Over the past few years, the education industry has seen a number of notable changes. Exciting opportunities have been unveiled with modern marketing strategies.
The education realm is constantly evolving. Educational institutions must watch for new trends and technologies to keep up with the continuously changing landscape. Students have become tech-savvy, digitally connected, and much more aware.
To create a highly effective marketing strategy, education marketers must be aware of the latest education marketing tips and examples that can be incorporated to deliver timely messages to the right people.
Here’s why you need to consider why it’s important:
- Establish brand voice tone and maintain community consistency with high-quality content across platforms.
- Building trust and credibility among existing and prospective students who have never heard about your school or university.
- Building relationships by connecting prospective students through storytelling and word-of-mouth.
- Generating organic traffic through search engine algorithms and achieving enrollment goals.
- Achieve cost-effectiveness by maximizing ROI and long-term financial results for the institutes.
But what is setting you apart?
This post will help you explore the top 10 marketing tips and examples for higher education marketers to improve student engagement, boost enrollments, and strategize student recruitment.
Here’s what we’ll unlock in this blog:
- Developing a Consistent Brand Voice
- Establishing a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
- Engaging in Content Marketing (Blogs, Videos, Webinars)
- Highlighting Success Stories and Testimonials
- Addressing Common Educational Concerns and FAQs
- Collecting and analyzing Student Demographics
- Engaging with Industry Influencers and Thought Leaders
- Hosting Joint Events and Workshops
- Broadcasting Live Q&A Sessions and Webinars
- Hosting Virtual Campus Tours and Orientation
10 Effective Education Marketing Tips
Educational institutions that provide education services require marketing strategies just like any other business to outperform the competition.
Here’s a rundown of 10 highly effective education marketing tips fundamental for the education industry.
1. Developing a Consistent Brand Voice
In today’s crowded place, you need a point of differentiation that helps you stand out. Creating a brand voice tone is the most basic and essential part of your education marketing strategy that sets your schools apart from the competition and resonates with your audience.
A powerful and consistent brand voice cannot go unnoticed. It helps prospective students to identify and quickly connect with the brand, creating brand advocates.
Here are some tips for building your brand’s voice:
- Brand voice must be aligned with your institute’s mission and vision
- Develop a buyer persona as an inspiration for your brand voice
- Review your best-performing content to take note of what your audience resonates with
- Determine a dos and don’ts list for your brand and stick to it
- If necessary, hire a higher education marketing agency or professionals to take your brand game to the next level
Here are some examples from the educational institutions and what their brand voice is like:
- Boston University – Vibrant, smart, bold, and authentic
- University of Guelph – Thoughtful, thought-provoking, inclusive, inviting, colloquial, conversational, friendly, and authoritative
- University of Norte Dame – Focused, timeless, motivating, powerful and truthful
Building strong relationships and emotional connections with your audience requires developing and maintaining a strong brand voice.
2. Establishing a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Vague statements like ‘our academics are the best in the state’ or ‘our faculty-to-student ratio is 10:1’ get lost in the crowd. You must communicate your unique value proposition to engage your target audience.
Establishing a UVP that explains why an applicant should choose your school and not any other will help you win the game. This requires understanding your ideal prospective students, their pain points, goals, and how your school can help them accomplish these goals.
Consider these characteristics when developing a UVP:
- Concise statement
- Defines what you do
- Resolves paint point
- Consistency across platforms
- Answer the question: Why your school?
- Backed up social proof
But do you know how to craft a UVP that hits the right cords? Here’s what you can do:
- Put yourself in the student’s shoes and start analyzing an ideal student you aspire to attract.
- Consider their motives for choosing a particular school and identify emotional and rational reasons for making the decision.
- Realign your beliefs and notable selling points, and narrow down characteristics that distinguish your school.
- Re-evaluate your final UVP and how your school fulfills the promise to the prospective students in the long term.
3. Engaging in Content Marketing
Anyone can create content. But content without purpose and goal in mind is useless.
Fresh and engaging content can drive traffic to your site and retain prospective students. Content marketing strategies for educational institutions help them attract prospective students’ attention and fuel engagement.
We’ve come up with a few content marketing tips that ensure engagement.
- Be original, authentic, and confident
- Create actionable content with metrics
- Give accurate and factual information
- Incorporate elements of storytelling
- Keep your audience engaged with thought-provoking content
- Use visuals, as pictures speak more than words
- Hook your audience with a mix of content
For example, MBA Voices is the Harvard Business School blog that provides prospective students insight into academics, student success, faculty, programs, campus life, research, and all other important areas.
Source: MBA Voices
For example, the University of Hertfordshire has a YouTube channel that shares relevant and consistent video content for the targeted audience. This video content enables the University to keep their students updated and on-trend, add perspective, and entice them to make decisions.
Source: University of Hertfordshire
You already know the need for social media marketing for higher education. But you need to know webinars conducted via social media or shared on the platform can immensely impact your school.
You need to promote your events on social media to expand your reach and generate massive clicks.
For example, the University of Manitoba shared a series of Fall Webinars for alums, professionals, and graduate students in AI. This required registration before attending the webinar.
4. Highlighting Success Stories and Testimonials
Highlighting success stories and testimonials can do wonders if you seek ways to boost student trust and credibility toward your educational institutions.
Social proof is one of the main elements in marketing educational services worldwide. Prospective students need to know the real scenarios and want insights about the school. Follow these tips to create a success story database:
- Create a centralized content document to organize stories
- Categorize stories based on academic, sports, community, scholarship, and other milestones
- Maintain the database by ensuring it stays up-to-date and periodically new stories are added
Once you’ve sorted the stories and created a centralized system, you can now take advantage and leverage stories that will have the most impact on prospective students. Also, there are different ways to highlight these stories and testimonials for existing and future students. Some of the best practices include:
- Creating videos of students sharing their stories
- Having a student blog section on the website
- Showcase student achievements on social media
- Feature alum section on the website and LinkedIn
- Conduct live sessions with graduate students
For example, the University of Newcastle has created an Insta handle specifically for the alum network and community, where they share their life updates, achievements, and success stories. This helps the University boost credibility, gain engagement, and drive enrollment.
Source: University of Newcastle Alumni
5. Addressing Common Educational Concerns and FAQs
Another key concern for prospective students is addressing common educational questions and queries. At this point, the admission department is usually responsible for such questions, and it is the best time to put in all efforts, address their concerns, and clear the pathway to enrollment.
For example, the Royal Docks School of Business and Law at UEL launched a series of videos, clearing FAQs, allowing the students to ask questions, and the University will answer in a video.
6. Collecting and Analyzing Student Demographics
Scaling marketing requires a clear understanding of the latest and modern enrollment trends in higher education. For this, higher education marketers must collect and analyze student demographics. This will give a detailed insight into creating a student persona and set a target audience for the school to direct all marketing activities towards.
Demographic data for an educational institution will include:
- Education level
- Residential environment
- Work experience
Data-driven marketing strategies will help educational institutions make better plans to attract and retain students and generate ROI.
7. Engaging with Industry Influencers and Thought Leaders
Collaborating with industry influencers and thought leaders can take educational services marketing to the next level. It is one of the most valuable tools used to build credibility. As prospective students perceive positive about a thought leader or influencer, their trust is automatically transferred to the brand.
Here’s how it works:
- Identify the suitable topics and audience
- Choose influencers and leaders that suit the best
- Determine goals with them
- Create high-quality content
- Leverage digital channels to share snippets
- Measure and demonstrate the impact
- Evaluate ROI
For example, the University of South Florida has launched a groundbreaking program where students, faculty, and partners collaborate with industry thought leaders nationwide. These thought leaders include innovators, speakers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, authors, and turn-around artists.
Source: University of South Florida
8. Hosting Joint Events and Workshops
Have you ever considered hosting a joint event to create a touch point for a more prospective student? Co-hosting joint events and workshops can help educational institutions increase brand awareness, boost attendance, expand network, enhance student engagement, and maximize ROI.
With pinched time and resources, co-hosting events and workshops can help higher education lead generation. Follow these tips to ensure a seamless joint event or workshop:
- Determine whether the workshop type is industry-specific, skill-focused, career-oriented, or program-related.
- Establish a common goal and ensure that your target audience remains focused.
- Ensure you prepare for the event or workshop beforehand with everything written, adequately documented, and shared with both parties.
- Keep all the necessary equipment and ensure you have additional tools you might need depending on the nature of the topic.
- Create a well-structured schedule and ensure both parties follow to stay on track and avoid disengagement during the event.
- Incorporate activities that would interest the audience and maintain engagement with short breaks and time to rejuvenate.
- Market your event well beforehand, spread the word, build a visually appealing landing page, communicate through social media, and ask for registration to help you gather data.
For example, Boston University’s Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE) hosted a workshop for IBM, Red Hat, and Boston University on cloud computing topics for students and researchers.
Source: Red Hat
9. Broadcasting Live Q&A Sessions and Webinars
To be in contact with your prospective students and address their concerns, live Q&A sessions are the best choice. Broadcasting live sessions enable students to put their doubts in the spotlight, allow schools to answer their questions, and generate value for the brand.
To streamline the Q&A live session, follow these tips:
- Announce live session time and date to allow students to come up with questions
- Plan ahead of time to maintain the live session limit
- Consider possible questions and brainstorm the best answers
- Tackle inappropriate and odd questions gracefully
- Maintain order, define rules, and give an introduction
For example, the University of Suffolk conducted a live and welcome session for students in-person and online through social media.
Don’t just make students watch out – deliver something worthwhile. A well-planned webinar can help schools and colleges achieve numerous goals.
But wondering how to keep prospective students engaged during a webinar? Follow these tips:
- Select a compelling topic that interests students
- Choose the right speaker for the webinar
- Focus on the quality of content
- Strive to build a stronger connection with the audience
- Use a proven format and ensure a time limit
- Make sure you test run to avoid technical issues
Pro-tip: Always remember that quality matters over quantity, presenting relevant information and materials that make sense for prospective students.
For example, EU Business School has created a separate webpage for upcoming webinars where students can visit and register themselves.
10. Hosting Virtual Campus Tours and Orientation
Whether campus life would be virtual, in-person, or blended, orientation can provide an overall introduction to the school and experience. It allows prospective students to learn about the faculty, programs, and process and talk to the academic advisor.
Here are some simple ways to boost engagement and enrich the student experience during an orientation session.
- Share the orientation program schedule/agenda beforehand
- Communicate orientation expectations and benefits
- Create a great first impression with an energetic welcome
- Connect with students through icebreaker activities
- Build a sense of belonging among new students
- Provide information and resources to students
- Inform them about clubs, groups, and other networking opportunities
For example, the University of Maryland created a webpage for student orientation and transition to welcome them for an exciting journey and introduce them to the traditions.
Source: University of Maryland
Likewise, education marketing strategies must ensure that student engagement and communication are the key elements. And for this, hosting virtual tours has become imperative.
As a proactive step to reach prospective students, here’s why a virtual tour can help you with marketing.
- Reach a global audience in a cost-effective and time-saving way
- Include all your popular programs and exhibit them in an appealing manner
- A virtual tour with a live host will allow students to interact and ask questions
- Share interactive map of the campus through user-navigable maps and images
- Virtual reality tours offer a more experiential way to enter the campus and move around
For example, Ohio University offers an interactive map for students to explore the campus, a virtual tour option, and an interactive tour with a guide.
Source: Ohio University
A unique value proposition in education marketing refers to the distinct and valuable benefits offered by institutions, programs, and services for its target audience that sets them apart from their competitors.
Here’s how you can leverage content marketing in education marketing:
- Define your target audience, such as students, parents, and professionals
- Define the goal that you want to achieve through content marketing
- Create relevant and high-quality content
- Optimize your content for SEO and visibility in search engine
- Maintain consistency across platforms and regularly update content
- Add a touch of personalization through storytelling
- Encourage user-generated content by your students and alumni
- Stay updated with the latest trends and changing preferences
- Add CTAs in your content to guide prospects toward the next step
The role of data-driven marketing in education marketing is as follows:
- Lead scoring
- Retention strategies
- Predictive analysis
- Conversion rate improvement
- Budget allocation
- Competitor analysis
- ROI measurement
- Prospect profiling
- Alumni Engagement
- Digital strategy enhancement
Of course, this list is not the end, but these education marketing tips will help you refine your strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
Ensure your prospective student stops and takes the required action. This requires time and planning to make a long-lasting impression. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small school or a big institution; these tips fit all sizes.