschool of the Arts nails it.
You may have heard about the competitive nature of preschools in New York City. It’s no joke. Admissions is competitive and grueling. It doesn’t appear that many of the schools are taking advantage of admissions blogging besides NYC Preschool of the Arts. The school does a fantastic job of maintaining the frequent updates that are so critical to the success of a blog. NYC Preschool of the Arts produces lots of great content for parents, helping them build a strong following on Facebook and Twitter. They also come up with interesting titles that make you want to click to read more.
NYC Preschool of the Arts blog ideas to borrow:
- Why Reading the Same Book Repeatedly is Good For Kids
- The S Word- Toddlers Learning to Share
3. Thurgood Marshall Academy Blog (Charter)
While I would always recommend setting up your blog on your own domain for search engine optimization reasons, I can’t criticize Thurgood Marshall Academy, because they are the #1 highest achieving open-enrollment charter school in Washington, D.C. I wonder if it has anything to do with their blog? I’d like to think so. The problems so many charter schools face is awareness and low application volume. By creating frequent useful blog posts you increase your online presence while driving awareness and inquiries. The more posts you have containing keywords parents are searching, the more likely your blog is to show up in the top of the search results. Thurgood Marshall Academy does a good job of this while including many pictures and videos of happy students which parents and students love.
Thurgood Marshall Academy blog ideas to borrow:
- Student clubs showcase
- “Ten questions in two minutes” video blog
- College-prep and scholarship help blogs
4. Sewickley Academy Blog (Private K-12 School)
Sewickley Academy’s blog combines two powerful strategies. The school employs a lot of great marketing techniques on their blog pages as well as covers relevant topics. They specify their target audience right away by noting that their blog is a “resource blog for parents.” And they cover informational topics in a fresh way. By including social share options, CTA’s to “read more”, and recommended reading on the sidebar, they make sure you can access a lot of content and share it with others. Additionally, the chatbot in the corner allows them to communicate with and help visitors with questions so they can re-direct them appropriately.
Sewickley Academy blog ideas to borrow:
- 6 Tips for Helping Your Teen Transition to High School
- What’s the Difference Between a Merit Scholarship and Need-Based Financial Aid?
- Q&A With SA’s New Kindergarten Teacher
Three Schools With Successful Student News Pages
Not every school participates directly in admissions and enrollment blogging. However, many schools have news and events pages. And they use these for a similar purpose as blogs. Here are a few schools with student news pages that still drive admissions.
1. Bullis Student Life Page (Grade 3-12 Independent School)
Bullis highlights several of their own student publications along with articles on every topic you can think of. Current families and prospective students can quickly find out everything they might want to know about the lunch menu, honor code, bus service, support services, school spirit, and community service. Bullis’ blog or publications do a great job of providing helpful information and also promoting the school culture and activities.
Bullis blog ideas to borrow:
- Open house details and invitation
- What’s new at the school
2. Breck News Page (K-12 Independent School)
Breck School is rare in that they have a news section dedicated largely to posts about the school. This allows current families to remain in the know, and prospective families to get an inside look at school culture and various activities and opportunities. They also do a great job of capturing your attention by including a chatbot in the corner to “text” admissions! Their posts also all have easy social-share buttons that encourage readers to re-post content. The result is more reads, greater visibility, and more chances to talk with interested families.
Breck blog ideas you to borrow:
- How to prepare your student for the admissions process
- School diversity
3. Fort Bend Christian Academy Events and News Page (K-12 Independent School)
This Indy school knows what they’re doing! Few Independent schools participate in admissions and enrollment blogging, but even fewer are using them effectively for inbound marketing. Fort Bend does both. They include posts focused on students who have attended their school and gone on to be successful. The personal and captivating stories may inspire prospective families and convince them that sending their child to your school is the right choice. Fort Bend also features Q&A’s with current students and news about campus life and student achievement.
Fort Bend blog ideas to borrow:
- FBCA Has a Literal Genius on Campus!
- Five Athletes Sign to Play at Collegiate Level
- FBCA Hosts First Middle School Grandparents Day
Time to get started. No excuses!
Many schools don’t have the resources to create a stunning visual design, but admissions blogging is more about information and accessibility. It helps if you can optimize the user experience and create something beautiful, but in a pinch, it’s better to have something rather than nothing.
If you are a SchoolAdmin customer you can start embedding dynamic inquiry forms right away for your inbound marketing efforts. Contact your support specialist for more help.