Work Smarter, Not Harder: The 101 on How to Effectively Market Your University
Education is an investment. This means that anybody seeking a great education will want to only invest in the best and this is why education marketing is the key to every university and any other learning institution. Whether you need to grow your business by attracting new students or motivate the ones you already have, you need to know how to market effectively.
In the world today, people have realized the importance of a good education and have become willing to put their time and money into it. You need to assure your target customer that what you are offering is worth every bit of their money. With the rise of digital technology, traditional education marketing methods may not cut it.
If you are looking to improve your schools' programs or attract new students, then read on and find out how you can smartly achieve your education marketing goals.
1. Education Marketing Should Focus On The Students
Let’s face it, you cannot run a university without students. Effective marketing strategies need to focus on both current and incoming students. The question becomes, how do you capture the attention of your target audience in a world so over-run with attention seekers? How can you pry your current and potential students’ eyes away from social media, Netflix, and other distractions to focus on what your university has to offer?
The answer is simpler than you might think. Effective education marketing uses a combination of online and print materials to not only showcase the excellent education students receive at your institution, but the lifestyle your students enjoy. Sending mail the old fashioned way can actually have a humongous impact on students. Many prospective students are not used to receiving glossy, full-color photos and other literature by physical mail. The novelty, as well as the inviting imagery, can capture the imagination in a way that makes follow-up over email or targeted ad campaigns sing. By sending print campaigns out that feature happy, smiling students with enticing large-scale imagery that suggest the atmosphere and culture of your campus, you can showcase your school as well as your student body. Marry your print campaign with online material by providing a link to read more about the students, buildings, events, and curriculum featured.
Your print and online campaigns should showcase how your university provides a hospitable and engaging environment for the students. You will be surprised how easy it can be to make students fall in love with your campus. Florida International University is considered one of the best when it comes to good student life.
Get to know what the students want and help them achieve just that. This does not necessarily mean that you will use a lot of money. For example, Miami Dade College has a work-study program where students can apply for jobs while studying.
Get your students involved by allowing them to organize fund drives if they need anything. This can help create a sense of community and outreach for students. Let them have fun with it, as long as it does not interfere with the quality of education and discipline.
2. Social Media
Traditionally, students depended only on direct mail to know more about the schools. The Internet has given rise to social media, which is one of the powerful marketing tools that you can use. The reality is that all your students and potential students are online and you need to be there too. Combining your print and online marketing efforts will be the most effective way to reach your students. Engage them on an in-hand (print) and visual (online) level through mailing programs and your online social platforms.
Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all free to join. Use these channels to showcase your school and the programs that you offer. There are ways that you can grow your social media presence and get everybody talking about the school.
The secret here is to grow your social platforms by using quality pictures and content.
3. Use Video Marketing
Watching a video is easy and can be done by almost anyone. Instead of only using print media, make a video about the school and its services. In the video, provide the necessary information that you need to put across but make it very interesting to watch.
You can post the video free of charge on your social media sites, YouTube, and your website too. Barry University has one on their website of a virtual tour that gives future students a taste of Barry University even before they visit it.
Videos will clearly portray the personality of your school and will make one want to know more about it. You can also use printed collateral and videos to help advertise any other upcoming school events.
4. Get Optimized
Higher education marketing on the internet is improved when you use the best SEO practices. Since students will be looking you up on the internet, it is better if they can find you fast. Your university needs to stay on top of the search whenever someone types in any keywords that are related to your school.
You need to make sure that pages in your site line up with words that people mostly use when looking for a university. Programs such as Google Ad Words and Facebook can assist you to make your advertisements rank higher than others. Use this together with SEO to get good results.
Today, Florida International University is one of the best-ranked universities in Yelp.
5. Quality Print Media
Whether you are sending out acceptance letters, reports, brochures, invitation letters, and any other thing in print, ensure they are all made of quality materials. Quality printing is not expensive when done in bulk and engaging the services of a good printing company will guarantee that you only have the best quality prints, printed on time and on-demand.
Print media can be overwhelming to those who haven’t interacted with it much before. One needs to choose a paper weight. A finish. Should you go with matte or glossy? What kind of file do you need to send in? How will your final product look? Who will handle the printing and shipping? Is that your responsibility or the printer’s?
The most effective client-printer relationships contain a printer that is willing to guide you through the process to make decisions painless and your print material spotless. They will freely educate you on the difference between coated and uncoated, 70gsm and 100gsm, finishes, binding options, perforations, and everything else that goes into crafting a quality print project. Printers that are worth your dollar will provide the kind of guidance one needs when working under budgeting and time constraints, as most universities operate. Whether you need to get recruiting material shipped out, acceptance letters in the mail, or scholarship notifications sent, a quality print media partner will be right there with you.
The same should go to the school magazine, newsletters and mail. When you use quality, you will look professional and everyone is bound to take you and your services seriously. Here’s a tip, find a good printing company that also offers other solutions such as: designing, mailing and fulfillment services. This can be extremely beneficial because they can handle your projects from beginning to end and all under one roof. Finding one vendor that does it all will help keep your costs low and keep your print media projects on time.
6. Show Evidence Of Success
It is important to keep the correct statistics for your school. Keep a record of how many students you receive in a year, how many graduated, how many find employment or utilize the knowledge they gathered from your school, and what your alumni are up to in their careers.
If you are not able to prove that a big percentage of your alumni are successful, then you will not be able to convince new students to enroll with you.
If your previous students are happy with where they ended up, they will want to confess proudly that they are who they are because they attended your university. For example, The University of Miami has an alumni association which includes a number of famous celebrities and businessmen and women that they have proudly mentioned on their website.
7. Give Potential Students A Taste Of Learning With You
Many colleges offer free tours and open days to students that wish to enroll with them. Very few, however, give the students a chance to have a taste of sitting in a lecture. The transition from a class to a lecture hall is not an easy one and if you can be able to prepare them for what is ahead, chances are that they will want to enroll with the institution that gave them this experience.
Promote this extensively in any ongoing campaign like the free tour. You will be doing something different from the rest. You should also provide them with printed educational materials, a simple pen and notebook from your well-branded promotional materials for them to take home.
Smart Education Marketing Strategy Is All About Being Different
You cannot do what everyone else is doing and expect positive results in education marketing. Always put the effort to work smarter, not harder.
Remember to diversify and embrace every students’ background. You will be surprised how many students fail to go to good colleges because of their ethnicity, race, or religion.
Make your institution a safe haven for all and market it as such. If you are looking for a partner to help you grow and sell your brand, then check out our website and see what we have for your university.
Contact us today for all your printing, mailing, and fulfillment needs in education marketing.