Universities and other higher education providers are continuously looking for new ways to attract students. Students are a great target audience in terms of ROI as they are looking to make a significant investment in their education. In order to successfully attract them to your higher education facility over your competitors, a comprehensive education marketing strategy is necessary.
In most cases, students will be fresh from school or in the 18-25 age bracket, which means they are digital natives who have grown up with exposure to a number of digital channels and ad formats. Targeting such a digital-savvy audience involves an innovative approach to marketing that adopts current trends and follows them as they evolve.
The following are some of the most effective ways to market your higher education facility.
Smartphone addiction is real, and it is everywhere around us. The average consumer spends more than 5 hours a day on their smartphone, and this amount increases for younger audiences. There is now more Internet traffic coming from smartphones than from any other device. This means that any digital assets your higher education institution has and any campaigns that it runs should be optimised for mobile.
The higher education market typically targets high school and university transfer students, so your campaign should be created around where they are spending their time on mobile. For example, social media is likely to be an important channel for this demographic. It’s also important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly so that if the audience does click on an ad on their mobile, they are taken to a page designed for mobile user experience.
Focus on SEO
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. When it comes to large purchases, like education, 81% of people will perform some type of online research before making a purchase. It’s important to be there when the prospect starts looking around for higher education options. The best way to do this is with an SEO strategy. SEO is the process of optimising your education website so that it ranks on search engine results pages. It involves using certain keywords and phrases on the website that students will use while they are searching for higher education.
Remember when optimising your website that while your higher education institution may have a unique name, students who are first researching where to study won’t be searching based on the name. They will be typing in the subjects that they want to specialise in and the courses that they are interested in. You should try to optimise your website accordingly. For example, target terms like ‘Bachelor of Business’ and even longer tail keyword terms that stem from this such as ‘Bachelor of Business in Melbourne,’ rather than simply using the name of your institution.
Offer 360° Online Tours
Not many universities have fully committed to this strategy as of yet, so those that are fast-moving may gain a competitive edge. For many students, it can be difficult to take time out of their work or current studies to travel to a potential higher education provider, particularly if it is far from their home. By creating a 360° online tour, you can give them a feel for what the campus is like, without them having to travel to it. This saves the student a lot of time and effort while still giving them the opportunity to look around and keep your establishment on their list as one of their options. It is expected that more universities and colleges will start to adopt this tactic to attract more potential students. Some may even use this kind of technology to map out their entire campus.
Use Video Ads
More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day, with the millennial age group watching the most online videos. As people lead busier lives than ever before, they are spending less time reading content and more time watching videos.
Universities and other higher education facilities are starting to take note of this and are beginning to use video to get their message to their audience. Short video ads give prospective students a quick snapshot of the university without having to sort through loads of information online. After seeing an engaging and convincing video ad, they are more likely to look deeper into your content to find out more about your facility when they have more time to do so.
Promote Online Learning
As students’ lives fill up with part-time jobs and other commitments that make it infeasible for them to get to campus, they are using online classes to facilitate their education. As such, more universities and other higher education providers are creating online learning courses. These online courses can be part of a higher education facility’s value proposition to help them attract new students.
For more information on education marketing for your facility, get in touch with the team at The Lead Agency today. We’ve worked with a number of higher education institutions and can apply our knowledge of the industry to attract students to your university or college.
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