8 Proven Digital Marketing Hacks to Boost Your Student Enrollment in 2021Venkatesh C.R
Education, it’s safe to say, will never not be in demand. Nonetheless, there will always be a business side to the said field, and for that promotion is nothing short of necessary. Also, not all education services are cut from the same cloth. Certain services are harder to promote than others and there will always be competition, which is why companies are turning to digital marketing for the education sector.
If you happen to be looking for marketing strategies for schools, then you’re in luck because the perks provided by digital marketing services to educational institutes are the main topic of discussion in this post. What concrete steps should you take to market your courses? How do present-day institutes successfully promote education businesses? How can you generate quality students leads? These are but some of the fundamental questions that will be answered here.
Why Do Educational Institutes Need Digital Marketing?
Almost any type of education service needs and continues to rely on marketing for promotion. That said, the relevance of digital marketing lies in its inherent connection to social media and its obvious vast, unprecedented scope. Let’s face it, the norm shift to the Internet and social media only made this inevitable.
Compared to other types of marketing, no other field can boast of being able to provide this much scalability and reach. Another proven advantage of digital marketing for training institutes is that it’s usually more affordable. With optimal control and management of your campaign, companies and even schools & colleges can enjoy relatively higher conversion rates with better ROI through social media marketing, for example.
Digital marketing also provides plenty of leeways for personalization, which has been proven to be automatically more effective than any other kind of strategy.
Must-Follow Education Marketing Strategies
Before you try out these strategies, know that any kind of digital marketing strategy for schools will only ever be as good as its execution. We’re simply sowing the seeds, so to speak, by sharing these ideas, and it lies entirely in your hands how you’re going to implement them.
Do take note, though, that a lot of these online marketing tips for schools are backed up by various educational institutions that have enjoyed first-hand success from following them.
1. Online Reputation Management
Your school’s online reputation can have a direct effect on the number of students that will enroll in your institute. How will parents perceive your school with the kind of social media presence that you have? Are the platforms you’re using open to accepting and sharing the on-campus experience of students or parents’ opinions about it? Do you have an adequate response plan should parents and students file a complaint or portray your organization in a negative light?
Managing your institution’s online reputation involves opening communication channels, liberal and effective use of social media, and being aware of what aspects of your school are being talked about on all available online platforms.
2. Optimize Your Website for SEO
Your website serves as the front door to your school in the online world, so it’s only right for any education marketing plan to prioritize not only how it’s presented but the traffic it receives as well. And, of course, if you want organic traffic, which still remains the best kind of traffic these days, you simply have to invest in search engine optimization, both global and local search.
Using compelling visual media is one good way for education websites to become more engaging. The same goes for any written content. Quality will always be the gold standard in this regard, so don’t skimp on it.
3. Put a Contact Form on Each Web Page
Contact forms encourage visitors to reach out to you immediately. They’re also one of the most convenient ways that you can show potential clients, present students, and parents that your school’s doors are always open to them. Many form builder solutions exist that can be customized according to your school’s theme or needs.
4. Continuous Website Updation
Google likes websites that undergo consistent (positive) change. Any website that is abuzz with activity not only keeps students engaged but almost always makes itself more relevant in the eyes of the search engines. There’s also nothing more impressive in the eyes of regular visitors than websites that change and even improve over time. If your school is regularly subject to change, why shouldn’t its online counterpart?
5. Social Media Management & Email Marketing
The bulk of your student and parent engagement activities will revolve around social media so it’s only proper to have focused and effective management of your channels. Social media unlocks numerous opportunities to improve communication and even entertainment and engagement. For example, any kind of event in your school can also be streamed live on Facebook so parents can easily join in, too. Any quick queries can be answered through them as well. That is, of course, assuming you have a steady manager of your school’s social media accounts.
Email marketing, on the other hand, remains one of the most reliable branches of digital marketing. The key here is to come up with content that will attract prospective students and keep the present ones engaged.
Besides the standard newsletters, you can also send out higher education marketing promotional emails that highlight your campus or latest research, for instance. Of course, your school’s branding and online reputation should play into your campaigns, too.
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6. Retargeting and Paid Ads
Facebook Ads is one great platform that offers plenty as far as paid advertising is concerned. It’s the variety of ad options that allow you to optimize your campaigns over time. For example, you can showcase more of your school’s perks and attractive qualities by using carousel ads. You also have plenty of freedom to make your campaigns hyper-focused by being able to target specific locations, ages, and even ad placements.
On the subject of retargeting, if you’re not already aware of the negative impact of ad fatigue, it’s actually one nifty marketing strategy that involves changing the ads that you show to the same audience over a period of time.
7. Event Sponsorship
Sponsorship support always allows you to cut large costs so it’s not surprising that it’s practically a mainstay in any effective marketing plan for educational institutions. The difference that digital marketing makes is that your scope would simply be wider and larger.
That said, partnering with local causes such as charity drives and the sports organization does afford you the opportunity to engage with the people in your locality. In the end, it’s whether you have the will to reach out to the numerous options that will undoubtedly be presented to you that will matter.
8. Promoting via Content Strategies like Webinar, Career Guidance Content, Placement News
These platforms simply demonstrate that you won’t run out of routes to take as far as online promotion is concerned. Webinars often give you the opportunity to acquire the contact information of parents who attend them, for example. In career guidance content and campus placement news, on the other hand, you can showcase the companies your school is affiliated with.
How Does Education Lead Generation Work?
Lead generation techniques for college admissions almost always start with an online search, hence, the importance of SEO and paid advertisement, though that’s obviously just one route. If an online search is performed for a specific bachelor’s degree (let’s say in Biology), your ads, assuming they were optimized, will appear at the top spot of the SERPs.
Once interested students click on it, they will be brought to a landing page that specifically conforms and is highly relevant to the query made. Most schools take this opportunity to ask for the personal information of the prospective student, especially if a student shows interest in what they have to offer.
Assuming the student is interested to learn more about your Biology program, he will be asked to enter his name and contact information (usually an email), after which the student will immediately be able to access the information via a downloadable fact sheet.
With a proper lead generation strategy at play, you can, for example, lean toward remarketing ads, where that student will see the said ads relevant to his previous inquiry. If your school will be holding a specific info session for a given date or duration, the ad can show that to him and he will pay your website a visit again to register.
Either that or you rely on SEO and your content to get your landing page to the top, which makes things even better. Also, there are other higher education lead generation campaign ideas but that should give you a basic gist about how lead generation works for schools.
Once you take a closer look at most of the strategies mentioned above, it becomes evident that digital marketing in education overlaps with plenty of the strategies employed by online businesses and even most e-commerce stores operating nowadays. The difference, of course, lies in the approach and the fact that you should be well aware of what your target students’ needs and the present, specific state of your institute.
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