3 Ways to Establish Brand Authenticity for Higher Ed Websites

  • Kevin Wall's picture
    Kevin
    January 6, 2021

How Higher Ed Websites Can Use Brand Authenticity to Optimize their Digital Content Strategy 
 

Establishing a strong brand identity takes time and effort, but there are a few key things that can make a big difference between an average brand and a great one. Developing brand authenticity in your higher ed website’s digital content strategy will increase its credibility, trustworthiness, and long-term customer loyalty. 

 

Brand authenticity will help you stand out amongst your competitors and build trust with your customers. This article will address what it means to have an authentic brand, why it is important to higher ed marketing, and how to implement it into your higher education institution’s digital content strategy. 

 

 

1.  Understand what makes an authentic brand 

 

Brand authenticity depends on how well an organization lives up to its values and communicates those to its audience. Steve Harvey of Fabrik describes brand authenticity as an “opportunity to show your customers your vision and overarching values, ‘transparency’ is all about implementation.” Companies can make claims about what they do, but if they don’t validate those claims with measures that show how they live up to their values, they’re simply empty promises to consumers. 

 

Telling a story through your brand makes a huge impact since your audience is made up of people who have their own values and opinions. Authentic brands make communication and honesty a priority. Being consistent through communicating your brand helps engage your audience. On top of that, honesty and openness will build trust authenticity with them. 

 

For example, if a university claims they have a 99% career placement rate in their business program, it’s important to feature alumni profiles or news clips featuring alumni success in some way. This makes stronger connections with your audience by telling a story that helps connect them to your message and communicates the sense of realness that makes your higher ed institution stand out. 

 

2. Learn how to make your website stand out 

 

Establishing an authentic brand through your website will differentiate your program from less outstanding ones. 

 

First, you need to identify what your university values and use those things as the foundation for your content and brand. Knowing your audience and adjusting the content strategy to fit their needs is one of the top ways institutions can begin building an authentic brand. 

 

Millennials and GenZ have a particular distrust for traditional advertising. Making brand authenticity a priority will help connect with these audiences in a way that gets through that filter. 

 

A survey by Cohn & Wolfe found that 90% of consumers will take action to reward brands for authenticity, 52% will recommend the brand to others, and 49% will pledge their loyalty to the brand.

 

Communication and consistency are key, and communication is a two-way street. Just as your content is being delivered to your audience, make sure your audience stays up to date with the latest news, can ask questions, engage with the content, and offer feedback. This could mean adding a live web-chat feature on the home page or creating a newsletter that people can sign up for when they visit your website. All of these things build community with your audience and make their opinions feel heard and valued. 

 

3. Focus on consistency and maintaining your brand 

 

Sustaining an authentic brand makes your institution stand out amongst its competitors. Simply being open about your institution takes maintenance and requires effort. Consistent communication and updates take dedication to upholding your brand and its values, but it can make the brand stand out and help attract lifetime student loyalty. 

 

For a successful digital content strategy, your higher ed website must reflect the core values of your institution consistently throughout its digital content strategy. This means the website must reflect your institution’s values in each piece of content it produces. 

 

From blog posts to social media posts and newsletters, KWALL offers digital marketing services specialized for higher education websites. We’ll help kick-start your university’s online presence through a thorough analysis, strategy, and innovative digital marketing insights while creating an effective digital marketing strategy

 

We can help improve your higher education institution’s website and create a digital content strategy to specifically address your audience goals. This includes a thorough audience analysis to narrow down the target audience and effectively communicate brand values that resonate with them. We also create functionality across multiple devices, including mobile, and multiple content platforms including social media and blog posts

 

Combining all of these techniques in a digital marketing strategy is all part of KWALL’s comprehensive plan to increase traffic and make for the best user experience of your higher education institution’s website. Contact KWALL today to get started.