Are you looking for effective higher education marketing strategies to boost enrollment? Despite the end of the pandemic, postsecondary student enrollment numbers remain lackluster.
Developing higher education marketing strategies, therefore, is critical to surviving the pressure of lower enrollment numbers. By next fall, institutions need to jump-start student interest, using higher education marketing to see an uptick in student numbers.
Let’s explore 10 higher education marketing strategies designed to boost enrollment. These strategies range from higher education advertising to generating traffic through SEO.
Here’s how you can boost your enrollment with effective college marketing strategies.
Higher Education Marketing Strategies
1. Produce educational SEO content
Search engine optimization is about improving your ranking in Google. You can rank higher using keywords and building backlinks, reaching more prospective students.
Keywords and backlinks are only half the battle, however.
Most important is the quality of your content. College marketing strategies don’t work if students think they’re getting the hard sell. You could discuss the admissions process, invite guests to write a piece, or explore some of the groundbreaking research taking place on campus.
2. Focus on long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords refer to low competition keywords that target a specific audience. They’re often a sentence in length, e.g., “best environment science courses in west Texas”. Students searching for these keywords often have high intent.
By ensuring you rank #1 for these keywords, you capture some of the most interested students looking for somewhere to study. You could write a blog post about these topics or sprinkle your long-tail keywords on a specific department page.
3. Build a social media audience
According to Pew Research, 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use social media – a prime audience for higher education advertising.
By producing creative, engaging, and informative content, you can build a following on social media, generating hype about your campus. You can talk about major days in the institution’s calendar, talk about admission, and what you can expect from attending.
Think about the kinds of posts you use – try competitions, surveys, and more to drive interactions. And consider investing in social media higher education advertising. Using compelling copy and ad design, you can get clicks and widen your reach.
4. Identify your target audience
Consider who your college marketing strategy is targeting. If a demographic is unlikely ever to attend, there’s no point in investing in a higher education marketing strategy.
Your target audience could be:
- High school students
- Undergraduates considering graduate school
- Adults students curious about higher education
Which college marketing strategy you employ depends on your target audience. You’ll want to talk about moving away from home and the value of a degree for high school students. In contrast, undergraduates will be interested in how a graduate degree could help them in their future careers.
5. Use follow-up emails
After a potential student attended an open day or expressed interest, send them a follow-up email. You can even personalize the content – 74% of marketers report that targeted personalization is one of the best ways to boost engagement.
Think: “Hi Jake. We’re excited to see you here next fall. Here’s what you need to do to apply.”
Indeed, most students say they’d rather receive information from colleges and universities via email compared to direct mail.
6. Start a podcast
Sixty-seven percent of podcast listeners are in the 18 to 44 age group. You can generate enthusiasm for your campus by speaking to students, exploring enrollment ideas, and even interviewing past alumni. Even better if the students themselves run the podcast – it’ll seem more natural than “official” higher education advertising.
7. Engage influencers and advocates
Influencers and advocates don’t have to be Instagram celebrities; they can be your existing students. Higher education marketing often means asking current students to post about the college, share social media posts, and provide testimonials and anecdotes.
Sprinkle these quotes throughout your landing pages, social media posts, and other marketing. There’s nothing like a fun, engaging anecdote to spark a potential student to apply to your institution.
8. Consider experiential marketing
Experiential marketing is all about memories. It’s a chance for potential students to have fun and interact with staff or current students.
It could be as simple as a food truck, or it could be a little more creative. Brock University, for example, launched their “Both Sides of the Brain” campaign, asking students to place an image over one side of their face. After the campaign, awareness of the university skyrocketed from 35% in 2008 to 78% a year later, and 88% in 2010. It was a wild success.
9. Optimize your website
Ensuring your website is attractive and user friendly is essential. Poor website design can rapidly turn students off an institution, creating an impression of low standards and unprofessionalism.
But optimizing your website also means going mobile. More and more internet searches are on mobile, with the youngest generations favoring mobile over desktop. Creating an interactive mobile UX means no matter where your students are, they can access your impressive site.
It can also drive you up the search rankings. Oh, and how fast the site loads is also vital. Slow sites with a poor user experience (UX) struggle to get ranked.
Recommended blogs: Branding VS Marketing: How Do They Work Together? and How Much Do Google Ads Cost? Your Google Ads Guide.
10. Create campus videos
Video content marketing is increasingly popular. With the rise of YouTube and short clips on social media, you can stand out from the crowd. Craft 30-second clips that explore campus life – from the fun to the educational. With TikTok now the most popular platform for Gen Z, generating video content can put you lightyears ahead of your competition.
Need Effective Higher Education Marketing Strategies?
Are you looking for more effective college marketing strategies to increase student enrollment? SEO and PPC are proven ways to reach potential students when they’re ready to make that critical decision! Contact Clicta Digital today for a free consultation.