Higher education organizations, both profit and non-profit, need integrated marketing strategies to drive brand awareness and enrollment.
Higher learning is struggling to meet their enrollment goals and often relaxed admission standard.
Modern-day technologies have a major impact on every aspect of our life. Having occurred some decade ago, internet marketing has become a detrimental factor in a successful business. Even universities started to utilize marketing strategies to attract more freshmen.
There are numerous opportunities to make people aware of what’s going on at your university using the Internet. There are also some rules regarding the ‘right’ way to interact with your subscribers to gain the most from your online presence.
Thus, in order for a higher education facility to have a successful marketing campaign, it is worth discussing the most effective approaches in 2019.
Optimize the website as a higher education marketing strategies
Every higher education institution has its website nowadays. Though, it is important to have it not for the sake of possession, but rather effectiveness. You may wonder, how to do that?
If your website is informative, has pictures, and is even search engine optimized, but there is no mobile version of it, then it is a waste.
Don’t get me wrong, but with the number of mobile devices out there, when everyone uses their cell-phones to access the Internet, there is no point in having only a desktop version of a website, no matter how good-looking and optimized in terms of SEO it is.
Thus, it is vital to make your website look properly on any common resolution out there: from 720×1280 to 1920×1080. Having done that, you will ensure the steady traffic growth from mobile devices like cell phones and tablets.
Choose the right social media
In the best possible scenario, you should be present at all social media platforms out there to ensure the maximum outreach. However, the more profiles you have in social networks, the harder it gets to manage all of them and thus making them useful.
If I asked you, ‘what are the most popular social media?’ You’d probably name Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, as one of the authoritative sources suggests, the first two are losing their popularity among the youth while being replaced by Snapchat and Instagram.
This does not mean that you should completely give up on Facebook and Twitter, of course. But what you should pay more attention to is to be, where your main audience is.
The task is, however, somewhat complicated, as both trending social media have different formats from those we are more used to. Though, with enough time and determination, you can figure it out as well.
While Snapchat is less suitable for official publications due to its nature, it’d be a good idea to focus on Instagram, especially due to its close integration with Facebook.
To ease the job for you, here are some things you should know about Instagram before creating your community there. Given that it is a mobile social network, the format of posts you make is different from those you make for PC users.
First of all, the photos should have an orientation of 4:3 and the videos should be vertically shot. Why? For your subscribers to see or watch them without having to rotate their phones and to clearly see what is posted.
Secondly, keep in mind that every video has its duration restricted to only 30 seconds, so what you’d want to do is to post some short announcements regarding upcoming events.
Finally, make use of hashtags to ease the search of the posts you make.
Don’t forget to use long-tail keywords – phrases that contain more than 3-4 words, custom college essay for students, college essay writing service are good examples of long-tail keywords. This may well result in increased brand awareness, but we’ll get back to it a bit later.
Have user-generated content
When it comes to materials, you share at your Facebook community, it’d be a great idea to let some of your users generate the content to reach specific audiences and to make education marketing more successful. For instance, if there is a chess club at your university, let its head or the most active players share the news and other materials for those who are interested in this game.
No matter how good at writing you are, you’d want to make all your publications natural and appealing. Thus, it is vital to have some content generated by users, to avoid the ‘writing fatigue’ and to attract more people with your diverse posts.
Create a brand
A brand means a public image, a thing that makes you stand out from the rest. It should be supported by marketing research, marketing plan, and marketing tactics explaining your product and service aligned with your target customer.
In the past, only the quality of provided education and reputation could make a brand from a university.
Just think of Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, Oxford. There are many more out there, but to follow their example is quite a lengthy process, and there’s no guarantee that such higher education marketing will be a success in the long run.
Luckily, you can make use of the Internet to create your own brand and to increase its public awareness. To begin with, there should be an eye-catching image of the crest attached to every social media profile your university has.
We’ve also mentioned hashtags above, and it is great to use them. But what you’d want to do is to create your own hashtag. Make it recognizable and leave under every post you make. Soon enough, your followers will start using it too, when they post something university-related.
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Use streaming services
These are also quite useful when it comes to promoting your university on social media. There are many options to go live nowadays, but Instagram and YouTube are the most advisable.
By using internet streaming services with higher education marketing strategies will help boost enrollment.
When it comes to Instagram, you can use it to go live from any conference, event or even lecture for your subscribers to join the live action.
Though, it’s rather inconvenient to store all your past live streams there because of several reasons. First, Instagram is still a mobile platform, and it may be inconvenient to watch lengthy videos that are vertically oriented.
Secondly, the network’s functional is not meant to do that, so there are no tools to edit your video, once it is stored there.
On the other hand, there is YouTube and YouTube Live. It is a platform that had been specially designed for sharing videos. Nowadays, there are many opportunities at your disposal, and going live is one of them.
Also, you can use your channel to store various videos dedicated to entertainment and academic events, too. Are there any online courses at your university?
Use your channel to host and store them for your students’ convenience. Finally, you can share your YouTube videos on other social media platforms to raise the activity there (by asking the viewers to comment, for example), which will have its positive effects, too.
Interact with your audience
We’ve already mentioned that it’d be good if you asked your audience to comment on your videos. What you should do from your side is the interaction. You need to show your subscribers that you care by replying to their comments. Maybe, you’d want to shoot a video answering the most common questions, too.
Also, monitor the comments on your social media regularly and try to answer incoming messages as soon as possible. For that, you might also want to hire somebody to handle the job.
You might also want to create some call-to-action posts or raise discussions to make your social media profiles active. If there are way too many questions, you might want to go live and answer them in real time. By doing so, you’d show your subscribers that you care, and the image of your university will boost as a result of that.
Make use of personalized communication
When there are too many incoming messages and inquiries on your social media profile, it is worth utilizing some automation to respond. What you should avoid, however, is the use of the same templates over and over.
You have to use 1:1 marketing for your higher education marketing strategies.
Of course, it is a sound idea to have some prepared answers to the most common inquiries, though try to make them as personal as possible. Use the name of the person who addresses you with their question.
Make the conversation itself less formal as you communicate through social media, right? Nobody wants to communicate with a robot, so even if you use automation, it should be solid to make your subscribers think that they talk to a real person.
Conclusion for higher education marketing strategies
In summation, it is worth saying that everyone’s on the Internet nowadays. Consequently, it is impossible to avoid it when it comes to marketing. In the article, we’ve discussed how various approaches could be utilized when you want to promote your university using the web.
Higher education marketing strategies listed here will help any higher leaning organization. Start today.
From graduate school to online learning, you must create marketing strategies focused on your target market and existing customers (typical new student, continuing educations, advanced degrees).
Use marketing efforts that involved these key elements: earned media, paid media (PPC), search engine optimization, content marketing, lead generation programs, sales funnels, CTA’s landing pages, and solid converting website.
The above cases and tips are not exhaustive, of course, and there are many other ways to have a successful internet marketing campaign. Though, the mentioned ones are vital, if you want not only to follow the trend but also to attract as many first-year students as possible.
About the author
Alyssa Johnson is a professional writer who knows a lot about the ways internet marketing works. Additionally, she is a blog writer, which allows her to communicate with those who are interested in SMM-related topics. In this post, she shares her view of how a university or a college can be successfully promoted on the Internet while using common internet marketing strategies.