Content Management

10 Kinds of Content You'll Use Again and Again

books in monitorHave you ever created and published a page of content on your website, only to find virtually the same thing already online? Even worse, have you discovered two (or three, or more) overlapping pages with glaring inconsistencies? Or have you published a great piece in a corner of your site and wondered whether anyone will ever find it?

Colleges and universities attempting to manage their websites without a web content management system (CMS) encounter these problems all the time. A full-featured CMS like OU Campus™ offers the solution, letting you create a library of content for use across your site. You’ll save time, provide users with authoritative info, and get much more mileage out of your material.

Here are 10 kinds of content you’ll find yourself and your colleagues consistently repurposing:

  1. Program info: When shopping colleges, most prospective students immediately seek out information on academic programs. But depending on where they look—admissions, departmental, or catalog pages—they find different, even conflicting details.

    With a CMS and a cohesive content strategy, you can create a consistent, easy-to-update bank of program info. You can deliver the whole package to various pages or choose exactly which components go where—overview and outcomes on admissions pages, faculty listings on departmental pages, everything in the catalog, and so on.

  2. Course descriptions: Along similar lines, a CMS can keep specific course descriptions current and help you post them wherever you like, including on departmental and faculty pages. OU Campus’ course catalog module makes the process especially simple and can pull course details directly from your student information system.

  3. Financial aid info: This is another key content category for prospects, and one that’s typically hard to manage. With a CMS, you can keep scholarship eligibility, award amounts, FAFSA instructions, and more up to date to use aid information as a selling point across more pages.

  4. Costs of attendance: Likewise, you can ensure that numbers for tuition, fees, housing, and other costs consistently add up. No more wondering which of the different figures posted on your site are actually correct.

  5. Campus event postings: A CMS—particularly one with a dedicated event management function like OU Campus’ OU Calendar™ module—can solve the problem of event promotion. You can create a central campus calendar; tag events for categories, audiences, and sponsoring departments; and deliver tailor-made event listings to various pages site-wide.

  6. News stories: Publicizing a student or faculty achievement? With a CMS, you can quickly repurpose the story on a departmental page or wherever you like. Create custom lists of news headlines across your site to get more visibility for your PR and campus communications content.

  7. Faculty profiles: OU Campus’ faculty directory module makes it simple to develop comprehensive faculty pages and deliver them anywhere. You can pull contact information from external databases, integrate course listings from the catalog, and drop in photos, bio sketches, and other info that faculty themselves can easily edit.

  8. Contact info: Campus directory databases are usually the best source of contact information for faculty, staff, and offices, provided they’re well managed. But if your campus lacks a solid directory database, or if you want to provide additional info not listed in the directory, a CMS can help. Define the fields you want (e.g., title, email, address, phone, social media handles), publish contacts wherever you need them, and make any updates from one central location.

  9. Facts and figures: Your CMS can become a repository for institutional data, rankings, and key bragging points, making it easy to place current facts and figures wherever they help tell a story.

  10. Testimonials: Student, alumni, and faculty testimonials can mix text, photos, and other content. Rotate a series of them through your home or admissions pages, and drop targeted pieces on relevant program pages.

A CMS makes it possible to adopt a true “create once, publish everywhere” approach, and a campus-wide CMS implementation opens a whole range of new possibilities. Once distributed contributors and editors start building a common library of content, they’ll stop duplicating each other’s efforts, start speaking with a common voice, and give your institution a more cohesive and dynamic online profile.

 

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Sara Arnold

Web Communications Manager

Starting her career in academic publishing, Sara is a stickler for grammar and makes sure that every "i" is dotted and every "t" crossed in all OmniUpdate marketing communications that go out the door. A Camarillo native, Sara enjoys spending time with family, camping, doing anything crafty, and rooting for her ASU Sun Devils.