Ok, so there aren’t really all that many books on higher education marketing itself — although there is certainly a good handful. I’m going to occasionally share what I’m reading (or have read) here in the hopes that it may be helpful to those of you who work at universities trying to get the word out.
The end goal is compile a whole list of resources for higher education marketing professionals, so this is just the first toe dip in the water (if “toe dip” is a word..).
Today I’m reading Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (New Rules Social Media Series) by Brian Halligan and Daharmesh Shah from HubSpot. This is a quick read — I got through nearly the first third on my subway ride from Brooklyn to Chelsea in Manhattan, and I don’t really live all that far out in Brooklyn.
I think it would be a great introduction for people who are trying to wrap their head around the concept of inbound marketing — or working with social media, search engine optimization, content marketing, etc. There are a lot of practical tips that would be useful for anyone (did you know that “contact us” is the lowest converting call to action?), and I can imagine keeping this on hand as a reference.
Universities, ironically, are some of the great content producers of all time, and I can’t imagine how many words a day get written by the academic community of even one medium-sized college. But how many of those words make it online? And how many of those words actually help the university further its mission and/or latest strategic plan? I’m guessing it would not be a significant percentage of the total for most institutions.
Which is not to say that there aren’t some universities doing great things out there with all sorts of creative inbound marketing techniques. It’s just that there’s always room for improvement, and sometimes book-learnin’ can sure be helpful. (As can blogs, websites, Twitter feeds, etc. from people who do higher ed marketing — never fear, my resource list won’t be restricted to print publications!)
Do you have a good book or blog to share with other higher ed marketers? Leave it in the comments if you do!