Yesterday I came across a great example of both content marketing and inbound marketing from a surprising source – the world of university applications in education.
There is tough competition for places at the best UK universities and applicants must market themselves well to increase their chances of gaining places or even interviews against stiff opposition.
Normally the university or college first hears about prospective students via their application which details their academic and other achievements as well as including a personal statement setting out their goals, strengths and specific interests.
But, particularly for colleges at Cambridge University, there is a way for applicants to make themselves known before this. Colleges run essay prizes in many subjects and submitting an essay can bring yourself to the attention of a college before the application is even received.
Yesterday I heard of one girl who had entered an essay prize and produced a really good piece of work. As a result, the college wrote to her and said they hoped she would apply to them and they would look forward to inteviewing her. She had already passed the first hurdle of gaining an interview and could expect a warm welcome giving her a good chance of being offered a place.
So her essay had gained her recognition – a fantastic piece of content marketing – and then had caused the college to contact her – a brilliant example of successful inbound marketing.
It shows that the principles of content and inbound marketing, of gaining a reputation by producing and publishing valuable content and of stimulating people to contact you with their requirements, apply in many different walks of life. In addition it demonstrates how these techniques build up interactions which can lead to strong continuing relationships.