FE needlessly spends £millions on marketing each year.

These may appear to be strange words coming from a marketing professional; but sadly, they are true.  It isn’t that marketing is needless.  The problem is how much we pay for marketing.  We also often spend too much time and money on new marketing “toys”, without focusing on our prospective customer’s needs.

There can be no argument that the digital revolution has wowed the public.  Young people and employers alike spend more and more time on social media sites and mobile devices than ever before.  We are more likely to find NEETS on Facebook than queuing to join one of our courses.  Smart employers and their staff spend time on LinkedIn prospecting for customers and looking for potential new employees or jobs.

The real revolution however is with video.  YouTube has over 70 hours of new material uploaded every minute.   Think of any topic and you will find a video on YouTube to provide a basic overview, or in-depth exploration of the minutiae, of even the most obscure topics.  Better still, viewing figures are very high and increasing.

Recruiting at low cost

So how will this help us to recruit at low cost?  Simple, our prospective customers are using video and we need to tap into this low cost marketing channel to stimulate their interest.  This is where our focus should be.

Of course video isn’t the only option, there are other marketing channels we could consider.  However, virtually every college I know now embraces video to a greater or lesser degree and it is an excellent starting point when focusing on the needs of our customers.

For those potential customers, that are already aware of you, a video can “seal the deal”.  Showing them your facilities can help them make the decision to attend a course with you.

But that is the problem.  College videos tend to focus on people that already know about the college.  They neglect the myriad of people that have never heard of you, or perhaps have never considered a college course.  You see most people searching on Google aren’t looking for college courses.  The majority of searches are leisure related or are looking for an answer to a specific question.

So, say an employer seeks instructions on using a new piece of equipment.  The last place they will look is on a college website …. even though what they actually need is training!   They will go to Google and enter a search phrase like “how to safely operate a radial arm cross cut saw”.

Google doesn’t just links to websites; they also link to videos on YouTube.  In this case, if you carry out this search you’ll find some excellent videos.   When I made this search I found, on Page One of Google, an excellent video produced by WarwickshireCollege.

Over 9000 people have now watched this four-minute video.  Few colleges can claim these sort of viewing figure for their video “about the college”.  Of course, not all viewers will immediately think they want to sign up to a course at colleges that produce this type of video.  However, include a short end message with maybe course details, a few words about apprenticeships, or build a clickable link into the video and on your Channel page, and you will certainly increase the opportunity to convert viewers into students.

The beauty of this type of video is that it demonstrates staff professionalism, the breadth of college expertise, will deliver information for years at no additional cost and reaches hard to reach prospects .. some that have never heard of you.

Better still, video is much cheaper to make than most of us imagine.

Stefan Drew is a marketing consultant, and was previously director of marketing at two FHE colleges. He now works with providers throughout Europe and the US. Visit: www.EmployerEngagementStrategies.co.uk

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

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If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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