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11 Effective Higher Education Marketing Trends for 2022

When I reflect on our educational endeavors in the recent past, I can’t help but feel eternally grateful.

Despite the social, medical, economic, turmoil, we, as a society, have maintained a relentless commitment to education. The idea that education can change our lives and help us face all challenges keeps us going.

Digital Marketing was the driving force behind the changing educational trends. Most academic institutions worldwide use this technology to connect and engage with their target audience. Their marketing efforts are producing regular results.

Since 36 percent of campuses are seeing a fall in campus visit requests, universities and other higher education institutions are adopting digital marketing to enhance their student intake.

In a recent study, 20% of the teen students provided that YouTube videos play a significant role in their enrollment decision. Higher education institutes are using a multi-media strategy to attract more students. They leverage videos, post photos, and share relevant written content to help students make informed decisions.

The higher education industry is a highly lucrative market. 

According to Orbis Research, the global e-learning market will surpass $275 billion value by 2022. Research also revealed that a typical educational institution spends 11% of its annual revenue on digital marketing activities.

A well-structured digital marketing approach can help higher education institutes to improve their physical reach and increase their enrollment figure. 

In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at 11 actionable higher education marketing trends that can help you devise your very own marketing strategy. 

11 Higher Education Marketing Trends to Inspire Your Strategy

If you work in the higher education marketing domain, you must be looking for ways to improvise your current methods. Let us make it clear – digital marketing in 2022 will be all about diving deep into the current channels and optimizing them instead of adopting new tools.

You must make the most of new opportunities to enhance your reach and devise compelling digital marketing strategies for higher ed to increase your annual student intake. You have to ensure that the unique values of your school are highlighted through your marketing efforts.

Generation Z - aka Gen Z, are glued to social media. The higher educational institutes must be present on all the right platforms to reach their target audience. 

Integrating the following trends in higher education marketing will help you develop an engaging connection with prospective students.

1. Use short-form videos to promote your higher ed institute

A survey released by EAB showed that 36% of the campuses witnessed a decline in campus visit requests. As the number of students interested in exploring the campus drops significantly, higher education institutions can use videos to reach prospective students.

Some areas they can make their videos on include:

  • Virtual campus tours
  • Answer the most searched concerns about the institute
  • Offer a tour of the facilities with a student tour guide

Almost every social platform allows including short-form video content. You can connect these with long-form videos to provide more information and add substance to your higher education video ads efforts.

2. Use YouTube for content for higher ed marketing

YouTube videos provide an opportunity to expand awareness about your institute. It also increases SEO performance and supports other digital marketing campaigns. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the perfect channel to reach prospective students.

You can upload long-form videos to share insights about your institute on this platform. When the student ambassadors discuss their experience at your university, it will get prospective students interested in your university. Using videos is one of the most influential higher education marketing trends of 2022, making waves of changes in the enrollment figures.

3. Produce high-quality leads with PPC advertising for higher education institutes

Search engines like Google offer pay-per-click (PPC) services. Running PPC ads for higher education institutions is a great way to reach out to potential students. By targeting specific keywords and phrases, institutions can ensure that their ad appears in front of potential students who are searching for information on higher education. Additionally, PPC can be a great way to generate leads for higher education institutions. By retargeting students with ads who are interested in higher education and providing them with a way to contact the institution, PPC can be an effective higher education lead generation strategy.

Instead of relying on organically-driven site visits, PPC narrows the target audience by age and other demographics. It generates quality leads and boosts the conversion rate like no other method.

4. Move your PR strategies online for higher ed marketing

Some PR fundamentals will never change. In the case of higher educational institutes, this will involve establishing ties with editors, professors, and reporters. The faculty is your source of groundbreaking research, which you can use to get captivating storylines and quotes.  

Meanwhile, editors and reporters are your gateways to the target audience. 

Another PR tactic you can use involves strategically placing the ads on content websites that the students are most likely to visit.

5. Leverage the power of influencer marketing for universities

As digital marketing tactics continue to evolve, so too do the strategies that higher education institutions use to reach their target audiences. One such tactic that has gained popularity in recent years is influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that relies on endorsements and product mentions from influencers – individuals who have a large following on social media and are considered experts in their field.

Higher education has the potential to be promoted via influencer marketing. For this, you must start your campaign by analyzing your social media channels.

Evaluate the individuals who use the name of your institute and study their social media standing. We recommend seeking the services of a digital agency to help you in this regard. Then, connect with the influencers and discuss the approach they should adopt to advertise your institution. You can also leverage your own students to become your ambassadors and talk positively about your higher education institution. 

6. Use responsive ads for higher ed digital marketing

Higher education marketing is becoming increasingly competitive. In order to stay ahead of the curve, institutions need to adopt new and innovative marketing strategies. One such strategy is the use of responsive ads.

Responsive ads are designed to adjust their size, shape, and appearance to fit seamlessly into the content of a website or app. This allows them to be highly visible and effective, without disrupting the user experience.

When crafting responsive adverts, you can work on several ad formats, copy, headlines, and visuals.

Unlike static ads, a responsive ad provides an increase in higher click-through rates and impression volume. According to Google, responsive search ads have a 5 – 15% higher CTR than standard search ads.

7. Adopt personalization for higher ed digital promotion

Personalized content is a powerful marketing tool for higher education institutions. By personalizing content, universities can connect with potential students on a more personal level, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

According to the 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors, 58% of the admission directors said they did not meet their enrollment goals. The institutes need a well-articulated strategy to attract prospective students.

Today, the students are bogged down by irrelevant information that doesn’t make sense. Digital ads with personalization will show the students what they are looking for. Meaningful personalization involves offering valuable information and supporting students' journeys through meaningful interactions.

8. Use Google Analytics for higher education marketing

As a higher education marketer, you know that data is key to understanding your audience and making informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you collect and analyze data about your website traffic.

When used correctly, Google Analytics can give you insights into who your website visitors are, where they come from, what they do on your site, and much more. With this information, you can adjust your marketing strategy to better target your audience and achieve your goals.

Google Analytics doesn’t focus on the technical details, instead, it emphasizes how the site is being used as a whole. 

Its enhanced metrics help forecast the users’ behavior and calculate the churn. It also allows more granular data controls and specifies how you should optimize your campaigns.

It is one of the most prominent digital marketing trends for higher ed in 2022. Marketers can benchmark their website against their competitors to fine tune their promotional campaigns.

9. Improve your higher ed institution’s search engine visibility

As an institution of higher education, it's important to make sure that your marketing efforts are reaching the right audiences. One way to do this is by using Higher education SEO strategies.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving your online visibility. By optimizing your site for search engines, you can increase your chances of appearing in the top search results for your target keywords, which will ultimately lead to more website visitors.

A well-designed content will doom to obscurity if the developers fail to use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Assume SEO as your online publicist who will get you the attention of potential investors and prospective students.

We’ve been helping numerous clients with our higher education SEO services for universities and colleges. With our help, our clients have seen their enrollment rates skyrocket. 

Anyway, three types of SEO you must be aware of are:

  • On-page SEO is content enriched with strategic keywords, meta descriptions, title tags, internal links, and optimized headings.
  • Link-building involves integrating high-quality internal links into your content.
  • Technical SEO ensures that your official institute website doesn’t have technical errors or irrelevant content. Factors like broken XML sitemaps and missing links can really take a toll on your website.

Using SEO insights and keyword strategies will help you win featured snippets and bring traffic back to your website. That being said, SEO is not as straightforward as PPC. It takes a lot of time and effort to drive meaningful results from SEO. 

10. Emphasizing career outcomes through higher ed marketing

The students and parents need assurance about the tangible value of a degree. A 2019 survey by Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute discovered that students' most popular reason for opting for college was getting a good job later.

Institutes like Boston College are illustrating the career outcomes of their institute pretty well.

When your website's academic and career outcomes are vivid, it will engage the prospects and give them crude evidence.

There are a few ways to highlight career outcomes in your marketing. One is to feature alumni stories on your website or in other marketing materials. These stories can show students what kinds of jobs alumni have been able to get after graduation. Another way to highlight career outcomes is to focus on specific programs that have a good track record of preparing students for careers. For example, if you have a nursing program that has a high job placement rate, make sure to mention this in your marketing.

11. Leverage lookalike audience groups

If you want to get the most out of your higher education marketing, consider using a lookalike audience. Lookalike audiences are groups of people who share similar characteristics with your current students or customers. This can be anything from age and location to interests and behaviors.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using lookalike audiences for your marketing. First, make sure that the group you are targeting is large enough to be significant, but not so large that it’s not realistic to reach them all. Second, consider using more than one lookalike audience to target different groups of people. And finally, don’t forget to test and measure your results so you can adjust your strategy as needed.

If you use lookalike audiences in your higher education marketing, you can be sure that you are reaching the right people with your message. This can help you get more students interested in your school, and ultimately, increase your enrollment.

Facebook Ads lets you use lookalike audiences to target new prospects who have the same interests as your existing students. Marketing agencies having experience running Facebook advertising for higher education marketing can help universities, schools and colleges significantly increase their student intake. It is one of the most profitable digital marketing strategies that bring terrific outcomes for universities.

How to Capitalize Higher Education Marketing Trends

Combining digital diligence and social media frameworks opens a slew of prospects for expanding the student base of higher education institutes. A well-chosen set of digital marketing tools and strategies directs the students’ attention towards a particular goal and compels them to enroll.

This is where we can help you. Think Orion adopts a professional approach to study the requirements of your institute and devise a well-articulated digital marketing strategy.

We don’t aim to get our higher ed clients the highest number of eyeballs. Instead, we aim to grab meaningful attention towards your educational institute.

Our experts will help you discover valuable scaling opportunities and become a leader in the higher ed landscape. 

We have 20 years of experience in digital marketing and served more than 130 clients worldwide. Our experience and insights will enable you to sophisticate your paid marketing channels, search engine optimization, and improve direct website traffic. 

Feel free to connect with us and discuss your marketing objectives. If our discussion hits the right chords, we may be signing up for a long-term relationship!


We hope you liked our short blog on higher education marketing trends. We hope some of the trends we’ve shared with you will help you shape your own higher ed marketing strategies.

The use of marketing in higher education is constantly evolving. As the needs of students and the industry change, so too must the strategies and tactics used by colleges and universities.

The past few years have seen a number of notable changes in higher education marketing. Social media has become an increasingly important tool, as has content marketing. Additionally, colleges and universities are starting to focus more on data-driven marketing and personalization.

Looking ahead, it is clear that higher education marketing will continue to evolve. Institutions will need to be nimble and adapt their strategies as the landscape changes. By staying ahead of the curve, they can ensure that they are able to reach and engage their target audiences.

What next?

You can check out the best digital marketing campaigns for universities to learn how big players in the education niche make it happen.

Rayed Chaudhry

Rayed is passionate about marketing and interested in learning new ways to hack (legally) marketing platforms to help businesses achieve growth using unconventional methods. Prior to starting Orion, Rayed has worked in various marketing positions and spent millions of dollars across different ad platforms.