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Danielle SewellDanielle Sewell, Director of Marketing & Communications at Coker College, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2018 Higher Ed Content Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Danielle tells us about the best content advice ever, content performance measurement and a favorite content tool.

1) What is the best advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to content?

Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” That is so important to remember when you start developing a content strategy, especially in higher education where the work we do is inherently driven by our values. In higher ed, we put so much effort into developing services and programs that transform lives—and then when someone asks about them, our descriptions tend to come in a bullet-pointed list of deliverables. If I can create content that connects our audiences with a sense of purpose and inspiration, I can support the incredible work that my colleagues are doing and really help our college community to make an impact.

2) How is the performance of your content measured/evaluated at your school?

I’m a big believer in creating messaging for what you measure. If the goal of a particular piece of content is to encourage attendance at an event, then I’ll measure success, at least in part, by how many people showed up. If we want more prospective students to connect with our admissions team, then I want to know how many people filled out an inquiry form after viewing the content. If the goal is to build a sense of community and school spirit, then I’ll be looking at social engagement metrics like shares, comments, or hashtag use. The metrics used to determine your level of success should change as the goal of your content changes. Data can be a powerful tool to help you determine what’s working well and what needs to be adjusted—but you have to be looking at the data that actually reflects what you were hoping to achieve.

3) What is your favorite content tool?

Honestly, my favorite content tool is probably our marketing project management system. I know that sounds a little odd, but it really has been a gamechanger for our small-but-mighty marketing team. We use a product called Via that allows us to organize our workflow, communicate with one another and our internal clients, monitor our time more effectively, and keep track of which team members are working on particular aspects of collaborative projects. So much of content development requires more than one specialist. It’s not at all uncommon for a writer, a graphic designer, and a photographer to each have a hand in a single project. Via provides a centralized home for all pieces of the puzzle.

Other than that, I’m a huge fan of UnBounce landing pages. Attaching a landing page with a custom URL to our marketing materials, both in digital and print formats, lets us direct our audience directly to an inquiry form or a downloadable piece of content. It streamlines information for the viewer so they don’t get lost down the rabbit hole of our full website, and it gives us an incredible tool for measuring the reach and impact of our content.

A conference focusing on higher ed content?

The Higher Ed Content Conference is a must-attend event for higher ed content professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Content Conference say about the experience.

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