Much like any other consumer focused brand, educational institutions have had to adapt their marketing strategies over the years to embrace the ever growing digital landscape.
Prospects are now scouring the web when considering their higher education options – it’s not a decision to be taken lightly, which is why it’s so important for this industry to be present and engaging across all digital channels.
Here are some ideas that could make your institution stand out from the crowd:
User Generated Content
Higher education can be a huge part of people’s lives. Not only are people looking for the best, most prestigious courses in their desired specialism, they are also looking into the overall ‘experience’ and lifestyle that a campus can offer.
This is where user generated content comes into its own – one of the best ways to demonstrate the overall ‘experience’ of a college or university is to encourage past and current students to share real opinions, stories and memories.. This can be in the form of testimonials on a website, pictures on social media, even videos on YouTube.
Remember today’s prospective students have grown up in a world of social media and UGC – it’s changing the way people interact with brands and is a hugely influential avenue to explore.
The below post from The University of Manchester demonstates this perfectly. This post was shared on a student’s channel, and subsequently shared on UoM’s feed too.
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Big changes are always daunting – or at least for me, it was. That is the reason why I’m really glad to have found a piece of home – tens of thousand km away from Jakarta. Cos then I would know that there are always familiar people with similar struggles as me – and those should be comforting. Let’s (try to) survive the year ahead, girls! 📸: @emeralputra
Interact via Social Channels
Interacting with your audience is easier than ever. Social media features such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Live have opened up a whole new way for educational institutions to communicate with potential students.
Hosting live Q&As, for example, can be a great way of reassuring prospects when it comes to any queries or doubts they may have before applying. Promote it like you would an event and drum up interest and enthusiasm before the live stream. Encourage people to tune in, submit their questions and spread the word. It’s such a great way of interacting with todays ‘digital natives’.
Below is another great example from The University of Manchester, who hosted a discussion with an international student about her experiences at the uni so far.
Email marketing is a powerful channel for any brand – but only if a careful segmentation strategy is put in place. This is especially true for educational institutions, who have such a variety of demographics and interests they need to target – one template certainly doesn’t fit all.
An obvious start would be segmenting your email list into course / subject preferences – very specific emails can then be sent to prospects with information relating to.
Other segmentation options could be age, location, financial situation etc. which could alter the way you communicate with your audience.
Also remember that it’s not just potential students that will be looking into higher education options – parents and high school teachers will be doing their research too, so if you can segment down to this level – even better.
So there you have it – 3 simple yet extremely effective ways for the education industry to stand out from the crowd. Easy to implement, and the results will speak for themselves. If you’d like to know more about digital marketing for the education sector, just get in touch.