7 Digital Marketing Strategy for University & Colleges to Increase Enrollments
Technology has become an integral part of everybody’s life. We browse through Google every single time to find answers to our questions. Even students check career opportunities, fee structure, and reviews online before selecting the right college or university for their career. In this case, it becomes essential to adopt a digital marketing strategy for university to attract and engage students and get maximum enrollments.
Several academic institutions focus on restructuring and improving their traditional marketing strategies to jumpstart interest in their courses and degree programs. But, they fail to create a sturdy online enrollment strategy that could help them ace the admission game.
So, what can a college or university possibly do to gain credibility, boost enrollment, and fulfill quality demands? The strategies for digital marketing for colleges and universities in this blog post are an answer to your question.
Keep reading further to learn about the digital marketing strategy for colleges and universities and see what success looks like. Or, you can call us to implement a customizable strategy for your university.
Importance of Digital Marketing Strategy for University & Colleges
Let us take an example to understand the importance of strategies of digital marketing for colleges and universities in-depth.
Imagine you own an international college with promising infrastructure, syllabuses, teaching methodology, scholarships, and placement plans. You print and circulate the banners and brochures with images around the city.
The probability of your brochures reaching the students and parents is limited to the city. Interested people may or may not visit your college or share the information with others.
On the contrary, you can develop a comprehensive website with curriculum, photo and video galleries, fee structure, placement opportunities, and other amenities and launch a social media page to share information using other strategies for digital marketing for colleges and universities. It will generate the following results:
- You will generate loyal followers in the form of parents and students.
- They will go through the website and appreciate what they see.
- Your website will earn more organic clicks and reach a global audience.
- The student enrollments will increase as filling out the application form will be easier.
- The parents and students will share the information with others and boost your credibility and online reputation, leading to more admissions.
Now the choice lies in your hand whether you will choose traditional marketing or digital marketing to promote your college or university.
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategy for University & Colleges to Increase Student Admissions
Studies have shown that there has been a drastic increase in interest usage rates for education globally. And more than 87 percent of the students between 12 and 17 years of age use the web for research and learning. Hence, it is time for educational pioneers to leverage the fundamental strategies for digital marketing for colleges, expand their online reach, and convey useful information to students and parents.
Some of the digital marketing strategy for colleges and universities that would help you attract more students are:
1. Develop Student Personas
A successful digital marketing strategy for university includes understanding the target audience effectively. For this, it is significant to develop student personas.
These personas provide in-depth insight into the students’ motivations, thereby allowing more targeted and personalized outreach. But, how can you develop one for your university or college?
Like any other buyer personas, there are four stages of a student’s journey online. From the first stage to the last, it helps students at each point of college decision-making.
- Awareness Stage- In this stage, the students generally start their college search, gathering information about the process and understanding whether the college or university is appropriate for them. However, they do not consider different colleges seriously at this stage.
- Consideration Stage- The prospects at this stage actively seek colleges and universities and demand more information about a particular college.
- Decision Stage- The final stage is when the student has decided on a college or university and is ready to apply.
- Enrollment Stage- In this stage, the students still have to think if they want to continue with XYZ College or University.
After you have identified the information a student asks in different stages, it becomes easier to segment them into personas. A student persona should include the following details:
- Full name and a short biography
- Demographics, such as age, gender, and parents’ income level.
- Challenges, motivations, and goals.
- Sources for information.
- And much more.
Thus, by understanding the needs of the students at different points in time, colleges and universities can use student personas as a digital marketing strategy for university and colleges to reach prospective students.
2. Build a Responsive Website
When prospective student thinks of selecting a university or college, they always start with online research. Hence, your online identity is one of the giant factors that decide whether a potential applicant will request further information about the college or university.
According to a study, 52 percent of students rate a university’s website to be the most influential aspect of their decision-making process.
Hence, it is essential to build a user-friendly, informative, and mobile-optimized website that is responsive and visually appealing. You can develop content ideas that read well on different screen sizes and browsers and enables easy contact through phone or email. Your college or university website should also include:
- A useful navigation bar that includes student login, notice, calendar, alumni, and social links.
- Brief about the history, facilities, and achievements in the About Section.
- Academic and admission information.
- Events and Notice
- Admission or inquiry forms, and much more.
A responsive website as a strategy for digital marketing for colleges and universities not only shows that your college or university is up-to-date but also lets you reach students more effectively.
3. Utilize the Power of Social Media
Social media is yet another best strategy for digital marketing for colleges and universities. But, do you know what is the reason behind it? It is simply because today’s generation practically lives on social media.
Over 50 percent of college students use social media to discover higher education institutes. On the contrary, 16 to 24 years old students spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes on social media every single day.
Through social media, it becomes easy for you to reach and connect with them at all times. You can use different social media platforms to help potential students understand the feeling of what being in a university looks like.
Some of the most used social media platforms you can use to implement social media marketing strategies for colleges are as follows:
Instagram is a very useful and aesthetic way of reaching out to the community of prospects, enrolled students, and alumni. This image-sharing platform is widely popular among students, making it a perfect place for implementing a digital marketing plan for university.
The platform can be used to post awesome content, like shots of campus buildings, live-action pictures of sports games, vibrant graphics promoting college or university-sponsored campaigns, and much more.
Several universities use Facebook to attract new enrollees, get more transfer students, and communicate with their current student bodies. They are at top of the game in using this platform.
Apart from posting just the pictures of their campus, they are leveraging it to promote their campus culture, share students/alumni stories, boast their accolades, and offer opportunities to followers to engage with contests and shareable content.
This way, you can also consider Facebook as one of your strategies for digital marketing for colleges and universities. It aids you to present a compelling case of why students should make your university a top priority.
For example, the Facebook Page of Symbiosis Institute Of Business Management, Hyderabad has shared a lot of things that can immediately make it the only choice of the students.
The current college student demographics revealed that a majority of the students are part of Gen Z. If you want to reach out to Gen Z online, Youtube tends to be a highly beneficial social media platform. It is because 90 percent of these students are hyperactive on this social media platform. This statistic is enough to show that social media attracts students and boosts enrollment. But, how can you use Youtube as a digital marketing strategy for colleges?
After all, it is not only about the videos you make but the way you present them on the platform. How you take advantage of the platform’s features also plays a significant role.
So, if you want to create more engagement opportunities among enrollees, you need to:
- Make application how-to videos (including basic admission requirements, tips for writing a college admission essay, information concerning tuition costs, etc.).
- Produce edutainment shorts.
- Publicize lectures and featured speakers.
- Offer highlights concerning life inside the campus.
- Segment the videos into playlists, like recent news, students’ life, how to apply and financial assistance, success stories, and student and professor profiles.
Here is how the International Institute of Technology, Kharagpur takes complete advantage of Youtube marketing to promote its culture, activities, and the overall university.
LinkedIn has become one of the fastest-growing networks of professionals, having over 830 million members in 200 countries and regions.
Provided that two members sign in to LinkedIn every second, the platform is highly potential for digital marketing for colleges.
With the help of this platform, you can build relationships with prospective students, current students, and even alumni. After discovering the website, it is the first platform the student like to explore. Therefore, it is significant to make your Linkedin University Page perfectly optimized with your college’s logo, overview content, address, phone number, location, size, specialties, etc.
You can also implement the following tips to acquire the most out of the platform:
- Using a photo gallery or video to showcase the life of the campus as this type of content get the most engagement.
- Setting up a group for student-alumni networking. The group can cover topics like resume writing, interviewing, and providing job search strategies.
- Utilizing Alumni Tool to acquire valuable information for your university’s marketing team.
4. Share Curated Content on Your Website
Selecting a college is a time-consuming and lengthy process for students. The process includes academic programs, living arrangements, career opportunities, and extracurricular opportunities, which can lead to a rise in several doubts along the way.
Having curated content on the college or university website clarifies the students’ doubts and keeps the university’s name in their thoughts. Following are some of the content types you can include in your strategy for digital marketing for universities or colleges:
How-to guides are considered the most effective tool for content. With the help of such guides, students can attain information about their relevant subjects. They can also acquire different college etiquette and admission procedure. For instance, creating a blog on the topic, “How To Apply For Engineering?” can help them in deciding the steps they should take to apply for engineering in your college or university.
eBooks are long content pieces that are written for educational purposes. It acts as additional study material for specific subjects and proves to be extremely helpful for the students.
Newsletters are another content type you can include in your digital marketing strategy for university. It involves sending informative articles about recent changes in the education system, the latest educational and professional opportunities, and scientific discoveries via email. These types of articles can be accessed both by students and professors. This way, they remain updated on the changes in the educational and professional environment.
5. Invest in SEO Practices
Only creating content is not the only process of digital marketing for colleges and universities. Indeed, you need to use correct SEO practices to make them reach out to the appropriate target audience. With Google dominating as an omnipotent in the search landscape, the ranking of your college or university website on the Google search results page matters more.
Today, every university or college provides the facility of applying to the desired course online. All of these make it imperative for universities and colleges to implement SEO strategies as a part of digital marketing for colleges.
From keyword research to optimizing the website, universities or colleges should prioritize SEO tactics to rank higher on the search engine results page.
6. Generate Brand Awareness through Display Advertising
The days are gone when billboards are used for promoting a college or university. It is the era of digital ads now. In fact, digital ads are considered 35 percent more effective than conventional billboard ads.
Display advertising is among the best digital marketing strategy for university and colleges as it helps generate brand awareness among the target audience. The universities can also place display ads on different websites with high traffic to increase their reach. Google Display Network is one of the third-party websites with over 2 million that allows universities and colleges to display their ads.
With the help of Google Display Network, you can target prospective students based on their search histories and reach around 90 percent of the global audience.
7. Nurture Students through Email Marketing
Several universities and colleges have refused to utilize email marketing because they think this digital marketing strategy for college has become obsolete. But, it is not the case.
Email marketing is still very popular and a highly reliable digital marketing strategy for university. However, if not executed properly, it can be dumped into spam.
So, how can you make your email get noticed by your prospective students? You have to create personalized content to email your student leads and increase your engagement rates.
You can leverage AI-powered email programs like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and much more to carry out your email marketing campaigns effectively. With the help of these programs, you can decipher the best time to send emails according to previous data or open rates.
The sole purpose of every university is to educate future leaders. To do so, it is crucial to have a digital marketing strategy for university in place. By incorporating these ideas of digital marketing for colleges and universities, you can increase awareness, engagement, and student enrollment.
With that said, it has become arduous to implement the digital marketing strategy for colleges and universities these days. In case you want to take the help of a professional strategist who can help you chalk out the plan, you can hire Incrediwire to do the job for you.