higher education digital marketing

Do you want to increase your student enrolment rate? Then, it would be best if you took advantage of these higher education digital marketing trends. 

Undoubtedly, the higher education industry has become fiercely competitive, especially after the pandemic. Student enrollment in higher education institutions has steadily declined over the past decade, losing about 3.3 million students between the spring of 2011 and 2022. You must jump on the latest trends as soon as possible to attract the best students. 

Need help with this? That’s fine. This article will explore these trends that can help your university or college get its desired results.

What is Higher Education Digital Marketing?

This marketing strategy helps higher education institutions to build a strong brand, attract the best students from all over the world, and retain their current students. 

Universities and colleges have been using digital marketing to promote themselves for as long as the internet has existed because it helps them communicate directly with their target audience. But things have changed so rapidly that your university will be off the bandwagon if you don’t hop on digital marketing trends. 

The student enrollment rate has drastically reduced because of the changing mindsets over the value of education. Students, especially in first-world countries, don’t think a higher education degree is as valuable as it used to be. Plus, student debts keep increasing as more people are ushered in and out of the university. 

If you want to win, you have to figure out how to use digital marketing to communicate the value of a university or college degree. But before we delve into that, here are the top social media platforms you should focus on to attract a primarily Gen Z student population. 

Best Social Media Platforms For Higher Education Digital Marketing

While it may be good to run accounts on all social media accounts, some platforms undoubtedly yield more results than others. 

If you’re looking for the best social media platform for your university to pitch your tent on and seeking to attract more Gen Z population, you should be exploring the platforms they reside on the most. What are they, in no particular order?

1. TikTok

This social media platform is undeniably Gen Z’s favorite. Other age groups use it, too, but it almost seems like Gen Z is addicted to it.

 People enjoy the content there because they mostly prefer short-form social media content to long ones, which is why they have outpaced other social media platforms, including YouTube. Research has shown that Gen Z spends between 24 to 48 hours on TikTok monthly

There is always something new and entertaining for them when they open the app, so that they can spend as much as 4 to 5 hours binge-watching videos. 

You can take advantage of this opportunity by creating short-form, educational, fun, and humorous content about your university and uploading them to your TikTok account. The more they engage with your content, the more they’d like to find out what your institution is all about. 

2. Instagram

You would think that Instagram would slow down in usage because TikTok is taking all the fun. But that’s not the case. Instagram shows no sign of slowing down. Over 92% of this population uses the app every day

This population loves Instagram for two reasons: viewing and posting aesthetically pleasing pictures and spending time on reels. Top brands and businesses use Instagram to promote their products on the platform because they’ve realized that over 97% of people use social media to influence their purchase decision. 

You can use Instagram to promote your higher education by posting stunning pictures of the school environment and displaying the academic and extra-curricular student activities to pick prospective students’ interests. 

Aside from posting pictures, you should also take advantage of Instagram reels. Like TikTok, Instagram Reels allow you to post short-form video content on your page, which helps to double or even triple your Instagram engagement

3. YouTube

Unsurprisingly, over 98% of the Gen Z population uses YouTube, and this platform shows no sign of slowing down. It’s the largest search engine after Google because it exceptionally utilizes SEO. 

You can take advantage of YouTube by posting fun videos of your university and college campuses on your page. Also, you can post videos of extra-curricular activities that naturally pique a student’s interest. 

Aside from posting information about your school, you could also post essential information about student life. Students typically search for things relating to student life, like “How to Pack for College,” “How to Adapt to College Life,” etc. Use keywords for inspiration.  

You can also set up Facebook and Twitter pages, especially if you want to communicate with millennials (parents, guardians, and other education stakeholders). 

Higher Education Digital Marketing Trends You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

1. Success Stories

As mentioned, one of the ways to attract students to higher institutions and increase enrollment rates is to demonstrate how valuable a university or college degree is. The best way to do that is to display success stories. 

If you’re targeting Gen Zs, you must know they are entrepreneurial and innovative, love thinking outside the box, and question everything they know. You must search through your alumni network and choose people that show that this school has what it takes to improve their critical thinking abilities, discover their potential, and become the best version of themselves. 

2. Create a Brand Identity

Every student wants to see one thing: Authenticity. Undoubtedly, students, parents, and other stakeholders want to associate themselves with prestigious or reputable universities. In times past, students could rely on whatever the university told them. But it’s different with social media. Students can see right through plastic marketing. 

You should build your brand identity using your university’s unique’s strengths, not copying your competitors. 

If you need help figuring out what an authentic brand is, ask yourself these questions:  

  • What is this higher institution known for?
  • What values does this institution stand for?
  • What should visitors think of us when they walk in the gate?

3. Automated Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool used to spread awareness and increase revenue. You can send targeted emails to prospective students to help them make the right decisions. 

To do this, you can segment your email and send targeted emails to attract prospective students. This method should apply to different categories of students because the email you’ll send to a student searching for undergraduate degrees isn’t the same one you’ll send to someone looking for Ph.D. scholarships. 

You could create gated content, and if the student downloads this, it shows you that they may be interested in your university and where their course interest lies. 

4. Social Media

Any higher institution that isn’t taking advantage of social media, especially if they’re targeting Gen Zs, is walking on a thin thread. The opportunities for massive engagement and conversion on these platforms are incredible. 

When creating a social media identity, you must devise creative ways to look original and authentic. Students that look through your page shouldn’t feel like you’re advertising anything to them. How do you do this?

Encourage user-generated content. 

If people come to your space and see a bunch of faculty staff advertising the different aspects of school life, it might look plastic. Students want to see more intimate moments, like regular students grabbing coffee or participating in an arts festival. 

5. Micro-Influencer Marketing

You may have seen top universities using celebrities (that graduated from the school) to promote them. That’s part of influencer marketing. But unfortunately, your university may not have the resources to run an expensive influencer marketing campaign. 

But the great thing is: you don’t need celebrities as part of your marketing strategy. Even though people are ready to take everything celebrities say seriously, most people want authentic content from real, everyday people. You need micro-influencers. 

Your current students are already on social media. Create a social media trend, encourage current students to hop on it, and boost their content via ads. You’ll be surprised at the results. 

6. Personalized Marketing

The internet constantly saturates people with so much information and offers that it may be hard to filter through the stubble. Prospective students are comparing several options, so you must stand out and be at the top of their minds. 

If you send them numerous random messages, they might get overwhelmed and mark your messages as spam. 

You need to personalize your marketing strategies when targeting a primarily Gen Z audience. The best way to do this is to create as many ideal buyer personas as possible, depending on your courses or programs. 

The next step is to use email marketing. Sending targeted emails is the best way to personalize your messages and nurture communication until they’re ready to choose.

7. Omnichannel Marketing

This marketing strategy helps you integrate marketing tactics that can help you engage with customers faster. You can spread your marketing strategies across several channels, from social media and email marketing to customer service. 

When you adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy, it helps you to connect with prospective students at any decision stage they are. 

Let FrescoData Handle Your Higher Education Digital Marketing Strategy

To increase student enrollment rates, you must create a strategy that gives you the desired results and stick to it. However, higher education digital marketing strategies are more complex. You must commit time, energy, and patience. 

Instead of worrying about that, why don’t you let FrescoData attract the best student and increase your enrollment rates in record time? 

We have an extensive database of prospective student information from over 60 countries which can help you explore new markets, streamline your targeting efforts, and build your mailing list. We proffer effective automated omnichannel marketing solutions from start to finish. 

Contact FrescoData today.

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