With 3.5 billion people connected online today, it’s no surprise that technology is an integral part of our lives.
We look to Google for answers to our questions, and Facebook to crowdsource shared public opinion.
In fact, 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews when purchasing goods and services.
Educators in universities, colleges, and training institutes must understand the value and importance of digital marketing as part of an enrollment strategy in order to establish an online presence on the platforms that matter most.
Here are quick steps to plan effective marketing strategy.
- Define personas
The key to a successful digital strategy is understanding the makeup of an audience.
Identifying key personas and what motivates them will help you craft a strategy that hits an audience’s pain points and craft messaging that drives engagement that will lead to a purchase.
2. Invest in a world-class website
It may seem obvious, but the first thing a student will probably search for online is your website.
In fact, according to research, 80% of college-bound students agree that websites influence their decision more than any other resource.
3. Research Effective Digital Channels
More than 50% of college students use search engines to discover higher education institutes, while 16 – 24-year-olds now spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes on social media each day.
The key to engaging with a marketplace is knowing the digital channels they use. With a range of digital channels on offer, research is required to figure out where and how your target audience engages online. Each channel has its pros and cons and knowing those will help identify the right channels.
Visuals –Snapchat is very popular amongst the younger generation while Pinterest thrives on quality imagery and with 100 million active users it is a platform with some teeth.
Real-time – With 310 million active monthly users, Twitter is a powerful driver of engagement and can enable educators to communicate quickly with potential and existing students by providing solutions to problems quickly and effectively.
Targeting – In recent years Facebook has lost the attention of youngsters as they move to platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.
However, with over 1.65 billion users, it has huge reach and can be used effectively to segment and target personas.
Whatever platform matches your needs, it’s best to figure out all the viable online paths of driving enrollment and assess the metrics to adapt as required to make the most of each platform.
- Curate and Create content
Creating relevant and informative content such as blogs, videos and eBooks or whitepapers will not only establish your institution as an influencer, it will drive traffic to your website.
Producing new pages continuously with meaningful content will help the ranking of your website on search engines.
The result: more people will see your content and brand.
- Understand and Experiment With Paid Search
Experimenting with paid media or native advertising can help expand reach, increase brand awareness, page views and student lead flow.
70% of users prefer to learn about products through content versus traditional advertising.
As such brands are using native advertising to provide more relevant messaging, increase engagement, create word of mouth and generate awareness.
- Consider Cutting-Edge Technologies
Why not go the extra mile and consider ways of integrating technology into your marketing strategy? For example, virtual reality (VR) can be used to create a compelling documentary showing campus life, student interaction, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
This creates an immersive experience and lets prospective students visualize and internalize the entire process.