Create your alumni marketing and communication strategy like an expert!

Everyone is familiar with the broad outlines of marketing and communication. But it can seem complex when you get down to the nitty-gritty of what needs to be done, or when it comes to creating a clear, actionable strategy.

This article guides you through the fundamental steps involved in creating a strategy worthy of an expert, from understanding the key concepts to measuring the results. You’ll discover the importance of a well-designed strategy, the tools and content you need to implement it, and how to measure its success. Get ready to energise your alumni network with an actionable strategy that guarantees engagement and growth.

  1. Definitions: marketing, communication, marketing strategy…
  2. The purpose of a marketing strategy
  3. How to create your alumni marketing strategy like an expert
  4. Essential tools and formats
  5. Measuring the results of your strategy

 

construire sa stratégie marketing alumni

 

Marketing, communication, marketing strategy… What are they really?

To begin with, let’s agree on the terms. Marketing and communication are very often used together. However, they cover different areas of expertise and application!

Marketing

Marketing encompasses all the activities involved in managing the relationship between an entity and its customers or community. It aims to create, promote and sell products or services to generate profits and commitment.

For a more exhaustive definition > Marketing

Communication

Communication, on the other hand, focuses on the management of a company’s internal and external communication, aimed at informing and persuading the public. It targets a wider audience with the aim of informing and educating.

For a more exhaustive definition > Communication

Marketing and communication strategy

Communication and marketing strategy defines the overall approach that an organisation adopts to promote its products, services or brand image to its audience. It encompasses all actions and choices relating to communication channels, the messages to be conveyed and audience segmentation. In our context, developing such a strategy requires an in-depth understanding of the community and its needs.

 

Why you need a marketing and communications strategy

Defining a clear alumni marketing strategy is key. It allows you to focus your actions and make choices guided by objectives that have been thought through and considered.

 

Here are 5 essential elements for an effective, actionable strategy that will serve your organisation well

Define clear objectives : Strategy helps to establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) objectives. These objectives can include increasing network awareness, improving member engagement, increasing membership fees, etc.

Effective targeting : It allows you to segment your community and precisely target your members according to their situation. This means you can personalise messages and optimise marketing actions to reach the most receptive segments.

Coordinate your efforts : A well-defined strategy coordinates the different communication channels (traditional and digital) and aligns the efforts of the alumni team. This allows you to create a consistent and personalised experience for each of your members.

Optimal allocation of resources : By defining the most promising priorities and actions, the strategy helps to optimise the use of available resources (budget, time, skills).

Analyse and adapt : The strategy includes mechanisms for measuring performance and analysing results. This means you can adjust your current actions and continually improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

objectifs smart strategie alumni

What should you aim for when writing your strategy?

Here are a few examples of key indicators you can focus on when launching your alumni marketing strategy

Increased awareness and visibility of the network : An effective strategy increases your presence in your community and enables you to create a more lasting bond with your members.

Greater commitment : By communicating in a relevant way with your members, you can improve their commitment and strengthen their loyalty and sense of belonging to your alumni network.

Growth in donations and contributions : Successful communication and marketing directly influence purchasing decisions and help to increase donations and subscriptions. With your alumni marketing strategy, you are enhancing the value of your community and helping them to understand the importance of participating in its development.

Improved brand image : Strategy helps to build and maintain a positive brand image, which is essential to stand out in a competitive environment. Today, the alumni network is a real showcase, whether you are a school, an association or a company. The members of your network are your first ambassadors!

Measurable return on investment : Ultimately, a well-conceived and well-executed strategy translates into a positive return on investment. Taking stock of your profitability is also a way of knowing where and what to invest in to maximise the impact of your actions.

In short, a solid communications and marketing strategy is crucial to an organisation’s long-term success. It guides you in your efforts to reach your community effectively.

 

Create your alumni marketing strategy like an expert

To create and implement your strategy, follow these key steps:

  1. Analysis of the current situation: Assess your relationship with your community, how other networks in your sector are positioned, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc.
  2. Definition of objectives: Set clear, measurable goals for your strategy.
  3. Identifying the target audience: Segment your community according to the life cycle of your members and target their specific needs.
  4. Developing the key message: Create a central message that resonates with your audience. Also create a clear editorial line to ensure consistency in your communications.
  5. Choice of communication channels: Select the appropriate platforms to reach your audience. Prioritise and centralise your actions on your alumni platform, but don’t hesitate to use social networks to create a sounding board.
  6. Content creation: Produce attractive and relevant content for your audience. Stick to your editorial line and central message. Adapt your productions to suit the place where you publish them.
  7. Planning and execution: Organise an implementation schedule and launch your campaigns.
  8. Measure and adjust: Analyse the results and adjust your strategy accordingly. Review your messages or the channels on which you distribute them (email, news, blog, etc.).

 

By following these 8 steps, you can be sure of creating an effective and impactful marketing and communications strategy. Now you can concentrate on producing your communications and watch your network grow!

 

The essential tools, formats and content that work in all strategies

Now that you’ve established your strategy, it’s time to get down to production! It can be complex, especially when you’re on your own. There are many different professions and areas of expertise in marketing and communications.

Each has a specific contribution to make to a strategy, so here’s an overview of the different key professions in a marketing and communications department:

  • Project manager: marketing, digital or even events, they ensure that their area of expertise is carried out properly.
  • Content writer: articles, news, alumni profiles, conference reports, etc. Try to cover as much ground as possible.
  • Photo/video creator: more specialised in face-to-face events, he or she is the guarantor of your memories.
  • Graphic designer: designs the visuals and ensures consistency with the graphic charter
  • Community manager: develops and manages the team’s online presence

 

Of course, there are many other, even more specialised positions. And very often, depending on the size of your organisation, you’ll have to fill several of these roles. That’s why it’s important to prioritise and stick to your initial strategy in order to achieve your objectives!

And now, let’s get down to basics and see which tools, formats and content you should prioritise to launch your action plan.

prioriser son plan d'action de strategie marketing alumni

 

Tools

  • Alumni platform: create your own private social network reserved for your community, encouraging engagement and networking in a trusted space
  • Emailing solution: a system for designing, sending and tracking email marketing campaigns, essential for communicating directly with your audience. Spoiler, it’s already included in the AlumnForce platform!
  • ChatGPT: an artificial intelligence tool that generates text responses, very useful for automating communication and creating content
  • Canva: an online graphic design application for creating attractive visuals for the web and print.
  • PlayPlay or Lumen5: video creation platforms that make it easy to produce engaging video content without any prior technical skills.

Formats & content

  • Newsletters: to share the latest news, upcoming events and member success stories
  • Blog articles: inspiring alumni stories and relevant career advice
  • Video testimonials: video interviews with alumni sharing their journeys and experiences
  • Webinars and online workshops: educational and interactive sessions on topics of interest
  • Face-to-face events: face-to-face events are becoming increasingly important as a means of cohesion. So think afterwork!
  • User-generated content (UGC): encourage the creation and sharing of content by members themselves to increase engagement and offer a more authentic perspective.
  • Influencer marketing: a derivative of UGC, collaborating with alumni influencers is an authentic and effective way of promoting events, initiatives or specific campaigns.

 

Measuring the success of your alumni marketing strategy

Evaluer sa strategie alumni

Evaluating the effectiveness of your alumni marketing strategy is essential to ensure the ongoing development and relevance of your network. Start by defining clear measurement methods, such as tracking key KPIs.

Satisfaction surveys are also a valuable source of insight into the expectations and satisfaction of your alumni, while data analysis, including the analysis of interactions and behaviour on the platforms used, reveals the effectiveness of your campaigns and initiatives.

Key KPIs to track

  • Conversion rate: measures the effectiveness with which a marketing campaign achieves its main objective, be it sales, subscriptions or donations.
  • Return on investment (ROI): assesses the profitability of marketing expenditure by comparing the gain generated by this expenditure with its cost
  • Engagement rate: measures user interaction with your content on your alumni platform, social networks, emails, articles, etc. This can include likes, shares, comments and other forms of social activity
  • Website traffic: tracks the number of visitors to your website, as well as detailed information such as source of traffic, length of visit and pages visited, to assess the effectiveness of digital campaigns
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): assesses satisfaction and the likelihood of your members recommending your products or services to others. A feature offered by AlumnForce to include in your satisfaction surveys!

Here is a detailed guide to developing an alumni marketing and communications strategy. It highlights the importance of strategic planning based on clear objectives, careful segmentation and rigorous analysis to optimise and adjust your efforts. By following this approach and using the right tools, you can not only effectively engage your community but also measure the success of your strategy and continue to develop your community.

 

Tous les contenus pour gérer efficacement votre réseau

 

Would you like to find out more about managing, leading and developing your alumni community? Here’s our best content to meet your needs!

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Matthieu

Je recherche le meilleur de l'actualité alumni pour vous : tendances, bonnes pratiques, guides... Toutes les infos dont vous avez besoin pour apporter de la valeur à votre réseau !

Alumni [a .lym.ni]
Plural noun

1. Graduate of a university / school / training
2. Alumni of a company / organisation
3. Plural of alumnus

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