5 Human-Centered Education Marketing Strategies That Work

For a long time the process was a simple one: We trade skillfully crafted content for audience attention. But now thanks to AI language models and image generators, we’re about to hit a period of extreme content inflation.

As we enter a new era where content creators are able to produce more with less effort, education marketers will need to shift focus onto their communities to stay ahead.

Institutions now need to think differently about content marketing strategies and exploit the content sources AI can’t yet replicate.

Below we explore five human-centered content marketing strategies you can leverage as well as five best-in-class universities doing all the right things.

Community Marketing

More than just an audience, your community are your biggest advocates not just for student experience but for the values you represent.

Community marketing does not happen in one place or through a single campaign, but rather a collective result of continued and sustained efforts.

KPIs around community marketing are not measured in reach or likes, but how often your students show up for you in the comments section, post images from events, engage with community causes, or make vlogs about their own experiences at university - both positive and challenging.

Community marketing is about building relationships with your students, faculty members, and alumni to create a sense of belonging and connectedness.

In an age where technology and AI are more prevalent than ever, creating a strong sense of community is one way to differentiate your institution and provide students with a unique digital experience that can't be replicated by machines.

Who's doing it well?

University of East Anglia

Student Generated Content

The role of a social media manager in education marketing has shifted. They should now be curators and not creators.

In education content marketing, most of the content that aligns with our goals has already been created by our community. It is our responsibility to nurture those content creators, bring them into our strategies and provide an authentic and relatable perspective on student life.  

Student-generated content is a powerful tool for education marketers looking to create a digital experience that is both engaging and authentic.

Check out this post on how to create a Student Generated Content strategy with suggestions.

Who is doing it well?

The Open University

Faculty Generated Content

More and more prospective students want to hear from individuals rather than institutions. Faculty members are experts in their fields, and their knowledge and insights can help position your degree programs as relevant and applicable in a human-to-human way.

By supporting faculty members in creating social media posts, opinion pieces, and blogs, you can establish your institution as a leader in its various fields and attract students who are not only in what they will study, but also who will teach them.

LinkedIn is the ideal place for sharing faculty-generated content, and our post on how to build a LinkedIn content strategy for faculty provides a great starting point for education marketers looking to leverage this platform.

Who’s doing it well?

University of Southampton

Thought Leadership

By creating content that provides insights and perspectives on current issues, you can attract potential students and faculty members who want to be part of an institution at the forefront of its fields.

Thought leadership is all about sharing knowledge and expertise in a way that is accessible and engaging for your audience. Education marketers can leverage thought leadership to build trust, establish credibility, and differentiate their institution from competitors.

Who’s doing it well?

Central European University


Podcasts, although exploding in popularity, are still a relatively new development in education marketing. It could be easier than you think to build a loyal audience for your thought leadership or university communications.

Yes, there are around 4 million podcasts out there for listeners to choose from, but 44% have less than three episodes and only 18% have more than 10 episodes. There is much less competition than we imagine. Of that 18% only 156,000 publish on a weekly basis.

Who’s doing it well?

Staffordshire University


With the rise of the machines upon us, education marketers need to think differently about their content marketing strategies.

We need to continue building strong communities, leveraging student and faculty-generated content, showcasing thought leadership, and exploring new mediums. With a sustained effort we can provide our audiences with unique digital experiences that cannot be replicated by machines.

Shifting attention to these areas means you can build authentic connections with your audience, creating a sense of belonging and differentiate your institution. It's time to embrace these human-led strategies and explore new ways to create engaging content that resonates with your current and future communities.

Looking for the right partner to get your human-centered content marketing strategy in shape? Words On Brand are here to help.

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