“Can You Write for the Education Industry?”

It’s a question we often hear from prospective clients — and rightly so. Writing for colleges, universities and innovative brands serving the education space requires a diverse array of deeply specific skills.

Mastering search engine optimization is one thing — but writing copy that tells a highly accurate and compelling story of your graduate-level curriculum? Showcasing the specialized work of your in-house experts or faculty? Reaching busy, overwhelmed audiences with content that will make them stop and take action? That’s not something just any writer can handle.

141+

Education clients served.

1,340+

Education blog posts written to date.

105+

Education eBooks & white papers produced to date.

How We Create Content for Our Education Clients

At Brafton, we’ve been supporting clients in the education industry for more than 10 years — that’s enough time and experience to earn us an honorary Ph.D. in what we do!

Here are two of the most common pain points our education clients speak with us about — and how our full-service agency can solve them:

1. Crafting Compelling Messages

1. Crafting Compelling Messages

For innovators in education, it’s not easy to create content that resonates with district leaders and other K-12 stakeholders. These buyers have short attention spans and they’re busy all year long — yet sales cycles often drag on and adoption rates feel slow.

Similarly, marketers in higher education have a hard time cutting through the noise and connecting with the prospective students who are searching for the next destination along their academic journey.

Solution: We know from the get-go that your target audiences are swamped. And we know that what you have to offer can change their lives for the better. For our education clients, the stakes are always high — and so are our content standards.

Our content marketing strategists work diligently to develop a plan that’s complete with proven tactics to help you deliver the biggest impact with your content and messaging. Our editorial team brings years of subject matter expertise (SME) to every project. We’ll also work directly with your organizational leaders to ensure we’re communicating your value propositions in the most accurate manner.

We’re here to make your job easier, so you can keep making a positive, lasting impact on the students and educators you serve.

“We wanted to improve our overall SEO value, and the navigation didn’t make any sense to the user. We also wanted to increase lead conversion, keep people on the site and provide them all the information they needed. Right when we went live, everyone loved the look and feel of the new site. Lead volume, user engagement and pages per session increased right out of the gate, and our bounce rate declined!”


Sarah Larson,
Director of Marketing, Escoffier

2. Supporting Accessibility and Compliance

“Because we’re sort of a niche business within a niche business, we knew we had to find a way to access people who might not even know that a company like ours existed. Brafton brought in different people – fresh thinking, different backgrounds, different experiences, made some new recommendations, made some technical behind-the-scenes changes to what we were doing and now we’re paying less and getting more out of it.”


Elizabeth Burkhardt
Marketing Director, Agile Education Marketing

2. Supporting Accessibility and Compliance

Staying on top of compliance matters and accessibility laws is not easy when you have hundreds if not thousands of web pages to maintain, as well as a steady stream of new content to keep up with. Education organizations face an evolving range of accessibility and compliance concerns but don’t often have the resources to take on these challenges.

Solution: Whether you need to add alt text to a few hundred images or update the hyperlinks in your blog posts for improved accessibility, we can ease the burden with flexible projects that are scoped and customized to your precise needs. And, if you know you need help with making your web content accessible but don’t know where to start, we have the expertise to guide you.

While our experienced writers and designers tackle the creative work, a dedicated project manager will be by your side to ensure every need is met. Plus, our in-house project management software helps you track the status of every asset and communicate with your team if those needs should change.

How Organizations in Education Usually Create Content

In-House Experts

Pros: Cons:
  1. Direct oversight of all content activities.
  2. Immediate access to the experts.
  3. Potential to work with marketing and topic specialists.
  1. Limited resourcing for content projects.
  2. High financial commitment.
  3. High commitment with low flexibility.

Most education industry organizations use one of the following options, if not both, when producing marketing content in-house:

Subject matter experts: Whether you’re marketing education tech solutions or online graduate curricula, the people who know the most about these offerings are the experts who live and breathe them. By entrusting content writing to faculty members, school administrators, research and development leaders or other specialists, you’re tapping into a deep well of knowledge and expertise.

However, in many cases, your seasoned educators and researchers simply aren’t fluent in sales and marketing. They may be great writers, but chances are they don’t know how to optimize a blog to drive traffic or craft mobile-friendly landing pages prospective students can easily skim.

Your in-house experts are short on time and have a long list of other projects and priorities. Asking them to produce content that may not even perform well for your organization can be a risky choice.

Staff marketers: Many colleges and companies in the education space have a host of marketers on the payroll. You may have plenty of creative resources available to produce every item on your content calendar, all year long.

But your teams are likely siloed in a way that makes truly strategic content marketing a struggle. For instance, an in-house SEO team might be able to optimize your academic program pages, but they probably can’t track conversions since the data is collected by separate teams within each program. If your marketing teams aren’t talking to each other, you’ll have a hard time gathering the insights you need to keep iterating and improving your content strategy.

You may also be held back by significant resourcing gaps. If you produce resources for K-12 educators, your social media marketing may be on point — but it might be impossible to pull together a professional-looking testimonial video without outside support.

Freelancers

Pros: Cons:
  1. Generally low cost.
  2. High level of flexibility.
  3. Minimal contractual commitment.
  1. Uncertain content quality.
  2. Unpredictable, limited resourcing availability.
  3. Minimal project management and strategic support.

Freelance writers, designers and other creatives can fill in the gaps and complete special projects with a low level of supervision. Since they often work on one project at a time, the level of flexibility, affordability and minimal commitment are key advantages.

But education organizations may find that adding a freelancer to the team dynamic can present unexpected challenges. For instance, freelance creatives may not have established project management methods and approvals workflows that accommodate several stakeholders needing visibility.

Not all freelancers offer the level of expertise, availability and quality standards required to meet an education leader’s needs. And if something comes up, your freelancer may be unavailable for weeks on end, bringing your projects to a halt.

Agency Partners

Pros: Cons:
  1. Access to vetted, experienced and full-time creatives.
  2. Extensive project management and strategic support.
  3. Formalized quality control process.
  1. Varying cost, depending on the agency.
  2. Limited ability to complete large, last-minute projects.
  3. Potential for low flexibility with long-term contracts.

For organizations in the education space, agency partnerships can strike the right balance between cost, control and commitment.

It’s important to ensure the agency you’re working with offers the level of flexibility and resourcing that suits your content needs. Be wary of agencies that require year-long contracts but only have one writer with education industry experience who can support your account.

At Brafton, we’ve built up a team of full-time writers who can tackle projects of all shapes and sizes. For instance, we produce 65,000+ words per month across nearly a dozen degree programs for just one of our education clients.

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How Brafton Specializes in Education Content

The writers on our staff may be experts in content creation, but they’re also experts in writing for your specific field. We recruit the sharpest and most intelligent writers with a proven track record of content marketing success and the smarts to keep pace with your in-house experts as well.

Many of our writers come to Brafton with graduate degrees from top universities, so they know what it’s like to collaborate with highly qualified academics and speak to education industry audiences. Our experts write about everything from pedagogy and career possibilities to distance learning technology and more.

Here are just a few of our education writers and their backgrounds:

Chelsey Church, Senior Writer

Industry Experience: 7+ years
Education: Kent State University
Featured Content: View Sample

Jessica Barker, Senior Writer

Industry Experience: 6+ years
Education: NYU
Featured Content: View Sample

Perry Robin, Senior Writer

Industry Experience: 6+ years
Education: University of Connecticut
Featured Content: View Sample

With Brafton, you’ll have direct access to one or more dedicated writers. But rest assured that there’s an entire editorial team operating in the background to ensure you receive the highest quality work at a steady, predictable pace. You’ll also have an account manager, project manager and content marketing specialist keeping a constant eye on your timeline and strategic vision.

That means our writers have a full workday, every day, to create your content. Whether that involves carrying out SME interviews with your organizational leaders, discussing topic pitches and feedback with your in-house marketers or simply making progress on a large content writing project, our writers are available whenever you need them.

What Our Education Industry Clients Look For

Each industry we serve has its own unique needs — and education is no different. Here are some of the top goals and challenges our clients in your industry bring to us:

1. Search Visibility

1. Search Visibility

Pain point: Colleges and universities strive for higher search visibility and conversions among prospective students. Meanwhile, companies that sell to K-12 clients need to get discovered when district leaders are looking for solutions. In both contexts, search is highly competitive and it’s hard to stand out without a rock-solid strategy.

Solution: Before creating core landing pages and supplementary content, Brafton’s teams conduct advanced keyword research and capture our findings in detailed Search Performance Briefs (SPBs). These inform how our writers structure and optimize the content in order to drive traffic and encourage conversions.

Products:

  • Search Performance Briefs.
  • Keyword optimized blogs.
  • Reoptimized landing pages.
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs).

2. Social Proof

2. Social Proof

Pain point: For prospective students, earning a college education is a significant investment. And it’s a big decision for district leaders and educators to adopt new solutions. Reassuring your target audiences of the ROI your organization delivers is essential if you want to win their trust and business.

Solution: Brafton brings all the creative competencies needed to prove your ROI in the most attention-grabbing, persuasive way possible. For instance, video is no longer just a nice-to-have — in education, it’s now a must. Our scriptwriters, animators and production teams can develop compelling videos that make your academic programs or client case studies all the more memorable.

Products:

  • Video testimonials.
  • Case studies.
  • Infographics.

3. Thought Leadership

3. Thought Leadership

Pain point: Universities and colleges are only as good as their educators. So, higher ed institutions with great faculty and researchers need to sing their praises and share their findings. Meanwhile, companies who sell to K-12 clients need to build a thought leadership platform that establishes trust and sparks sales.

Solution: Since your organization’s reputation is on the line with every piece of thought leadership you promote, Brafton’s writers take creating this content seriously. We work closely with subject matter experts across different departments to ensure the messaging is accurate and brand-aligned. Our education clients have seen this type of content drive valuable backlinks and PR opportunities as well for a longer-lasting impact.

Products:

  • Blogs.
  • White papers.
  • eBooks.

How We Create Content That Resonates With Your Audience

We’re experienced in writing for your industry — but we don’t assume we’re immediately ready to start writing for your brand. Here’s how we align with your tone, style and brand guidelines:

1. We Get to Know You

1. We Get to Know You

Before putting pen to paper, our teams spend time exploring your existing content and style guides to familiarize ourselves with your brand voice. We also hold discovery meetings to get to know your specific content goals and expectations. With that in mind, we create and share a proposal tailored to your specific requirements, modifying and adapting as needed.

2. We Evolve Through Feedback

2. We Evolve Through Feedback

If you don’t love a piece of content at first glance, then we don’t love it either. Our revisions process gives you the chance to share all pertinent stakeholder feedback with us. Once we know what to do, we’ll turn around a fresh copy that’s to your specifications.

3. We Keep Striving for Excellence

3. We Keep Striving for Excellence

The education industry and your audience’s needs are constantly evolving. That’s why we never assume a piece of writing is perfect and complete. We’re diligent about tracking performance metrics and market trends to understand how we can keep improving and optimizing your content.

What It’s Like to Work With Us

Whether you’re an institution of higher education, a business whose products or services benefit K-12 districts or an emerging industry leader with ambitious marketing plans in mind, you need an agency partner who has what it takes to help you achieve your goals. With Brafton, here’s what you’ll find:

1. Quality

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Our expert creatives put content quality first, always.

2. Support

With a reliable project manager, strategist, account manager and writer on your side, you’re in good hands.

3. Flexibility

You’ll sign a limited scope of work to cover your unique project needs — nothing more, nothing less.

We keep our client workflows simple and easy to navigate. That way, your teams and ours are free to put our creative energies toward amplifying your brand and making a meaningful difference.

Quote

We have several different arms of our content program and Brafton is the hub of all of it. You guys all just work really well together, you problem-solve together, and it makes a really big difference for us.

______________________
Elizabeth Burkhardt, Marketing Director, Agile Education Marketing

Ready to start creating?

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