The modern business landscape is continually evolving, adjusting to the forever changing needs of society. The higher education system has not been immune to such advancements, and like many other sectors, has diversified into an incredibly complex and large-scale industry.

While 40% of all school leavers now pursue undergraduate degrees, this was not always the case. In fact, during the early 1960s, a mere 4% of high school graduates enrolled in university. Such transformation is reflective of the ever-changing attitudes, expectations and aspirations of this demographic. However, it’s important to remember that these individuals aren’t the only people you’re trying to reach, with around 40% of students at university being over 25 years old.

In an increasingly competitive market, discovering new, exciting ways to strategically target members of your target audience is crucial. Effective education marketing can help you do just that, assisting your university or college in leaving a lasting, positive impact.

1. Build a brilliant, practical website

University websites are notoriously confusing, which is often a result of the substantial amount of information that needs to be made available to audiences. With an array of courses and units available, enrolment options, resources and the like, it’s no surprise that so many higher education providers struggle to create a website that’s both aesthetic and functional.

Building a visually appealing website that clearly reflects your establishment’s brand is, of course, crucial. However, it’s important to ensure that in doing this, you don’t compromise on the overall usability of your digital domains.

If potential or existing students are met with a website that is difficult to navigate, doesn’t have a responsive design, or takes an extended period of time to load, it’s likely that they’ll become overwhelmed and frustrated. If they’re yet to enrol at your university, a negative experience on your website might even deter them from submitting their application. Thus, ensuring your establishment’s digital domains make an impact and effectively encompass your branding, all the while remaining practical, is essential.

2. Leverage social media

90% of people aged between 13 and 24 years old use Snapchat, and a large portion of your target audience make up the tail end of this age bracket. In fact, in Australia, there are approximately 670,000 university students between the ages of 18 and 22.

41 per cent of Australian 19-year-olds are enrolled in higher education institutions.”

So, what does this mean for your establishment?

By leveraging social media platforms, such as Snapchat, your university can reach a diverse range of individuals in a personal, thoughtful way. Advertising can be seamlessly integrated into a user’s usual online activity, so you can directly target members of your audience without being overly disruptive and sparking annoyance.

In addition to this, social media marketing gives you the means to form personal connections with students or those considering their enrolment options. You can interact with individuals, address any queries they raise, share updates and, in the process of doing this, build your brand personality and a positive reputation.

To achieve the best results, your establishment needs to ensure that all of your education marketing messages are perceived as authentic and transparent. By sharing purposeful, relevant content, you can create an online student hub that’s both informative and engaging.

3. Share testimonials 

There are numerous doubts that potential students are likely juggling when weighing up their university options

Which establishment will do the best job of setting them up for a prosperous future? Is the course they’re interested in going to lead them towards their desired career path? What other opportunities, such as career guidance or extra-curricular activities, do you offer? By sharing real-life encounters that existing students and graduates have had at your university, you can help individuals overcome their doubts, all the while building a greater level of trust and authenticity.

“Statistics have confirmed that customer testimonials are the most effective form of content, coming in at an 89% effectiveness rating.”

Testimonials can be shared on your establishment’s website and social media, as well as being incorporated in your advertising efforts. They’re a genuine source of social proof and might just provide prospects with the assurance they need to take the next step towards becoming a student at your university.

4. Create personalised experiences

Personalisation is becoming an increasingly important component of marketing in the education sector, with individuals often being far more receptive when they’re exposed to highly relevant, targeted messages.

74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement.”

With personalised content, you can cater to each unique group of individuals that will likely be interested in your establishment. This gives you the opportunity to facilitate meaningful, memorable interactions between potential students and your university.

Whether you’re incorporating personalised videos, emails, communication or the like, it’s definitely worth exploring the benefits this incredibly powerful marketing tool could generate for your establishment.

Get expert guidance and advice today

The Lead Agency specialises in B2B digital marketing for establishments operating in the education sector. If you’re interested in boosting your audience’s engagement, building a strong brand, attracting more individuals to your university and retaining existing students, get in touch with one of our experienced education marketing consultants.

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