Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | March 30th, 2023

Storytelling: Help Your School Connect Better with Prospects

Storytelling: Help Your School Connect Better with ProspectsBy now, you’ve heard the buzz about how storytelling can impact your brand. For years, marketers have been using stories to show consumers how a product or service can improve their lives or solve a problem. But it wasn’t until recently that the advent of new social platforms and influencer marketing brought real stories to the forefront. While standard testimonials are one form of conveying outcomes, the true power of storytelling provides a face, a persona, and an authentic connection that people can relate to.

So how can your school use stories to reach prospects and encourage them to apply to your program? Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips on bringing your brand to life through the use of stories.

Leveraging storytelling

When creating your storytelling strategy, be sure to select the right representatives of your brand so they can accurately convey your key messages. Although anyone can be a storyteller, it’s important to lean on your marketing and admissions department to identify which stories need to be told and by whom. Your greatest impact can be found with authentic, original content that conveys realistic perspectives and often vulnerability.

Regardless of how you construct your stories, there are multiple ways to showcase your final product. You can post them on your website, utilize them on social media or include them on your blog. You can also include snippets in email campaigns and marketing materials. Learn more about leveraging storytelling to enhance your school’s digital online presence.

Alumni stories

Prospects want to see real people that they can relate to and stats that predict desirable future outcomes. This is where the stories of students who have benefited from your program and have gone on to do great things can help. Using alumni at large recognizable corporations with notable titles is great. People who have won awards contributed to significant industry innovations and are in the news are other good candidates. However, you do not have to use famous alumni to make an impact. And in fact, having the right mix of alumni is important to reduce the risk of intimidating prospects. Try profiling those with inspiring stories, career-switchers, or even students who have made significant contributions to their communities. Learn more about leveraging alumni stories to boost your digital strategy.

Blogs to tell your story

Your website is a formal space to highlight your programs, benefits, outcomes, and faculty. But no matter how inviting your content is, there is no substitute for the informal conversation that invites questions and exploration. What’s the real story? How will I really feel when I’m on campus? Will I fit in? Will I get the job? Will it be worth it? With a blog, you can address these concerns and barriers in an honest way and in a format that lends itself better to real talk. Not to mention, blogging boosts your site’s SEO value, increasing the chances you will be found through searches that relate to the keywords prospects are targeting. Learn more about using blogs to tell your school’s story and increase traffic.

While these are just a few ways to tell your story, the sky is the limit when it comes to how you market your stories. You can utilize podcasts, videos, photos, articles, and testimonials in a variety of ways like social media, in email campaigns, and on your website. Regardless of which method you choose, your stories will lend credibility and create a more personal feel for your prospects.

If you need tips on creating a storytelling roadmap to elevate your school’s brand, GPRS can help. We’ve consulted with over 70 institutions on crafting the right messages to meet prospective students where they are in their journey and remove barriers to decision-making. Contact us today to start the conversation.