Reaching your demographic

Lenoir Community College was aware that “bells and whistles,” like taglines and billboards, can be underwhelming. Instead, they wanted to focus on raising community  awareness of the unique opportunities at LCC, connect prospects with real people on campus, and show how their students can overcome hurdles. What students needed was information, they concluded. And what the college needed was a comprehensive content marketing campaign to deliver that knowledge in way prospective students would appreciate.

Because this was a lot for a two-person marketing team to handle, LCC collaborated with Aperture Content Marketing to devise a strategic plan. The school decided to feature their culinary program. It worked! “Our culinary chef does a great job recruiting.” Richy Hunycutt, LCC’s director of marketing and recruitment, explained. ”He had two new leads almost immediately when the CareerFocus campaign went out. It was worth the time, effort and cost to be able to do that. It garners more support for the program in the community.

“One [successful new student] was actually a previous student that had to drop out, due to financial aid issues. Through the campaign we were able to win her back and re-enrolled her as a culinary student! When I contacted her she had issues with her financial aid, didn’t know she was eligible, and had other issues with grades, so I connected her with program chair. She came to campus, met him face-to-face and got that worked out and she was able to re-enroll.” This was just one example of the power of content marketing with a thought-out strategy. 

Bringing departments together

Richy understood that a successful marketing campaign recruits students. Getting LCC’s recruiters involved in their content marketing strategy was key. “We don’t have a full-time social media person on staff—we’re sharing this responsibility between two or three of us. Mallory, our recruiter, has taken our social media, made it her own and integrated it into her job. She doesn’t have any more time than the rest of us but she makes it part of the recruiting plan. Social media is a recruiting tool. You have to have time for recruiting, it’s not something extra—but something you can incorporate into your tool box in order to be able to get your job done as a marketer. 

“We had to build a relationship of trust—you can’t market to an audience if you don’t know who they are so it is crucial to have your recruiters there with you in the marketing department.”

Content marketing as a solution

LCC launched a multi-channel CareerFocus campaign, targeting the non-traditional aged potential students in their service area. “We featured every program. The process was very easy to follow, especially for our younger people on the team. The campaign building process has changed so much, dynamically, as well it should. It was pretty easy to pull it together.”

LCC utilized a strategically-timed third-party social media campaign in harmony with a printed piece. More importantly, the content was featured on the school’s official social media channels, in an effort to more authentically engage with faculty, staff, students and their families.

Meaningful engagement with your community

“We grabbed the URL from individual articles and posted to our social media with a quick blurb, something perky like ‘Things are spicing up in culinary,’ then put in program instructor’s contact information. 

“Capturing and driving that traffic to individual stories—we got four or five right away using the contact form in each URL. For us, it gives us a chance to have interaction and to show our program shares—they are getting a ROI.

“If someone ‘likes’ the post, we invite them to ‘like’ the page. Nine times out of ten they will accept it. It has boosted our social media, especially on Facebook.  When you grab your CareerFocus link and post it to Facebook, it pulls that info so you don’t have to worry about filling all the text in. You can track people’s comments and tag people in it, and this particular posting had a lot of people posting and tagging their friends in it.”

Winning internal advocates to content marketing

“I had done CareerFocus before and, for me, it was a no-brainer. But when I pitched it to our new president, he said, ‘Why? Is it worth the time?’ and I said, ‘Yes!’ 

“This marketing campaign has come much further along than when we did it ten years ago. When we started getting the program shares on social media, that was one of the best things we had done in a while, and it gave our president a chance to see this meaningful engagement with students and those who are interested in the college, and our internal market. The engagement from your internal market is also so important. We received very positive feedback. This will be a fall and spring standard marketing campaign for us.”

“Working with Aperture Content Marketing was a great experience. We’d call in a panic and they were really great helping us. We were overachievers, calling morning, noon and night, and we got it out in time!”

Creating your own customized content marketing strategy

You can create your own customized content marketing strategy with Aperture Content Marketing—whether you have a two-person marketing department, or a dozen at different campuses across your county. We have experience with hundreds of community colleges across the country, and we understand that a collaborative approach is best. Let us help you recruit students, win internal advocates, and engage and educate your community.

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