Maximize outreach and engagement by leveraging event data that aligns with the objectives and goals of your higher education institutions. Event promotion can help you draw a crowd and spread the word where it matters the most.
But wait, are you ticking all the boxes for event promotion? Events can fully engage existing and prospective students through a multi-channel promotion strategy. It could include event websites, email campaigns, promo codes, Google Ads, social media, influencers, and sponsorships.
Do you know how to promote college events? Before implementing the strategy, you must create a detailed promotion plan to be armed with the right tactics.
Enhancing outreach through event promotion has the following benefits:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive student engagement
- Help develop relationships
- Reach target audience
- Build your sales pipeline
- Establish credibility
Educational events are the best outreach strategies that drive enrollments and help institutions stand out from the competition. However, it is also important to maintain event branding approaches while planning the event.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing the following:
- Understanding the educational event landscape
- Identifying the target audience
- Higher education event marketing strategies
- Leveraging digital marketing for Higher education event promotion
- Content creation and storytelling to promote your educational event
- Utilizing influencer marketing
- Creating engaging event landing pages
- Monitoring and analyzing promotion performance
Understanding the Educational Event Landscape
The educational event landscape is constantly changing. Events significantly foster growth and create opportunities for colleges and schools to form emotional customer relationships.
Navigating educational event diversity, the event types hosted by higher education institutions include:
- Open Houses
- Educational Webinars
- Academic Conferences
- Trivia nights
- Sports tournaments
- Community Gathering
- Alumni Networking
- Career Workshops
These outreach opportunities help universities create maximum exposure for educational institutions and drive student recruitment.
Identifying Target Audiences
Audience targeting is creating groups or segments from your complete target audience based on certain criteria and characteristics to direct your promotional efforts toward them.
It also helps in personalized outreach communications and ad campaigns. Segmentation of target audiences allows you to deliver your message to the right audience.
For each educational event, you can use the following characteristics to identify your target audience:
- Income level
- Education level
- Geographic location
- Ethnic background
- Religious beliefs
This list goes on; the more specific, the better!
Therefore, educational institutions must know their target audience to increase student engagement. It will help them tailor event promotion to the target audience and achieve the desired outcome.
Follow these steps to create a more specific target audience:
- Look at your existing & prospective students
- Look who your competitors are targeting
- Analyze the problem you can solve for them
- Create persona: Combine steps 1 and 3
- Continuously evaluate & refine
- Grow your college or school enrollments
Moreover, by developing segments of your target audience, you can make your event a must-attend experience and drive greater attendance, sign-ups, registrations, and enrollments.
Higher Education Event Marketing Strategies
Enrolling in a degree program at a university or college is a life-altering decision for any student. Therefore, your higher education event marketing strategies must promote valuable content that helps students take advantage of it.
Always remember, for students, some of the best opportunities to gain first-hand experience and knowledge about your college or university is through events. And if you can grab their attention, they’ll walk out dreaming of attending your institution. What else do you want?
But this requires extensive planning and strategies that hit the right cord. Here, we have listed the best event marketing strategies for higher educational institutions:
- Leveraging Digital Marketing for Higher Education Event Promotion
- Content Creation and Storytelling to Promote Your Educational Event
- Utilizing Influencer Marketing
- Creating Engaging Event Landing Pages
- Monitoring and Analyzing Promotion Performance
Let’s look at these strategies in detail, as it will be your guide to event marketing.
1. Leveraging Digital Marketing for Higher Education Event Promotion
As a higher education event marketer, you must focus on getting every detail right for your events. Regarding your college or university, digital marketing is one of the most important details.
Before looking into the strategies, let’s look at the benefits of digital marketing for higher education institutions.
- Engage with students
- Generate leads
- Increase conversions
- Brand Credibility
- Cost-effective marketing
Let’s get started with digital marketing strategies.
1. Search engine optimization
SEO makes it most accessible for prospective students to find your events when they search online. You can increase search rankings by optimizing websites or landing pages.
2. Pay-per-click advertising
Make sure you conduct keyword research, create ads that include these keywords, and include a link to your website; when people type in keywords, your event will appear, and prospective students will flock to your event.
3. Email marketing
Don’t consider email marketing obsolete, as it is still among higher education institutions’ most useful digital outreach methods. Pick an email platform, design campaigns, write intriguing subject lines, send personalized emails, schedule automated emails, analyze key metrics, and conduct A/B testing.
4. Social media marketing
Online promotion on social media is highly effective as it reaches a wider audience. It will help you increase awareness, engage students, and connect with attendees before, during, and after an event.
5. Podcasts and webinars
To drive social engagement, colleges and universities must host podcasts and webinars by inviting academic experts.
By amplifying outreach through digital marketing, you’ll be able to maximize engagement and attract attendees to the event.
2. Content Creation and Storytelling to Promote Your Educational Event
Crafting engaging stories for event promotion that resonate with your audience will help you develop an emotional connection. Event content marketing must be created to attract, engage, and inspire prospective students and leave a lasting impression.
You must know the right techniques for storytelling and content creation. But do you know how to tell stories through events? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
- Identify a central message to build your story around
- Choose characters that match your story and resonate with the audience
- Illustrate the impact of your story on the character in a way that inspires them
To create content for your educational event that has engaging narratives, you can follow these steps:
- Know your audience
- Understand their pain points
- Create a content calendar
- Craft content for your event
- Add keywords to your content
This strategy will work best for pre-event content and during-the-event strategies. For post-event, you must create content with event highlights to share across the platforms.
3. Utilizing Influencer Marketing
Expanding reach through influencer marketing is another excellent way to promote your higher educational event. An influencer for your college or university event can greatly influence your target audience. With influencer marketing, you promote your brand through them.
In fact, according to Statista, the global influencer marketing market size has doubled since 2019 and is estimated at a record 21.1 billion U.S. dollars.
For promotional partnerships with the right influencers for your educational events, you can follow these steps:
- Target influencers that match your event
- Plan your influencer strategy
- Set a common goal for your event
- Get them to promote pre-event hype
- Get them to promote the event in real-time
- Have them share post-event content
Influencer marketing is great for event endorsement as it helps educational institutions gain more credibility and trust. Also, it widens audience reach. Audience engagement is the ultimate goal to be achieved through influencer collaborations.
To determine the success of your influencer marketing strategy, you must look at the goals set before the event and the metrics that showed up.
4. Creating Engaging Event Landing Pages
What is an event landing page? It is a page encouraging existing and prospective students to register or sign up for an upcoming event at your college or university. It could be an event landing page for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events.
Optimizing landing pages for event registration acts as a driving force to get more attendees to show up. That’s why it is essential to be thoughtful when creating an engaging event page.
Here’s what your landing page must convey:
- Convey your event’s message or theme
- Provide the important details such as time, venue, and date
- Get attendees to RSVP or buy tickets
Not sure how to navigate registration optimization through event landing pages? Also, can you easily integrate event registration software into your landing page? We’ll walk you through the key tips and tricks to make your event landing page drive exceptional user experience and conversion rate.
Consider these strategies to take your educational event to the next level.
- Consider your target audience
- Give a detailed description of your event
- Customize your event landing page
- Add engaging visuals and videos (recap/event highlights)
- Create a built-in registration process & opt-in forms
As landing pages are an important part of the event marketing checklist, you must incorporate essential design elements that elevate your landing pages. These include:
- Add a clever and catchy headline
- Add FOMO taglines & images
- Gain trust through social proof
- Make the landing page responsive
- Win the game with a killer Call-to-action
For example, the University of North Texas Kickball Tournament event landing page below has a clear headline, CTA, and important information.
Source: University of North Texas
5. Monitoring and Analyzing Promotion Performance
Measuring success in event promotion might be the last thing you must do. Still, it is the ultimate core area you focus on from the beginning.
Promotion evaluation can help reveal some surprising insights about the event and attendee behavior.
By monitoring and analyzing promotion performance, insights generation helps you objectively assess which elements of your promotion strategy are successful and delivering results.
Expert higher ed marketing firm also extends their services to help universities and colleges streamline their performance.
Monitoring is essential for measuring ROI as it allows you to measure the positive or negative impact of promotions on your business.
Some of the key event success metrics include the following:
- Tracking registrations
- Event landing page analytics
- Measuring event check-ins
- Social mentions by attendees
- Attendee experience rating
- Measuring engagement opportunities
- Measure ROI
For example, suppose you hosted an open house in 2023. You then compare the metrics of this event to the data of the 2022 open house event last year.
It will give a comprehensive idea of how your promotional strategy in 2023 enhanced the figures and data and how you can make further improvements.
After aggregating promotion analytics, you can make data-driven decisions to enhance your strategy.
Achieving success through event promotion is how many educational institutions nowadays achieve a competitive advantage in the market. After navigating through this topic, you must know how to promote college events and prepare for successful events.
Also, remember, for engaging prospects and enhanced outreach, you can be bold and tailored. Prospective students can be attracted by strategies that work best for them and don’t require them to conform to a set practice; instead, they choose strategies that yield maximum results.
Effective promotion with thought and research can lead you to achieve your educational event goals.