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10 Tips for Generating Student Leads for Your Online Course and College

10 Tips for Generating Student Leads for Your Online Course and College

With students becoming more aware and the evolving industry dynamics, potential applicants demand an impeccable and interactive experience when it comes to online course platforms and educational institutes. Your first interaction with the student starts online and that is the first impression you create, which means it requires more attention and effort now, compared to the past.

Given how well-informed the customer is i.e. the student is now, one cannot just simply get away with generic advertising or marketing campaigns to attract students and get registrations. One needs a comprehensive, well-researched, focused and aligned digital marketing strategy with quality content to generate student leads, and turn clicks into tangible enrolments.

We at Think Orion are experts in developing digital campaigns for online courses and educational businesses and believe in driving impactful results for our clients. Here we present to you the top ten tips that we know will help you in increasing your lead number.

10 Tips for Increasing Student Leads for your Online Course and Educational Institutes

1. Focus on SEO To Increase Website Traffic and Student Leads

2. Create Content For TOFU, MOFU And BOFU Students

3. Invest in Facebook Lead Ads

4. Utilize LinkedIn Marketing for Promotion

5. Play Smart with Lookalike Audiences And Retargeting In Google Ads And Facebook Ads

6. Attract Students by Staying Active on Social Media Such as Instagram, Snapchat And Facebook 

7. Improve Conversion Rate of Your Website to Increase Student Leads

8. Embed Student Reviews on Your Website to Build Trust

9. Measure Performance Through Google Analytics to Make an Effective Strategy

10. Optimize Your Website to Grab Attention

1. Focus on SEO to Increase Website Traffic and Student Leads

Using SEO tools not only helps in increasing traffic to your website and of course supported with a strong content marketing strategy , eventually leads to increased student leads. 

But for your online platform to become a part of organic outcomes on SERPS (Search Engine Page Results) you must divert your SEO efforts keeping in view your customer’s needs. 

While working with potential students, KEYWORDS should be your focus. You should optimize your website in a way that once it appears in top listings on search engines, the keywords on your platform lead to helping the student in answering a query and giving them the required information, not just leading them to the page.

2. Create Content for TOFU, MOFU and BOFU Students

Create Content for TOFU, MOFU and BOFU Students

When making a content strategy for generating student leads, you must bifurcate your market according to the Sales Funnel Stage that they're passing through. For example, at the top of the funnel the content basically focuses on attracting your potential applicant market towards the platform and appealing to their needs. 

In the second stage, the content then focuses on creating further awareness about your product offering or service offering that is going to satisfy the customer’s need and lastly the bottom of the sales funnel also known as “BOFU’ is where you finally convert a lead to a sale and lock in your customer, therefore the content here needs to be focused on loyalty, delivery of service and customer satisfaction. 

3. Invest in Facebook Lead Ads

FacebookLead Ads  are an effective tool for not only generating leads but also gaining insight into your target market. Once your ad is published on Facebook, a potential applicant will click on it and that click takes the applicant to a form that needs to be filled with certain information as required by you. 

That information once filled by the applicant and submitted is available to you for data analysis that will help you in making critical content strategy decisions as well as for uses in CRM and maybe for directly approaching the applicants in relevance to the form.

4. Utilize LinkedIn Marketing for Promotion

Utilize LinkedIn Marketing for Promotion

LinkedIn marketing works beautifully for generating student leads especially when it comes to postgraduate online courses and programs. LinkedIn is the world's largest network for professionals and thus represents a market rich with potential that wants to further their education or skills. Using sponsored ads links to virtual open days, campus tours and testimonials published by alumni of your education institute leads to increased student leads that translate into final enrolments.

5. Play Smart with Lookalike Audiences and Retargeting in Google Ads and Facebook Ads

With the introductions of the lookalike audience feature in Facebook ads, another avenue has opened for generating leads especially when it comes to online education platforms. 

Lookalike audience features allows you to target ads towards another set of audience that shares similar characteristics with your initially targeted audience. 

This may seem tempting at first but it's a double-edged sword and once using this tool you should ensure that the size of your lookalike audience is manageable and once the results are in then definitely reflect that whether the size and characteristics need to be tweaked based on a positive or a negative outcome. 

Secondly when it comes to retargeting , Google ads are a powerful tool. If you have had a lead that nearly made it to the final stage of the sales funnel but has dropped out because of some reason you can retarget them by reminding them of your value proposition and even sweetening the deal but adding an exclusive offer only available to them using Google ads.

6. Attract Students by Staying Active on Social Media Such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook 

Attract Students by Staying Active on Social Media Such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook 

Social media is fast becoming the go-to place for high school students to search for anything and everything about their prospective universities or even an online summer course that they may be interested in taking. 

The first thing universities and higher education platforms must do is that they should develop a comprehensive and clear social media strategy for each of the platforms. 

Use social media to not only promote your course or institute but also to highlight your strengths and USP. You can appoint ambassadors to post stories about their experiences and learnings on Instagram or maybe upload a story or two on Snapchat interacting with their target market. 

Facebook and Instagram live are another set of powerful tools that help you directly connect with your target market in an online setting and when it comes to live, you get to directly answer and present your best side in real time which creates a larger and better impact than just plain text or a colorful poster.

7. Improve Conversion Rate of Your Website to Increase Student Leads

Optimize your website not only to increase your conversion rate but also for a better user experience. For conversion rate optimization to result in lead generation , you must focus on three critical pillars.

  1. Pertinence
  2. Value Proposition 
  3. Call to Action

The content on your website should pertain to the student's query or concern. What you're offering to the student should be able to satisfy their needs and last but not the least students should be able to see the very next step in an obvious manner for them to commit to you. 

8. Embed Student Reviews on Your Website to Build Trust

Embed Student Reviews on Your Website to Build Trust

When a potential applicant hears it from an individual who has gone through a journey with expectations that are the same as themselves, they are more likely to believe in your offering and how it can satisfy their requirement. Therefore, we recommend that you not only post your student reviews on your website but make them visible to potential applicants as a main website item for it to work to its true potential. 

9. Measure Performance through Google Analytics to Make an Effective Strategy

Measure Performance through Google Analytics to Make an Effective Strategy

Always remember that what works for your competitors might not be as effective for you due to the difference in product offerings as well as sometimes due to customer psychographics. 

As a team of experienced digital marketers we suggest that you make the best use of Google Analytics to review, analyze and revise the performance of online courses generated student leads. 

Using this tool, you can not only direct more resources towards the strategies that are producing the best outcomes but can also put in  the effort to rework strategies that have the potential and can bring more leads in the future. 

10. Optimize Your Website to Grab Attention

SEO aside we also suggest optimizing and upgrading your website to improve the user experience. The user interface on your website or landing page plays a major role in retaining a potential lead on the site. 

Make required information easy to access using simple links, attractive graphics and easy to understand text. Remember if you make it easy for them, they will make it easier for you. If you are unable to create highly converting landing pages, then you can always take help from professionals who are not only experienced but also affordable.

How Do You Generate Online Leads for Higher Education?

Generating online leads for higher education may seem like generating leads for other e-commerce businesses but  what sets it aside is the untapped potential of the

market segment as well as the custom needs of its audience. To generate online leads that give you a positive ROI you must invest in a digital content strategy that has the following pillars:

1. SEO as a critical tool

2. Strategy Analytics

3. Leveraging your USP


Using the suggestions that we have put forth, you will not only be able to generate a higher number of student leads for your online education platform, but those leads will also translate into enrolments and in the long run a satisfied student , who will become your potential marketing tool in the form of your alumni .

We recommend that you utilize these steps along with the combination of quality content, courses and student services to generate a higher ROI and make a name for yourself in the online education industry. 

Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.