Study Shows the Benefits of Content Marketing for Business Schools

Posted by Amy Hughes
Amy Hughes is a freelance writer covering higher education and graduate management education. She has written sponsored and non-sponsored editorial content for BusinessBecause as well as GMAC Media and works regularly on content marketing pieces for business schools around the world. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of York and a master's of studies degree in English with American Studies from the University of Oxford.

Posted on Jan 17, 2024 9:30:00 AM

Rowhomes along a canal with boats in CopenhagenTo drive intent and action among the candidates in your pipeline, content marketing with a trusted partner is a necessity in any marketer’s toolkit. A new study shows why.

A 2023 study by BusinessBecause in partnership with D.fferentology has confirmed that content marketing improves candidates’ awareness of MBA programs.

After a 2021 study found that content marketing drove a 103 percent uplift in prompted awareness of the MBA programs for a leading Asian university, BusinessBecause ran a second study in early 2023 to discover how exactly content marketing drives action and intent among candidates.

The second study polled a total of 300 MBA candidates about their experiences navigating a mock-up of the BusinessBecause website. Half were exposed to content marketing articles about Copenhagen Business School (CBS); the other half were not. The results were illuminating—and positive.

Content marketing boosts brand awareness.

Nearly half of respondents who were exposed to CBS marketing during the study said they were aware of recent advertising from the school, compared to just 25 percent of the control group. Over half of respondents recalled having seen similar articles from CBS before.

The articles also significantly improved top-of-mind awareness of CBS programs. While just 1 percent of the control group named CBS when asked to write down all the universities that offered MBA programs they could think of, 22 percent of those exposed to the marketing did so.

Exposure to content marketing improves positive perception.

Of course, increasing candidates’ awareness of your program is only half the battle. You also need to convince them that your school is a good place to study. Content marketing also improved outcomes here.

Perceptions of CBS started out strong, but exposure to content marketing improved them even further. More than seven in 10 candidates who recalled seeing the content marketing agreed that CBS was “a university for people like me” and “a great place to do an MBA.”

More candidates also agreed that the school provided a “world-class experience” if they remembered seeing the content marketing pieces than those who hadn’t.

Crucially, more than 90 percent of candidates who were exposed to the CBS articles reported an improved perception of the school as a direct result of viewing the content.

Content marketing greatly boosts program consideration.

How do the above benefits translate into candidate action?

In this case, consideration of CBS’s MBA program was already high among the candidates, with 88 percent of the control group considering applying. However, this figure rose dramatically after exposure to content marketing.

An impressive 94 percent of those exposed to the content, and 97 percent of those who remembered seeing the articles on the website, reported being “likely” to apply to CBS’s MBA program. Additionally, 97 percent said the content marketing had made them more likely to apply than they would have been otherwise.

Business school content marketing leads to applications.

The impact of this kind of exposure on your applications cannot be understated. The study found that 95 percent of test respondents took some form of action after viewing the content marketing pieces on the mock-up site, with almost half visiting the CBS site, and 9 percent submitting an application.

To explore the findings of the study and find out more—for example, how content marketing impacted word of mouth among candidates—download our comprehensive free report.

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today to learn how BusinessBecause can help your school with their global marketing and recruitment efforts.

Topics: Recruitment & Marketing, MBA Program, graduate management education, GME, MBA

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