Digital Content Strategy for Higher Education Marketing

Digital content has become a major component of the promotional marketing mix—so much so that a marketing scholar argues the power of social media marketing has prompted the “4 P’s 2.0”: participation, platform, personalization, and prediction. At the Digital Summit in Minneapolis earlier this month, informational slides displayed between sessions provided some intriguing context for why optimized digital content is so important in today’s marketplace:

  • More online video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. TV networks have created in 30 years.
  • 95% of a message is retained when seen in a video.
  • 81% of viewers believe the optimal length of a video is no longer than 30 seconds.
  • Videos generate 12 times more shares on social media than text and images combined do.
  • 72% of Internet users are now active on social media.
  • It would take 10 years to view all the photos shared on Snapchat in the last hour.
  • An average of 63,000 Google searches are performed every second.
  • By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
  • The top 4 search results yield 96% of clicks.
  • 15% of Google searches have never been previously searched.

For all the ground-level tactics discussed by presenters at the Digital Summit to deliver optimized digital content, equal emphasis was placed on building a strategy that puts user needs first. Knowing and understanding what, why, when, and how with the respective “who” audience segments fosters interaction and an opportunity for engagement.


4 P’s 2.0

The key to connecting with audiences is participation, one of the 4 P’s of digital marketing along with platform, personalization, and prediction. (AMA Minnesota)

Constant Modifications

“How Colleges Keep Up with the Changing Social Media Landscape” highlights the challenges of digital content marketing. (University Business)

Engaging Video Content

The Lawlor Group created a whiteboard animation video for The College of Wooster to highlight the benefits of undergraduate research. (College of Wooster)


Lawlor Recommends

The traditional funnel of student recruitment (and alumni engagement) is no longer set in stone. The marketplace is dominated by an omnichannel stealth market, and every interaction everywhere represents an opportunity for colleges and universities to provide proof and evidence of their investment value. Developing and implementing a digital content strategy is an absolute necessity today. Of course, fostering a proactive, participatory culture of having students, alumni, friends, and others actively share persuasive storytelling and testimonials about the value of the experience via multiple channels is even more market smart—and in a nod to the upcoming Labor Day holiday, most likely helps make college admissions and enrollment management less laborious.