10 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Universities

Universities invest a wholesome amount in marketing to motivate current students and attract new ones. Having the right digital marketing strategies in place is the key to your success today.

Education is an expensive business, and all universities struggle to prove that their institution offers the best university experience.

Higher education marketing is very competitive which is why you need effective marketing strategies to dwell over your competitors.

As everything has become digital, gone are the days when only traditional marketing strategies would work wonders.

If your university wants to take the lead among this generation’s competition, it has to you need to be forward-thinking and consider enlisting the help of digital marketing agencies.

Let’s take a look at some effective digital marketing strategies you can execute to put your university at the top.

Ten Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Universities

We have listed ten of the best and most effective digital marketing strategies for anyone who is looking for ways to boost their education branding. These strategies bring positive outcomes for your education brand. 

Content Marketing for Higher Education:

Content marketing is one of the most effective strategies for a university brand. Diverse, engaging, and consistent content can help boost a higher education institute’s brand name and lead to a rise in inquiries.

Today, prospective students are mostly found and captured online, less so in offline as in days past.

Nowadays, the initial point of contact is between a university and a student via some digital content which is why it is essential to use content marketing for higher education.

Content marketing is all about creativity, and with the advancements in technology seemingly every minute, there is so much that you can do to market your university.

You can use blog posts, ebooks, infographics, virtual tours, and social media to market your brand effectively.

Social Media Marketing

The upcoming generation is more tech-savvy than any other, which is why social media marketing is a strategy one cannot miss.

Social media is one technology making an impact in marketing to students. Building an online community of students through social media is essential today.

Below is an excellent example from Clemson University highlighting the school’s mascot strolling through campus in the rain.

Social media can help you build popularity among prospective students and create brand awareness among people looking for the right place to study. With the right social media platforms and content, you can reach an audience as broad as possible.

According to an International Student Survey in 2017, 83% of prospective university students use social media channels to look for universities. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the most popular.

PPC Next-gen Advertising

PPC is an abbreviation used for Pay-Per-Click and is one of the most used and effective marketing strategies that more and more universities and other education institutes are using every year. 

One of the very popular examples of PPC advertising is Google Ads where you only have to pay when your ad is clicked on. However, you can successfully run PPC on various other platforms, including popular social media platforms.

When using PPC, you need to mindfully create an ad that uses strategically targeted keywords that would attract your target audience. Search engines or platforms will then display this ad to the targeted viewers. 

SEO Optimized

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important and effective tactics any business can use to show up online today.

As the world is getting more digitized, so is today’s generation of students, which is why an SEO-optimized website, mobile app, and other content is essential for growing awareness and reaching prospective students.

You must implement on-page and off-page SEO to get organic traffic flowing toward your university’s website through relevant search queries on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.

For effective marketing of your university brand, you must implement other digital marketing strategies and SEO online marketing in line with one another.

You must ensure your pages have relevant content with schema, Meta tags, and HTML hierarchy.

Online PR Strategies

Earlier, public relations were built through personal interactions. However, now times have changed, and everything has become digitized, which is why you need to implement online PR strategies.

Online PR strategies are a mixture of traditional PR tactics along with social media marketing, SEO optimization, and content marketing.

An effective online PR strategy would generate conversations that would directly speak to the online target audience and showcase and spotlight your brand.

An excellent example of an effective online PR strategy is one that creates positive media exposure, develops institutional credibility by linking high-level media outlets with the faculty, and amplifies SEO value.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the new trend in the marketing world, and it works wonders for almost all businesses. All businesses, whether big or small, are earning a lot of revenue through influencer marketing which is why you must use it to market your university.

Check out this video by USC student and influencer Olivia Jade. Oliva offers her 1.8 million subscribers an insider view into college life with a room tour.

Influencer marketing is an affordable and effective approach in which you can work with personalities who create engaging content to spread the positive word about your university. An influencer can lead to so many times more engagement than any other marketing medium.

As a university brand, you can work with students to create organic content to drive organic traffic. Moreover, you can also use ambassadors and create videos and make students forward among their circle.

There are many influencers present on social media platforms who have the same niche as yours. You can approach them and enjoy positive outcomes.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another effective strategy that businesses use. You can make your target audience feel like you are taking them for college preparation through email marketing.

What you can do is generate an automated email series that coincides with where the students are in their application process.

You must ensure that the content of the emails is interesting, as receivers would block boring emails. The email templates should be enticing to the reader so that they hit the call to action button.

Prospective students can be reminded of your university’s admission processes and fill out the application forms strategically through effective email marketing.

Brand Awareness Display Marketing

Another very effective marketing strategy for universities is brand awareness display marketing. Display marketing is aimed toward the target audience that would most likely purchase your service or product – in this case, a college education. 

Most of such ads are generated via an advertising network and depend mainly on PPC advertising.

Display marketing is a great strategy to build brand awareness as it helps in reaching targeted demographics. Display ads are less disruptive than radio and TV advertisements which is why they garner visibility.

Your ads will show up in relevant searches on websites where your targeted audience frequently spends time.

If you just display the ad in front of your audience, people will get familiar with your university, which will then grow the search ad conversion and lead to organic traffic.

Short-Form Video into your Higher Education Marketing Strategy

The short-form video consists of short videos that are under ten minutes in length. As internet users are increasing with every minute, so is the content consumption of videos.

Videos have become the most effective digital marketing strategy for educational institutes like universities. 

You can provide valuable content to your potential students to make them your permanent students.

Your team can use short-form videos with quality content to market your university and generate organic traffic. Post these videos on your website, social media platforms, and other platforms your target audience uses.

Check out this video series created by Anthony Gaenzle and team when he headed up the marketing at The College of William & Mary’s business school.

The short-form video series about highlighting the expertise of the faculty to entice students to attend the university.

Short-Form videos show relevant content in under ten minutes which is why your message reaches your audience. Viewers usually prefer watching short-form videos rather than watching lengthy video content.

Embrace YouTube for Content Marketing

Watching a video is more effortless than reading something, so you must embrace YouTube for content marketing. Videos on YouTube can provide information to those students who want to learn about your university. 

Posts and pages cannot show a university’s perspective like a video can. YouTube is an easily accessible platform used quite a bit by students. Content can smartly be put in a video that people otherwise would not watch if it were placed on a lesser-used channel. 

You can also use YouTube to live stream major events like convocations etc. This will let students know how your university celebrates such events. You can smartly use YouTube for content marketing by making effective videos and posting them.

Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing Strategies for Universities

Like every other business, educational institutes like universities and colleges also need marketing to reach their prospective students to get admissions and create a brand image in the market.

You must use effective digital marketing strategies to market your university successfully.

The above ten strategies will help you effectively market your university brand to reach prospective students and get the desired outcomes.

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