Getting in touch with students is the easy part when it comes to career services. Keeping someone’s attention from first contact through job placement represents the tricky part that may take some more effort while trying to stay on a budget. Engaging students means speaking their language and getting in touch with issues that matter to them. Content marketing can help you increase your students’ engagement and create better strategies for keeping the interest of students as they march towards graduation and a job.
Know the Students
Get to know your students with a quick survey filled out through your career services app. If you don’t have a handy app, a quick five-question query on your website is sufficient. The student’s name, contact information, course load and major are the basic facts you need. Name and contact information let you reach out to students at a later time. Knowing someone’s course load and major helps you understand the skills and competencies the student is obtaining through the learning outcomes of their courses.
Once you have a list of survey respondents, reach out to their professors to get an idea of what’s going on with homework, assignments and projects. Since college departments share information, you can typically find info on specific courses through your university’s computer system.
Offer Homework Help
Empathize with students by walking in their shoes. Use a text message to ask about why a class seems to challenge their knowledge or a test was so hard. Then offer help to the student. If there’s a website, video or online tutorial that assists with calculus concepts, grammar questions or the different base pairs of DNA, consider pointing students in that direction. Although homework help doesn’t mean finding a job, offering to solve a student’s problem goes a long way to making an emotional connection between career services staffers and students.
Engage Through Social Media
Connecting on social media is a must for engaging students. Considering that an astounding 82 percent of young adults connect through Facebook, this social network should be your first choice for reaching out to students. When you see someone ask for a restaurant recommendation for when parents come to visit, make a suggestion by linking to Yelp reviews or an official website. This continues to develop trust while engaging students beyond an academic or career search setting.
The beauty of pointing to third-party sources for information is that this strategy doesn’t cost a lot of money to deliver content. That’s the simplified part of the content marketing strategy.
Offer Career Development
Creating career development content is a great way to make a personal connection with students. Consider videos and blog posts, produced by career services, that offer short snippets of different strategies that work for landing a job. For example, one blog post can expound upon why internships help students create relationships with employers ahead of landing a job. Include a few statistics and maybe some quotes from an employer about why internships are valuable for students. A short video can show what life is like for the intern so students see precisely what it means to be an intern for that firm.
Make the content short and to the point. Engaging students means keeping their attention just long enough to be helpful but not dragging on so long as to interfere with their busy lives. In a social media world, students love quick takes that provide a lot of useful information.
Use videos to create stories that students can relate to when it comes to the end result of a college education. Helping students get through homework is a nice way to earn their trust, but graduates also have to understand that there’s a goal after the four-year journey. Maintain contact with graduates after they gain employment, and make a video with one of them as the star. Keep the video under a minute long, because that length hits the sweet spot between value and attention span. Deliver the video to current students through text messages, your app or social media.
Videos of success stories put a human face on career services and the rewards that come with the hard work that students do with their undergraduate years. Engaging students with this type of emotional connection gives them hope for the future, and a success story from one of your own can be just as uplifting as a homework tip.
Career services has plenty of opportunities for engaging students, and content marketing represents a low-cost way to reach more than one student at a time. When you have a limited budget for content strategies, every little bit helps when it comes to keeping the attention of students throughout their four years.