Essential Marketing Strategies for Higher Education
A decreasing trend in undergraduate enrollment is observed in colleges and universities located in the United States and across the world. Two decades ago, the marketing of higher education was remarkably different than what it is today. Recruitment campaigns usually relied on glossy viewbooks with a single perspective. However, with Generation Z now looking for colleges and universities, digital marketing strategies play a crucial role. There is increased pressure on higher education marketers since, according to a survey, 55% of colleges and 44% of public universities failed to meet their enrollment goals in 2017. The current generation has used technology all of their lives, and the things that impressed previously are considered as necessities by high school and college students now. Due to the threat of student debt and a declining belief in the importance of going to college, marketing is becoming a crucial factor for those institutions that want to increase their enrollment numbers. Hence some of the marketing strategies that higher education institutions can apply are mentioned below.
Build A Consistent Brand
Building a reliable brand is necessary for universities today. What differentiates the top universities from others is the brand perception that the public holds. You can consult a higher ed marketing agency to improve your brand image. Your brand is more than just a logo and a combination of color. It is the impression that you create when you interact with others. Hence, the importance of brand consistency is crucial as it results in controlling how others view your brand. It should be the main priority for universities, especially in the digital world. If you want to build a trustworthy and reputable brand, consistency is essential. You should think ahead of the visual aspects and consider the context and the tone of voice. After improving the brand perception, it is necessary to maintain it so that your brand can live up to the expectations; otherwise, your customers will be demoralized, and it will generate negativity about your brand.
Understanding the importance of cellphones is fundamental for marketers. Often people underestimate the importance of cellphones and design their marketing strategies to target the audience that uses computers and personal laptops. They cannot connect with their potential customers since college students possess a mobile-first mindset and are utilizing their smartphones as the primary device for carrying out different activities. Educational institutions can use this by using mobile-friendly advertising to engage their audience for their enrollment marketing plan. They should keep their creative work suitable and straightforward to be viewed on the small screen. Moreover, utilize social apps such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to advertise since these apps are used frequently by students and Generation Z specifically.
Stay Updated with Performance Indicators
One of the many benefits of digital marketing is that you can see the results of your work in real-time and make the necessary changes with each campaign and tactic. You can use specific indicators to keep track of your marketing strategy and evaluate the results. You can measure the cost of recruiting a single student and set a benchmark in comparison with your peers to see how your institution is doing. Generally, private universities spend more than public universities to market themselves, which is why their acquisition costs are higher. You should also work on improving the number of visitors to your website and increase their stay. The next indicator you can check is the conversion rate as to how many people are requesting for the admission form. It would be best if you tracked the conversion rates of paid advertising and email marketing so that you can utilize the most effective strategy.
Share Relatable Student Stories
A standard marketing tool that is commonly used is alumni videos. Many universities share the videos of their students, where they share their experience with the university to increase their enrollment numbers. It helps to influence the potential students as they relate to their college peers and are highly influenced by them. If a person likes a video about a particular, he or she may decide to secure admission into the same university to experience the student culture that is present there. Universities also gain from this since they do not require to spend a considerable budget on making these videos, and it is appealing to the audience since it is considered authentic by the viewers.
Use Personalized Emails
Although email marketing is a tool to send official announcements and reminders, you can use it to build a relationship with your customers. You can use personalized emails to improve the user experience since people who opt for your email subscription are either invested candidates or alumnus. You can capitalize on this by sending emails that feel like written to one person instead of bombarding them with generic information.
Create A Great Website Experience
If you visit college websites, you may feel like entering a maze since they share a tremendous amount of information that is required by different audiences. However, you need to offer a great experience; otherwise, it may affect your visibility and turn off potential students. Your website should be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate so that the audience can easily access the information that they require and have a great experience. Your site should also be fast and not crash when a large number of users appear, which irritates a lot of users. Regularly maintaining your website will encourage students to apply since they will consider your university to be reputable.
In summary, utilizing marketing strategies to gain an audience is necessary for every industry, and universities also need to follow specific marketing techniques if they successfully want to attract potential students. Universities should focus on creating a reliable brand so that students are willing to enroll there. Often the reputation of the university is tied with the success of their alumnus, students tend to select those universities which have a high employment rate. Such universities can also market themselves on social platforms that are visited by students and improve their websites.