Higher Education Marketing Trends
The higher education world is continuously undergoing through a revolution. The constant changes are affecting the students' thoughts and opinions regarding further studies and how they think and relate to particular institutions. What is more? Technology is changing and with the changes, come new modes of learning and therefore, higher education institutions including college and universities have to put up extra efforts in advertising.
Marketing can be overwhelming and frustrating at the same time. You have to be different and do better than your competitors if you want to grab your target audience's attention. You must invest in understanding the market and know the current trends. Below, we outline the top higher education marketing trends to make your advertising plans easier and help achieve your goals.
Traditional marketing has made it hard to measure the exact benefits that accrue from marketing. This is unlike marketing automation which has helped marketers to track digital interactions with the target audience; students. You can easily track how the campaign is doing from their first visit on your site to the time of their enrollment. This way, you can tell how many students visited your site within a particular period and how many converted to real customers by enrolling in your institutions. This is an excellent way to increase leads as it helps you know what precisely the visitors are looking for thus allowing you to tailor-make content to fit their specific requirements. If you are not an online institution or if you are doing your marketing campaign outside the digital dominion, you can still apply this trend to track your marketing efforts by checking things such as events attended and emails sent by prospect students who wish to join your institution.
Incorporation of Video Advertisement
It is evident that people prefer viewing images and watching videos to reading long sentences and paragraphs. If you were to put up a blog on one side and a video on the other portraying the same information, chances are, more people would watch the video than those who would read the blog. This also applies to higher education marketing. Videos make a better advertising tool than written words. Putting up a YouTube video increases the chance of people finding you, and if it is convincing enough, they might convert into actual leads.
Social Media Campaigns
Social media has been buzzing and nearly everyone today has a social media account in at least one of the platforms which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to mention a few. If you want to reach an incredibly large audience base, you cannot go wrong by leveraging on social media marketing. Students have dedicated most of their free time on social media and therefore if you put up your campaign there at least five people out of ten will most likely come across it, and three out of the five will be interested. How do you carry out a successful campaign on social media? For starters, you must understand your target audience and know where they are hanging out. If you are going for the youths, try Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube. If you are targeting the middle-aged students, Facebook and Twitter will be your best bet. If you are specifically targeting ladies, try Pinterest. From there, think outside the box and be creative with what you decide to put up out there. It could be a live video on Facebook or a campus visit on Snapchat. Make whatever you choose to be convincing enough.
Incorporation of Augmented Reality
With this trend, you can now give viewers a feel of reality and let them feel like they are already in the institution thus, giving them a composite view. You can easily create games and stories about your campus, show viewers the scenes, how students interact with the institutions and in the process, you can be assured you will attract new prospects. Note that with augmented reality, it does not mean that you have to exaggerate things and create traps to try and convince the audience. Instead, go for creating unique experiences for them by probably offering a virtual institution tour and providing visual information. It is easy but super effective.
Use of Email Marketing
Do you wish to create a personalized experience with your target audience? Personalization allows you to communicate better and makes the prospects feel like you are speaking directly to them. You will be sending a concise email that goes straight to the point thus increasing the chances that they will check it and gain interest in your school. It allows you to only send relevant information to the appropriate people and out of a hundred emails, there is a high chance that 60 of them will be read, 35 of the recipients will gain interest and 10 out of them will enroll in your institution.
Leveraging on Micro-Blogging
The goal of micro-blogging is to allow you to answer the frequently asked questions without offering too much irrelevant information. Most college students prefer reading short blogs that precisely explains to them what they want to hear rather than reading loads of pages looking for answers. You can start by putting up a poll on social media or your website asking them to ask any relevant questions they may have regarding your institution and higher education in general. You can then create a short blog explaining them one by one. Ensure that you tackle most of the overlooked areas that other institutions have probably ignored such as how life on campus is like, how to save while on campus or how to find a good roommate. By doing so, they will feel that you care about their overall well-being and they will gain interest in joining your school.
This is a business like any other, and you must, therefore, work on enhancing your visibility. You cannot make sales if you do not have customers and you cannot get customers if people are not aware of your existence. The most effective way of ensuring that people can find you quickly is by working on your website ranking and ensuring that it is on the top list on search engines. This is achieved by optimizing your website for SEO. Prospective students will most likely check the institutions that appear on the first page of a search engine, which is why you should strive to have your site among the top in searches.
These are some of the top trends which mostly focus on digital marketing, but that does not mean that the traditional marketers are left out. Others include using lecturers as a perfect marketing tool and allowing prospective students to interact with workers and other students first to understand the campus better. If you follow these trends, you will undoubtedly beat all odds in the marketing field.