The integration of technology in every sector of the economy has tremendously benefitted society. Not only are industries performing better and efficiently, but they are growing at an exponential rate.
Similarly, technological innovations have improved the quality of learning in the educational sector and provided vast opportunities to expand globally. As students have more exposure to information now, they can make informed decisions regarding their academic career. Some students search for high school diplomas with additional credentials, while others search for specialized degrees to get lucrative jobs.
But what if students can’t find educational institutes online that meet their needs? Since educational institutes deal with Generation Z – the tech-savvy students, having a robust digital presence is inevitable. Without digital marketing, spreading awareness about academic programs and your institute is next to impossible. After all, pamphlets, billboards, or other conventional marketing tactics won’t captivate the savvy generation.
Thus, drafting an excellent marketing strategy, leveraging social media, SEO, email marketing, and personalization can open doors to new opportunities – giving your school a competitive edge.
The following are the Top Ten Digital Marketing Strategies for Educational Institutes.
1. Develop Student Personas
Before kicking off any marketing campaign, apprehend your target audience. Although you are targeting students, all of them have different goals and ambitions. While some are into business, others want to become social workers. Therefore, take time to create the ‘ideal’ student for each program and dive into their unique characteristics. After gathering insights, look into topics you should cover to educate students about their opportunities. This proactive approach will let you send targeted ads to potential students, increasing the chances of conversions.
2. Improve Search Engine Visibility
In the 21st century, Google has been every student’s best friend. In addition to offering academic help, Google is helping students find educational degree programs. As the global pandemic has led to educational institutes’ closure, many students search for online learning opportunities to continue education.
And if you want a higher ranking for your university’s web page, then optimize your webpage for the search engine. You can make your webpage mobile-friendly, adjust the loading speed, and use interactive content. All these elements act as ranking factors, putting your institute on the top results.
3. Address Gaps In Communication Strategy
When choosing an educational institute, students consider many factors – programs, faculty, admission procedure, and fee structure. But at times, educational institutes only give out partial information that reduces enrollment rates. For instance, a student signing up for a cybersecurity course cannot find the fee structure per semester. Then he/she would click the back button. Hence, focus on bridging these communication gaps in your digital marketing strategies. You can communicate all details across digital channels and engender confidence in potential students.
4. Leverage Video Marketing
These days, people interact with videos more than any other form of content. So, why not captivate students with some digital storytelling components? You can record the day-to-day campus life, interview students about sports, or delve into extracurricular activities. It helps potential students determine whether your school is the right fit for them or not. Besides this, adding a video to your website’s landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
5. Stay Ahead Of The Chatbot Wave
Unfortunately, the global lockdown due to Covid-19 doesn’t make walk-in appointments possible. As a result, students will be bombarding the voice messages, emails, and other communications channels with their queries. Instead of burdening the administration, consider automating the communication process. Artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbots can help students find information readily. It can answer questions, drive site navigation, and facilitate new applicants.
6. Personalize Digital Experience
In the 21st century, you are dealing with smart audiences. After all, students can readily recognize when the content is a marketing scheme. Therefore, you have to personalize the communication flow with students.
Firstly, leverage customer relationship management (CRM) software to divide students into segments. It unfolds their expectations, helping you tailor content based on student persona. Likewise, you can send personalized emails to students applying for programs. It nurtures prospective students, increasing enrollment rates.
7. Engage With Students On Social Media
As per Statista, 75% of 18-24-year-olds use Instagram and Facebook. Similarly, these social forums are quite popular among teens and preteens. Therefore, utilize social media to reach your target audience. In addition to being cost-effective, prospective students can learn more about your institute. Upload pictures of your campus, dorm room, or courtyard to let prospective students envision their life on-campus.
Moreover, you can employ creative initiatives like a student social media takeover. You can give the social media handle to an existing student to showcase intimate moments of campus life.
8. Generate Compelling Content
Unsurprisingly, content holds the power to make your brand known globally. How about you build a content marketing campaign? Once you have a keen understanding of your target audience, dig into their interests and preferences.
For instance, if a prospect is interested in criminal justice, write articles and blogs on it. You can create topics relating to the ‘importance of criminal justice lawyers in 2021’ or ‘job prospects for criminal lawyers.’ Similarly, you can follow societal trends as they fuel new ideas, increasing engagement with students through relatable content.
9. Host Live Sessions
Since conducting open houses or meet and greets is impossible in the pandemic, you can host live sessions on social media. Every top leading forum – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, offers the live chat option. You can inform students about the purpose, time, and date of the live session beforehand. Schools can use this as a digital marketing strategy to talk about their programs, showcase campus, or any other events. At the same time, live sessions will let you answer questions students have regarding the programs or institute.
10. Optimize Email Marketing
Emails have become a professional mode of communication. All businesses email newsletters and promotional offers to their customers since people tend to check their mail every day. So don’t forget to launch an email marketing campaign! Use social media or gated content to build an email list and then start sending updates to students. If someone visited your site, send them a reminder to turn a lead prospect into a customer. Most importantly, use eye-catchy subject lines to capture attention and greet students to make them feel special.
Most businesses have converted their operations online due to the pandemic. Therefore, it is easier for educational institutes to follow suit and develop a powerful yet effective digital marketing strategy. That way, the students will be encouraged to complete their studies online and have better career opportunities.
Featured image credit: Unsplash.com
Ethan Lark is a Marketing, and Technology blogger who spends his entire day writing quality blogs. He is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with his friends and followers.