Educational copywriting is a challenge. Whether you’re writing a textbook, assessment criteria, or a university prospectus, you have to ensure you are writing clear, engaging copy and not alienating your readers.
Getting the content right means developing a suitable tone of voice, and this has to start with an understanding of who you are talking to. Students are often viewed as one collective audience, yet they are a diverse group. Different ages, interests, and backgrounds all impact their choices on where, what, when and how people study in higher education.
Developing compelling educational copywriting is more critical than ever due to societal changes, and some education copywriters may have to go on an educational journey themselves.
Aspirations are shifting, as more alternatives to the standard route of GCSEs to A-Levels to Degree begin to open up. UK employment is in a state of flux, and young people face uncertain futures. Due to increased fees, technological advances, changing business models and Brexit, prospective students are now having to carefully consider their choices more than they did in previous decades.
In the past, further education was viewed as the best way to gain the skills needed to enter the workplace. But realistically, not all have the patience, the time or the money to keep learning, especially when there may not be a job waiting for them at the end of it.
The fact remains that university is a must for those wanting a career in sectors like medicine, law or engineering. Educational copywriting and marketing needs to talk to the individual, and many universities find a lot of value in case studies and storytelling to try and engage people. When exhibiting success stories through current students or graduates, universities are creating relatable marketing.
The environment that students find themselves in is evolving too. A YouGov report shows that 90% of students consider having reliable online access to course materials, exam results and resources crucial. However, 65% described their universities current use of technology as ‘functional’ rather than ‘innovative’. As many universities work through their digital transformations, they need to make sure they stay relevant. Environmental issues are one example of an area that is growing in importance among young people, and institutions that don’t address them could soon start looking outdated.
The world is changing rapidly, and universities need to continually adapt too. Educational copywriters should reflect new technologies, social trends, or political issues in their communications to the next generation. It is about inspiring people who are unsure of which road to take, convincing cynics of the endless potential of learning, and generating compelling and engaging copy.
Students are also increasingly looking to prioritise skills over purely academic knowledge. In a job market that is only growing more competitive, essential skills are no longer seen as enough by many employers. This is an opportunity for universities.
How educational copywriting is developed therefore needs to be progressive, taking into account what school leavers want. Tone of voice is just as important as content. The UK Government’s ‘Get In Go Far’ ad campaign was aimed at school leavers who can get an apprenticeship, or paid work, while simultaneously attending university one or two days a week. Using case studies, it successfully demonstrated to their audience a modern solution for a contemporary world. Unsurprisingly, money is a significant influence on how many young people make their choices after 18.
There have always been challenges in persuading people to go to university or further education, and being in tune with the next generation is key. You need to ensure that you do your research and view your audience as a diverse range of individuals.
As an agency that specialises in educational copywriting, we know how vital it is to create clear, consistent, and compelling content that delivers your key messages in a voice that fits your institution. Talk to us today about how we can help you can inspire and inform the next generation.