Think "Third and Inches" for Inbound Marketing
In college football, Ohio State's legendary coach Woody Hayes was famous for his "three yards and a cloud of dust" offensive philosophy. It was an offense designed to move the ball down the field systematically and methodically. This method didn't produce quick touchdowns. But, if you continued to advance the ball, then you would eventually score (all of this while managing the clock and wearing down your opponent).
As we think about inbound marketing, we can draw some analogies to that winning strategy. By sticking with the tenets of Inbound Marketing (which include the strategies of creating great content and thought leadership), you will constantly bring in new students and enhance your academic reputation. However, like Woody Hayes' game plan, it won't happen overnight or in one series of downs. While Inbound Marketing is proven to be effective, it does take a strong commitment and patience. Your keywords won't necessarily show up on page one of a Google search overnight. Your first webinar may only have a few people register. However, by making a longterm commitment to inbound marketing, you will eventually see results - long-lasting, sustainable results.
One of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal is to maintain a blog with fresh and updated content. A thoughtful blog will provide many benefits for your school. By creating great content, you'll rise in organic search results, create linkable content, and educate your audience. All of these outcomes will help you bring in prospective students who are going to be more qualified than random, irrelevant prospects who received a mass mailing.
In addition to blogging, there are many other forms of content generation that will bring interested and qualified visitors. Hosting webinars, offering e-books for download, and developing microsites and landing pages will all attract students who are interested in your offerings and eager to engage.
So, as we approach the heart of college football season and watch teams who tire out opposing defenses with a grind-it-out ground game, let's think about how we can practice the tenets of inbound marketing and accomplish our goals three yards at a time.