The world of education has changed markedly in the last 30 or so years and, with the explosion of the internet and social media usage, the competition to attract students to establishments has never been greater.
As universities and colleges vie for space in an increasingly crowded marketplace, it’s becoming more important than ever for institutions to devise a structured marketing plan to generate new enrollments. Moreover, the continued growth in the popularity of online learning and internet-only courses is putting yet more pressure on establishments to drive admissions for their real-world courses. Below you’ll find just a few of the more successful ways schools are finding to promote themselves.
Using social media for promotions to reach your target demographic
Perhaps more than any other internet platform, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed the way we use the web. In particular, the heaviest users of Facebook fall in the 18-24 and 25-34 age demographic accounting for around 50% of its users – and coincidentally exactly the age group most likely to be considering further education. Consequently, marketing on social sites can have a huge impact on your admissions and should be used creatively to promote your establishment.
Before embarking on creating a social media campaign, you should closely study which service is most used by your prospective and existing students – plus also remember that the timing of a post can be crucially important for its success.
It’s also vital to approach your marketing creatively. The social media generation is more marketing savvy than any other in history and is unlikely to be enticed just by brash, in-your-face advertising. If you find yourself struggling to come up with content, you should enlist the help of a professional marketing agency like Sextant Marketing that will be able to guide you on all aspects of your university’s promotion (not just social media).
The power of user-generated content
Also, don’t forget the power of user-generated content on social sites – for both good and bad. When researching which social sites are preferred by your students, you will likely unearth a lot of content produced by your attendees, which could give you a valuable insight into how people perceive your courses and establishment. If you find negative feedback, reach out to the people involved to address their issues and hopefully guide them towards making better comments.
Remember your existing students
Sure, the point of the majority of your marketing efforts will be to attract new students but you also shouldn’t forget the ones you have already. Marketing to your existing learners will help generate pride in attending your establishment, in turn making them much more likely to post positive, helpful comments.
Produce original, engaging video content
Video has by far the highest engagement rate of any media online. Moreover, YouTube is the world’s second most-used search platform, so you should also look at producing original and engaging video content to increase your exposure online.
Build your online profile with SEO
Being found on the first page of Google search results is vital if you’re to attract more prospective undergraduates. It’s estimated around 81% of all consumer journeys start with a search (and this number is likely even higher when researching which university to attend).
If you want to build a strong and effective online profile, you should consider investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to push your institution’s website further up the rankings.