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Top 10 Higher Education Marketing Techniques to Look Forward in 2019
It came into notice due to the slump in enrollment of the undergraduate students in the US universities and the other universities present all over the world. Thus, higher education marketers are dealing with immense pressure in order to come up with innovative and fresh techniques to get the business going.
Subsequently, we have compiled the top 10 new-fangled higher education marketing techniques that you must check out if you are a marketer yourself.
1. Unify the marketing campaign
Consolidating and bringing the scattered aspects of marketing campaign together produces effective results. In higher educating marketing program, the budgets are spread into different sections that create a devolved environment. A webinar took place at the University of Albany where Vice-President Joe Brennan said that the higher education marketing program can get a lot more efficient if the marketing expenses are consolidated.
However, it is not applicable to every institution, yet there must be a place where everyone could meet and discuss the ongoing higher education marketing campaign.
The different sections work independently, without feeling the need for discussing the campaign, therefore the techniques keep on recurring every year. So, it is important to discuss and evolve.
2. Keep on tracking the marketing campaign
It has become really easy in the present day to keep a track on the marketing campaign because of the updated mechanization and the use of robotics. Each and every single aspect is now being monitored 24/7. The web interactions of the potential students are tracked thoroughly in order to find out which student actually made into the institution.
National College of Ireland witnessed a 247% upsurge in the leads due to the fact that they optimized their web content to the kind of visitors they receive on their web portals. Subsequently, such improvements occur when you inculcate a mechanized approach in your higher education marketing program.
Tracking is not always done digitally. Rather, tracking could take place outside the digital world also. For example, you might conduct an open house where you invite prospective students, other events could also take place for student-institution interaction. So, in this way, you can easily track the number of prospective students that attended the events, making the higher education marketing strategy quite meaningful.
3. Personalize the e-mail messages and optimize the content through artificial intelligence (AI)
Sending marketing e-mails to prospective students is one of the best methods to engage your target audience. However, there is a high chance that your potential student might not be reading the e-mails at all. These e-mails might be going into the junk just because of the repetitive content of the e-mail.
Go ahead and construct tailor-made, bespoke and personalized e-mail messages that suit your target audience.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed marketing strategies. Similarly, higher education marketing program could also be benefitted by AI. There is a platform known as Seventh Sense through which machine learning is used to recognize the optimal time to send e-mail messages to every person who has got in touch with your email messages previously.
In this way, e-mail message timings are improved and the chances of getting a reply increase as well. Another important aspect of Seventh Sense is that it lets you know regarding the person who is not interested in interacting with you anymore. Thus, you are able to save your precious time by sending messages to only those who are likely to respond.
4. Step into the digital world and sway through numbers
As a higher education marketing consultant, if you are not stepping into the digital world, you are failing big time. You have to realize the importance of the digital world in the current era. Start with making your institution’s accounts on a number of social media platforms, provide an abundance of ease to the prospective students in getting in touch with the university and make sure that you are launching innovative solutions for the students every now and then.
In a survey conducted by Woodbury University, it was found out that the marketing campaign that was highly integrated with social media was able to increase website visitors by 4000% [Source].
The prospective students are always interested in knowing the stories of the university’s alumni. A successful and well-built higher education marketing program consists of excellent, appealing and influencing stories of the former students who gained fame while they were studying. Facts and figures always fascinate prospects.
Gripping accounts of former students, famous professors, and an amazing current faculty must be showcased into the higher education marketing strategy for massive triumph.
5. Live Streaming
Live streaming events, QnA sessions and other important news is a great method to involve the potential students in every phase that is initiated by the university. Students feel a lot closer to the university when they are involved in such live streaming sessions conducted on a variety of platforms such as Facebook Live, IG TV, Video Chat for Snapchat, Periscope for Twitter and a few others as well. These are the main big names for conducting a live stream.
Through a live stream, you would actually be connected with the prospective students. For example, you can start a live stream based on a single topic. Then, you can ask the prospective students to engage with you through the live stream and ask whatever they are willing to on the ongoing topic. Live streaming is a great way of producing constructive engagement so it must be considered vital for any higher education marketing program.
6. Segmentation of the target audience
Mainly students are the target audience in higher education marketing campaign. Nonetheless, there are a number of students that you could target but the demographics, tastes, likes and dislikes and many other factors differ greatly. So, it is important to segment the target audience in order to reach them in an effective manner. When you would segment the target audience, it would be painless for you to focus on every single aspect of the targeted audience.
Stafford Global, in one of the study, said that the prospects of USA and Canada wish to receive a message first before receiving a call. On the other hand, prospects of the Middle East and Africa favored receiving a call first.
So, this is how you could tackle the diverse needs of diverse prospects.
According to the Parthenon Group, there are six segments of university students. These segments are given below:
- Coming of Age: Confused prospective students that are yet to decide whether which career path to choose. They are also aged around 18-24.
- Aspiring Academics: Traditional students that are aged around 18-24, having an extraordinary academic background.
- Career Accelerators: Those prospective students who are already working but want to excel in their specific field. These segment of students are most likely to choose online studying programs.
- Career Starters: Prospective students aging around 18-24 who are enthusiastic about building their careers and are considering university as a launchpad for their journey.
- Academic Wanderers: The prospective students who get into the university in the later stages of their life. They are moving ahead without having any particular field in consideration. However, they are of this thinking that a degree might change their fate for good. Mostly, such prospects are unemployed or have a lower income.
- Industry Switchers: Older prospective students who are not satisfied with their current field. So, they want to change their career paths in order to have more opportunities and more growth.
Above-mentioned are a few segments of the university prospective students’ segments. These segments clearly provide a framework for the higher education marketing consultant so that he/she can stitch a much better and a catchy marketing program.
7. Measure the KPI’s
There are a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that must be tracked and measured thoroughly. Only those KPIs are good enough that could be formulated and measured without any difficulty. A few of them are given below:
Response Rates: Are your visitors being responsive to the tactics? Are they providing the information that has been asked?
Traffic: Are you receiving the number of traffic that you are rooting for?
Physical interaction: Are the prospective students making a physical visit to the campus?
Selling forms and stuff: Are the prospective students interested in buying the forms for admission purposes?
Social Media Coverage: Are your prospects reaching out to you on social media platforms?
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) must be formulated in a precise and straightforward manner so that you are able to analyze the results. Therefore, new milestones would be formed when an accurate outcome will be delivered through the formulated KPIs.
8. Impact of Social Media
Every now and then the impact of social media is discussed for achieving the right results from a higher education marketing campaign. Social media platforms are the places where you are going to get the most of the prospects. So, integrate social media effectively in your campaign and indulge in the following strategies:
- Create Social Media Accounts: Make sure that you have created social media accounts on every single platform for extended reach.
- Put up pictures: Put pictures of your campus, record every event and upload daily updates for involving more and more prospects.
- Use hashtags: Nowadays, all the trendsetters come up with unique and lively hashtags. So, create hashtags for better awareness.
- Display the social life of the university: Be unique and showcase the social life of the university. Social media platforms are available 24/7 so that you can do whatever you think is right for a higher education marketing strategy.
Invite every member of the faculty to create a social media account: Every student wants to interact with their professors freely and without any hassle. So, when the entire faculty would have their respective social media accounts, the prospective students and the current students would be able to interact in an easy-going environment.
- Facebook groups: Facebook groups are a great way of involving a bunch of students that have similar interests. There are a number of ideas of Facebook groups such as a group consisting of all the students who are taking part in the annual sports festival, a group having all those students that are aspiring to become a part of the university, a group of 2019 batch of Arts students and many other groups could be created for much more engagement and interaction.
- Social Media Representatives: Representatives and ambassadors could be created for a particular university. These representatives and ambassadors would represent the university on social media. A persuading impression is put on the prospective students who judge the university on the basis of what is being represented by the ambassadors.
Flagler College has a team of enthusiastic ambassadors who manage the content that is being put on the YouTube Channel of the college. Through the juicy and flavorful content, they act as influencers for those who are wanting to get into the university.
So, this is how social media change the way of any higher education marketing campaign. Basically, social media drives a marketing strategy forward. Without social media, no one can ever stitch a perfect campaign.
Websites are the main gateway through which the prospective students enter the university. Smartphones, being an easy to hold and a convenient device are replacing laptops and Desktop Computers quite conveniently.
Mobile phones have managed to surpass laptops and desktop computers in terms of usage. Students search for universities through their smartphones mostly. So, if the website is not mobile-friendly, chances are that your website might be skipped over. Therefore, build the content of your website while keeping in mind that 1 out of 5 millennials uses their smartphones for browsing data online.
In 2019, if you are looking to generate a hard-hitting impression, then a mobile-friendly website is the only option to go for. However, aim to build a website that is applicable for all kinds of platforms. A user-friendly website is what you must target to achieve.
10. Instant responses through chatbots
Through surveys and studies [Source], it was found out that around 60% of the prospective students expect a reply from the university within the same day of submitting a form.
There are chatbots like Drift through which you can initiate a conversation by automating the initial steps before moving the conversation to an actual person. Drift platform conducted a study in which it was stated that chances of interaction fall 10 times, after five minutes, if a reply is not provided. So, chatbots make it super easy to swiftly provide a response.
Higher education marketing is not a tranquil and an easy-going job. It requires a lot of efforts and skills to be put up. Consequently, if you lose a chance to reply instantly, then some other institution might get lucky. Thus, build intuitive and interactive chatbots so that you can reply to the queries of the prospects within a few seconds.
Higher Education Marketing Strategy and its Application in the year 2019
Coming towards the end, the most important thing to take into consideration is that repetitiveness and recurring strategies never work. New aims, new goals, and new techniques must be formulated for higher education marketing program to be famous among the prospective students. As you have progressed into 2019, it is high time that you mend your ways for greater productivity and fruitful business.
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