The methods of attracting people to higher institutions have changed over the last few years. Every university competes by marketing its programs extensively, so it has become more difficult for them to attract the right students now amid an overwhelming amount of options.
This dilemma is why digital marketing for higher education is essential, now more than ever. If you work in a higher education institution, you must learn how to devise efficacious campaigns to give your institution an edge and expand its reach.
We’ll examine the advantages of higher ed marketing and appropriate practices to boost enrollment.
Advantages of this Tactic for Higher Education
The essence of higher education is to foster a community of young, vibrant people with common goals and values. Social media is a protrusion of that need for connectedness and interaction. Establishing a digital presence makes connecting with all stakeholders in the admission and education cycle easier.
Two major groups of direct audiences exist for higher education: students and parents. Of course, there are other groups, but these two make significant decisions. The benefits of digital marketing for higher education revolve around these groups.
1. It Helps You to Connect with Potential Students.
Your digital presence helps you to communicate with the intended market instantly. It’s no surprise.
Prospects in this age group are usually glued to social media. According to the 2018 Hopelab and Well Being Trust study, over 93% of young people between the ages of 14 to 22 years are on social media daily. They utilize it to connect with others, get accurate insights about their favourite brands, or make important life decisions.
You must be present online to attract a portion of this audience to your school and boost enrollment.
2. Your Competitors Aren’t Sleeping.
You shouldn’t be lukewarm regarding employing such strategies to attract people to your school because competitors aren’t waiting for you to realize what ample opportunity you’re missing out on.
Location is not a factor. Your competitor is not just the following university on the other side of town. These schools seek students worldwide- ones you’ve never even heard of.
Players seek a large chunk of the pie in an already saturated market. Someone else will attract your students if you don’t create a digital footprint. Furthermore, you shouldn’t wait until they’re ready for college before building awareness because it may already be too late.
3. It Helps You to Connect with the Parents.
Parents are not left behind in the growing acceptance of social media. Parents also use the internet to organize their lives and make decisions, and choosing appropriate schools is not far from the picture.
They want to know if the school will provide the right platform for their children to grow and become the best version of themselves. You can use similar digital techniques for parents and students since parents are concerned with the university’s overall quality, reputation, cost, and prestige.
When you engage this demographic and address their pressing concerns, it helps them to build trust and loyalty.
4. Boosts Interactions with Prospective Students
This tactic helps you to engage with potential customers by curating compelling content with the right SEO tactics. It’s not enough for these prospects to know you exist. They must engage with your content to drive awareness positively.
It builds trust and loyalty when potential students get helpful insights about tuition and academic life, scholarships, fee waivers, campus life, clubs, etc. The school is at the top of their minds, and they’ll start dreaming of the day they set foot on your campus.
You have to figure out how to curate content that will resonate with the intended market.
5. It Makes You Easily Accessible.
This tactic is essential because your intended market isn’t just teenagers that stay around the town. Your target audience lives in every part of the world.
According to a recent study, there were over 700,000 international students from over 200 countries in the US between 2020 – 2021.
While you’re clocking off from work, prospective students in other parts of the world may be actively seeking information about the school, and there will be disappointed if they don’t get a prompt response. Nobody wants to go to a university or higher with inaccessible staff.
This tactic enables staff to be accessible around the clock without worrying about time zones.
Now that you’ve grasped the importance of this tactic for schools, what best practices can we utilize?
Let’s find out.
Best Practices You Shouldn’t Miss
When creating your plan, keep these best practices in mind:
1. Content Marketing
This focuses on producing and distributing relevant and valuable content to an intended market. Content marketing is essential to your overall plan because it helps you to increase brand awareness, publicize a new degree program, or increase website traffic.
Focus on long-tail keywords:
One of the best SEO practices you can adopt in your plan is to write content with long-tail keywords because they typically have higher traffic. Long-tail content concentrates on direct searches from students, parents, and other stakeholders
Unlike what many people believe, you don’t have to focus on creating new content all the time. The best content doesn’t always live long. Squeeze every content as much as you can. Convert blog posts to Twitter threads and webinars to infographics.
2. Email Marketing
This tactic is powerful for targeting higher institution prospects. It allows you to curate a targeted email list, send pertinent messages that engage them, and answer pressing questions at the right time. How do you use this to increase student enrollment?
Use this tactic to promote your university by producing compelling email campaigns to recruit fresh students, regardless of how small or large your school is. While doing this, remember to engage current students, as word-of-mouth can be an efficacious tool.
This tactic can generate leads as you create more demand for your offers. Your college or university can nurture interest by sending relevant messages to meet them at every sales funnel stage. To convert leads to applicants, produce content that focuses on program requirements, success stories, and upcoming events.
3. Core Web Vitals
These are elements Google considers when judging user experience. Google uses these elements to determine page experience scores. These three elements are first input delay (interactivity), largest contentful paint (loading), and cumulative layout shift (visual stability).
Largest contentful paint (LCP) is the time it takes a page to load from the perspective of a real user. Alternatively, it takes time from opening a page to seeing the content on the screen.
First Input Delay (FID) measures a user’s time before interacting with your page. Google considers this an essential metric because it directly measures how users interact with websites.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of the site. If different elements on the website are moving everywhere, you need to work on your CLS.
If these factors are not in order, your website visitors won’t have a seamless experience. College students will be discouraged from seeing relevant information there, and you will see a steady decline in student enrollment over time.
4. Analytics and Automation
Analytical and automation are critical components of any industry’s effective demand generation or lead generation strategy, not just higher education. The correct analytical data will help you to align your techniques to suit your intended market’s demand.
Automating these processes will free up time to concentrate on other essential aspects of your business.
If you require assistance, employ the services of an excellent agency like FrescoData that can utilize appropriate data to enable you to reach the intended market, use the best SEO strategies, produce quality leads and boost enrollment.
5. Social Media Marketing
As mentioned earlier, your target audience lives on social media. Instead of waiting for them to figure out your university, you meet them in their terrain. You have to evaluate your social media tactics and also that of your competitors.
Use the right tone, post as frequently as you need, engage with your audience, and attract high-quality leads that can convert applicants. How do you do this?
One of the most popular mistakes many institutions make is that they focus so much on being a reputable higher ed marketing website than actually creating student-centric content. Most students live on social media, so you must create content that speaks to them directly if you want to reel them in.
For instance, you can concentrate more on the perks of studying at your university, popular activities from social clubs and groups, scholarship opportunities, major competitions your university has won, and the like.
Also, utilize student influencers. In today’s society, students no longer depend on what admission officers or faculty counselors say about colleges. They’d rather listen to someone they can relate to.
Search through your alum network and select prominent and influential people who can speak well of the school and significantly increase enrollment. SEO should also be a core component of this technique.
Let FrescoData Guide You
You need to employ appropriate techniques and devise plans to expand your student base. Why don’t you let FrescoData help you achieve the desired outcome?
FrescoData is not like other agencies. We’re data-driven with a massive database for any field, including higher education. We can help you to design digital marketing strategies to target audiences you would never have gotten on your own.
Contact FrescoData today.