Learning from LinkedIn’s most influential Higher Education brands [INFOGRAPHIC]

February 26, 2016

They are the colleges, schools and universities whose content travels furthest on LinkedIn; who engage more of their target audiences, demonstrate the value that learning with them can bring, and translate this into a strong pool of potential applicants for their courses. Download our infographic and you’ll find our ranking of the top 50 Education brands in Europe, as measured by LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score. But what is it about their content marketing strategies that makes these institutions so successful?

From the IE Business School in Spain to INSEAD in France and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School: Education’s most influential have much in common when it comes to building their presence on LinkedIn. Here are the most important lessons from the education institutions making intelligent use of content on our platform:

Putting schools in the context of professional outcomes

On LinkedIn, Educational institutions have the ability to showcase the careers that their graduates have gone on to enjoy, via an automatically generated graphic at the top of the page. Our most influential Education brands all make good use of this feature to frame the value of their courses in the context of professional outcomes. But many also go further, sharing updates on Alumni achievements that they position in the feed of their target audience, and which they use to draw potential students to their page. For example, Saïd Business School recently shared the story of former graduates who developed a pre-paid solar energy company, as reported in Fortune magazine. INSEAD had its own tale to tell of three alumni who founded the new credit card concept, Curve.

Leveraging all three of Education’s content assets

Education brands tend to have three powerful assets when it comes to authoring and distributing content on LinkedIn: their students, their lecturers and their alumni. The most influential education brands make effective use of all three – sharing insights into life on campus interspersed with pieces that demonstrate the credibility of teaching resources or the success enjoyed by graduates.

Creating and curating genuine thought leadership

Thought leadership content plays a key role for education brands: it helps to gain the attention of a professional audience whilst showcasing the types of thinking that an institution’s courses have to offer. LinkedIn’s most influential brands tend to have a dual strategy: creating content on their owned platforms (such as this fascinating recent piece on the downfall of Nokia, from an INSEAD professor) whilst also leveraging the occasions when third party media feature their work (such as this recent report on income inequality, curated by Saïd Business School)

Striking headlines and graphics

Smart marketers know the value of a good visual – and education marketers are no exception. IE Business School is just one of many making impactful use of Infographics, video and striking images in its updates. When it comes to leveraging the potential of the LinkedIn feed for multi-media marketing, our most influential Education brands are right up there.

Extending reach through Sponsored Updates

Great content is only as influential as the distribution strategy behind it. And for 95% of our most influential Education brands, that strategy includes extending the reach of content through Sponsored Updates. By targeting professional audiences that match the profile of their most likely students, they put influential content in front of the right prospects. By monitoring the organic performance of their updates and sponsoring those that perform best, they generate consistently strong engagement rates. It’s an intelligent strategy for increasing the influence of their content that pays off time and time again for top-performing Education brands.

Did your brand make the top 50? Did your competitors? To view the entire top 50, download “The Content Marketing 50: Education Edition” infographic.