Higher Education Marketing – Navigating Digital

With over 80% of prospective college students researching Colleges & Universities online, the days of career fairs & high school recruiters are becoming a distant memory. Now days, schools understand that they have to make a name for themselves in the digital space to capture an audience fueled by immediately available information and endless educational options thanks to the increasing availability of Online and Distance Learning programs.

So how do you set yourself apart?

1. Make Yourself Easily Found!
Have you ever seen an ad that seems to follow you around on the internet? Savvy marketers know that an omni-channel approach will reach the most people. Using a mix of strategies for maximum exposure is the name of the game. This can include social media, paid search, display advertising, etc. The adage of placing one’s proverbial eggs in one basket holds true, even today – diversify and make sure you’re utilizing every aspect of digital strategy that you possibly can to tap in a larger audience.

2. Offer Up Content that is Relevent.
Value and perceived value go hand in hand. When prospective students are researching their higher education options, they want information. The more content that you can provide, the better off you’ll be. The key is arming the prospective student with enough information that they feel comfortable and confident when it comes time to make a decision about applying & enrolling.

3. What’s working, what’s not?
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen schools make, time and time again, is the investment into an advertising campaign with zero transparency and no follow through. Analytics and data are king. So you launch an advertising campaign and successfully capture leads – now what? Were there conversions? What channels did they come from? What channels performed poorly? Hands down, one of the most important things you can do is use data to test and refine your advertising spend.

4. Hire an Experienced Agency.
Hiring an agency to manage your marketing budget – whether it’s key portions or the entire thing – can be an invaluable decision. Partnering with an agency that focuses on higher education marketing means that you’ll instantly tap into their experience, knowledge, and resources. This takes a lot of the guess-work out of launching new campaigns, but it also means less overhead & staffing on the school side. Word to the wise: look for an agency that offers performance-based strategies & pricing, as the archaic agency retainer fee structure goes the way of the dodo. In the past, fee-based agencies made sense in the age of traditional & print media. Now that almost all advertising is online, the results are very quantifiable. Why pay for intangibles when you could pay for results?

Banner Edge Media brings over 75 years of combined higher education marketing experience to every client relationship we have. Contact us today to learn how our performance-based strategies will drive enrollments for your institution.

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