The education sector is not without the influence of digital marketing. Parents and students both expect institutions to have their online presence and won’t settle for anything less. To ascertain whether or not the institution is credible, people often check the website to feel content that yes the institution is legit (which could also be a farce... think Trump University for example) but generally, people prefer finding a legitimate web presence.
As for the people running these schools, how can they leverage it to their gain? They can provide entry forms online, or academic calendars in PDF format can be uploaded on their website so they can be easily downloaded by both prospects and returning candidates.
1. Timing Is Everything
Keep an eye out for that time of the year where you can plan and review your digital marketing strategy. Prepare a new academic calendar in June or in November for the spring term. Whatever your budget is, these are critical times of the year and during these, you can fully leverage your digital media presence by having the academic session announced and making the PDF available for download.
So when prospect students or returning ones for the fresh term come seeking the schedule they can access it from the relevant tab and will have all the needed information as to when the new session will commence and what preparation needs to be made before what date.
2. Understand & Master Social Media
In the above point, we have talked about running and maintain a website. In this part, we will talk about having the right social media presence such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If your institution has a Facebook page, students and parents can check it for regular updates and/ or any announcements.
Via your Twitter handle, certain classroom assignment and project topics can be made to trend through hashtags where other fellow students can collaborate on or faculty members can lend insights for its successful completion. YouTube is great for viewing lectures online if such a facility is provided. In the case where a student has missed out on a session, he can go to institute’s YouTube channel and view the lecture.
3. Rank #1 In Search Results
Google is undoubtedly the most sought after search engine in the world and what if you were to rank higher on its pages? Would it help? Of course, it would but to do that you have to have your online presence. Your website should have relevant content so that your institution should rank higher in the search results page.
In this day and age, often parents and students look on the Internet for “best” or “top ranked” institution for XYZ program. It may be to seek admission, to view cost/fee structure or degree programs offered etc. While you can always use Google AdWords to achieve your objective but it can become quite an expensive venture and requires expertise to experiment with. Thus, it is advisable to work in conjunction with and SEO and SEM veteran.
4. Don't Completely Ignore Traditional Marketing
While you cannot completely out rule the need for print and traditional marketing channels. Although, digital marketing sphere is expanding but that does not mean every other channel is dead. Prospectuses and similar marketing techniques have worked for decades and they still do. Their relevance cannot be ignored but make sure they are also available through your social, email marketing, and digital platforms as well.
5. Maximize Institutional Credibility
The pursuit of education is crucial in each person’s life. For some, it is a heavy investment while for others not so much. So when people come looking for your institution, it is imperative that they can feel some credibility attached to it. Having valuable brand recognition is paramount for lead generation and conversion.
Anybody can create a website but how to bring authenticity to it is the difficult part. It's obviously not advisable to put up fake comments but the you can ask graduating students to provide written testimonials and feedback.
You can then select from the best and feature them on your website. You can also leverage social media such as Facebook where you can reply to queries and questions from prospective students in comments or through private messages. Human touch automatically qualifies your online presence for greater legitimacy in the eyes of the prospective students and parents.
To sum up both parties can gain from the employment of digital marketing; management as well as students. With digital marketing making waves everywhere, it was only a matter of time before education sector would start benefiting from it.
The methods above detail how one can look for educational institutions online, interact with administration online, seek information with regards to courses/programs being offered, in addition to fee, syllabus, course outlines and so on so forth.
Digital marketing is shaping our world and institutions which are yet to develop their online presence must do so on a priority basis because people are searching for you. Who knows what will click them about you and they come knocking on your doors for inquiry and admission.
Johan Kit is a freelance writer and instructor at Buy Assignments out of London.
I hope you enjoyed this article about utilizing digital marketing to advertise a college or university.
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