We know that uConnecters spend a lot of time creating awesome content for their audiences. You've got tons of curated resources, informative blog posts, and awesome opportunities just waiting to be discovered by your students and campus stakeholders. Most likely, you already have a dedicated audience who consistently engages with your content, but how can you ensure that you're developing relationships with new readers?
Here are 10 straightforward steps you can take to boost readership.
1. State your mission - Make sure your readers know WHY they should give you their time. The value proposition for each piece of content should be clearly stated in the introductory paragraph. ex. This article will outline the three steps any sophomore student should take to lock in a summer finance internship.
2. Formatting makes perfect - Our friends at the BYU Marriott School of Management analyzed content engagement for a whole year and found that identical blogs were 100% more likely to receive a click through if the thumbnail used was a photo instead of a logo. Never underestimate the power of food, errrr...we mean, good pictures, to attract readers.
3. Identify underserved populations and then target accordingly - Who are you trying to reach? What kind of specialized resources can you offer them? Creating digital communities for your underserved student populations and tagging content accordingly gives you near SUPERHERO powers when it comes to delivering curated resources. Which brings us to...
4. Make sure your lists are current - Upload new subscriber lists at least once a semester. Keeping your lists up to date ensures that each and every one of your students are getting everything you have to offer. Bonus points for pre-assigning your students to industry or academic communities based on their majors (they can update at anytime).
5. Engage through institutional hashtags - On many campuses, athletics, student clubs, and other departments maintain their own social profiles. Do a little research to see how these groups are engaging on social with their audiences and then leverage the same hashtags to promote relevant content, events, and featured job and internship opportunities.
6. Recaps make the world go 'round and FOMO is real - Another data point from the BYU's Marriott School content engagement study revealed that students were more likely to read Event Recap posts than actual Event Announcements. How can this be? Our theory is that students who are earlier in their journeys may not feel like they're ready to attend in-person events - but they DEFINITELY want to know what happened. Event Recap blogs can be as easy posting a few pics and recounting how AWESOME it was to take part (direct student quotes work great for this.) Who wouldn't want to come next time?
7. Automate your emails (but leave room for custom communication too) - A big reason for uploading pre-tagged student lists is so that you can use uConnect to send automated alerts. Automated alerts let students know when you publish something that matches their unique interests and drive them back to your uConnect platform to learn more about what you have to offer. And while automated alerts can save a boatload of your precious time, your editorial calendar can help you plan and design additional campaigns or time-sensitive announcements using the custom email feature. After all, your students should know there's more to you than just a finely-tuned, super effective marketing algorithm, shouldn't they?
8. Make believers out of faculty, alumni, employers, and advising and engage them to evangelize your work - Other campus stakeholders are getting asked a TON of questions about how classwork connects to career. Empower them to give great answers by letting them know that your uConnect platform is there to serve as a resource for them. They can even sign up for their own, customized alerts. Want help getting the word out? Ask us for an announcement template.
9. Spend time grooming your communities - Your academic and industry/career communities should be unique places for students to explore relevant, dynamic, and timely content. Biology students probably don't want to read about international finance internships, and Finance students don't need to know about work-studies in the Oceanography lab - and if they're that well rounded, they can change their alert preferences at any time. Make sure you're tagging content consistently to ensure your unique audiences know there's always something new to discover.
10. Keep on being you - Your resources are a unique reflection of everything your office, and your campus, can offer. Promoting yourselves in a way that students can recognize and relate to, with pics, content enhancers like GIF's and emojis, and overall, a great sense of humor, goes a long way when it comes to helping students overcome potential anxieties around career exploration.