5 Steps To Develop An Engaging Alumni Content Strategy

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 15th October 2020

Having a corporate alumni content strategy in place is vital if you want your online community to grow and thrive. While it’s all good and well to do things on the fly and see how it goes, a focused approach is necessary if you want to see sustainable, long-term results. It’s the only way to develop an engaged network that is willing to step in and serve the business. 

Without a strategy or cadence, it makes it difficult to lead your community because:

  1. Your day to day content marketing activities lack direction provided by your content strategy
  2. You are constantly having to “zap” life into your audience to sustain any sort of engagement
  3. It is difficult to report or iterate or A/B test as there is no consistency from which to draw a baseline
  4. It is tough to instill confidence or report upstairs to other stakeholders on your plan and execution

Imagine if you know that every six weeks you are going to do an email that focuses on your alumni who have moved jobs or been in the news – now you can spend focused time on that each week developing the content.

Or, imagine that you know that October is alumni month (like BCG) – you can plan and build a program throughout the year that leads you to this month.

Here are five steps that will take your community beyond a glorified mailing list and organically drive alumni engagement:

The Ultimate 5-Step Corporate Alumni Content Strategy

  1. Define your alumni audience
  2. Determine your brand voice
  3. Identify content sources
  4. Create a content calendar
  5. Measure your success

5 Steps To Develop A Content Strategy For Corporate Alumni That Really Works

Define Alumni Audience

1. Define Your Alumni Audience

All corporate alumni audiences are not created equal. For instance, the alumni of a multinational auto manufacturer will differ vastly from that of an eco-friendly fashion brand and an online retailer with employees across four continents. As such, you need to start by knowing who you’re talking to.

Marketers and brand specialists often use so-called ‘customer personas’ to help brands and businesses stay on course in terms of their communication. This approach can also do wonders for an alumni content strategy.

If you can break down your alumni grouping into three or four types (e.g. Rob the Retiree, Isla Itching-to-Explore, Franny Family Responsibility, etc.), it becomes easier to create content that speaks to these different cohorts.

2. Determine Your Brand Voice

Every brand has an inherent personality, and each personality should have a clear and recognizable voice. This applies on a B2C and B2B level, but also in terms of your company’s employer brand. The way you choose to communicate with your alumni lays the groundwork for your relationship going forward, which means it needs to be consistent.

Depending on the type of alumni personalities you have identified, you may find that you want to go with a humorous, informal approach. Or it could be that your ex-employees are more inclined to listen to a formal voice with overtones of authority.

If you’re not sure, try looking at levels of engagement associated with the different tones you have in mind over time.

3. Identify Content Sources

Here’s some great news – content moderators never need to look far for great content. In fact, your writers and content creators are all around you. Your company has a vast selection of resources from which you can draw inspiration and information for social media posts, blogs, webinars, and e-books if you know where to look. 

Alumni Content

DID YOU KNOW? Webinars are a great way to add value to your platform users. In fact, according to statistics, 61% of marketers use webinars as a tactic for their content marketing strategy, and 73% of B2B marketers say a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads. 

The trick is to think of yourself as a curator rather than a creator, in which case the entire content creation process for your alumni platform will become a breeze. Here are a few fertile avenues you can explore to find some insightful content to promote on your alumni platform and your digital marketing channels: 

Current Employees

When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Who better to keep ex-employees interested (and inspire job seekers to consider your company as a potential place of employment) than the folks who are currently in the trenches? They view the important issues from the grass-roots level and pen thoughtful blogs that tackle relevant talking points head-on.

Willing Alumni

Your company’s alumni can be a great source of content in one of two ways: 

a) they can write blog posts that you share to your network, or

b) you can feature their success stories to inspire current, prior, and prospective employees. 

Industry Sources

Depending on whether your alumni stay in or switch industries during their time outside your organization, curating and sharing industry news can work in your favor. While online publications may share the same news, it’s often diluted and non-industry specific. 

Being a go-to source for niche content through your marketing channels and alumni platform can attract an engaged and highly relevant audience.    

Alumni Content Strategy

This is also a rich vein to tap for some great AV content. Video-based FAQ corporate alumni webinars are quick and easy to consume, so consider creating content in this way.

4. Create A Content Calendar

A content calendar makes sense of your content creation, placement, posting frequency, platform usage, etc. Ad hoc social media posts seldom have the intended effect, while a strategically planned content timeline can make all the difference in generating some much-needed engagement with your target audience. 

Things to consider when you draw up your alumni content calendar include:

  • Posting spaces and frequency – how often will you post to each platform, will these posts differ for each platform, what are the best publishing times for your audience, etc.
  • Content topics – will you address certain topics on certain days, open the floor to conversations, ask for input from your users, leverage current events like Earth Day, festive holidays, etc.
  • Online moderation and feedback – who will take ownership of the content and ensure that user queries and concerns are dealt with, etc.

5. Measure Your Success

The only way to know whether your alumni content strategy is working is to measure it frequently. This can be done at the hand of email open rates, post engagement, social shares, etc. 

Determine your metrics beforehand and be fastidious about checking it at least once or twice per month so you can recalibrate if something seems off. 

Final Thoughts

Following these guidelines when considering your alumni content strategy, will allow you to tailor it to the needs of your target audience without missing a beat. 

Get in touch to learn more about how EnterpriseAlumni enables companies of all shapes and sizes, from SMEs to Fortune 50® businesses to lay the groundwork for mutually beneficial alumni relationships.