If your Educational institution has a website, has social media accounts, and has ever sent an email, you're ready for a marketing strategy for a higher education institution . If you don’t know what inbound marketing is and why is it important for your growth, I recommend you check out these blogs: Inbound Marketing 101: What is it and why do HEIs need it?, Higher Education Marketing Playbook to Stand Out from Competition and How to Increase Enrollment through Inbound.
When it comes to attracting new students, there's a common mistake that higher education marketers and admission teams make: they use the same channels and methods each year. However, if you are using inbound marketing, you are on the right track.
Inbound marketing gives room for creativity and creating some outstanding content, we want to help you in creating the best Inbound marketing campaigns. So we are sharing with you some industry secrets that will help you!
Send the right emails
You may think that this is easier said than done, however through some simple forms in your website you will get to know which persona each website visitor fits and where in their enrollment journey they are. This information should be used in personalizing your emails.
There are some easy tips in email marketing that every higher education marketer should know:
You have to choose a captivating subject line and preview text, since this is the first thing people will see; if it's not attractive enough they won't bother to open the email.
As you know content is king, that's why you have to choose topics very carefully according to personas and enrollment journey stage. For example, if you are sending an email to a prospective student that visited your website’s finance program page but didn’t apply, you can send them an email about the career and the field of finance graduates. Another example is a prospective student's parent who spent a lot of time on your website’s financial assistance page should be sent an email about different kinds of scholarships and who is eligible for them.
Whatever the topic and type of your email is, make sure it includes a clear call to action (CTA) to ensure that they take the next step in their enrollment journey. An email CTA can be a link to a blog or an article, it can be an invitation for a campus tour or anything else that is relevant to the email receiver.
Don't forget effective email nurturing is all about sending the right emails to the right people at the right time.
Involve Students and Alumni
People tend to relate more to real-life experiences, so using your current enrolled students and alumni will give your institution an authentic voice. There are various ways you can share their experiences; students can write blogs or shoot videos about their college life and the extracurricular activities they do, while alumni can share their success stories and their achievements after graduation. You can also have interview videos for students talking about particular academic programs. This will make prospective students see how an education at your institution looks from the perspective of a student.
If you have a celebrity alumni, influencer marketing is for you! Reach out to successful famous people who graduated from your institution and ask them to share testimonials on their own platforms. Influencer marketing is effective because the opinion comes from someone people feel they can relate to and trust.
Consistently Analyze, Report and Adapt
Any inbound marketing campaign has to begin with a strategy phase. An inbound marketing strategy is important because every action you will take later on comes from it. In the process of creating your marketing for higher education strategy, you should create your goals, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).
For now, let's focus on the KPIs, each campaign should have its unique KPI to measure its performance. A KPI should be measurable, timely and relevant to your goals and objectives.
Here are some popular KPIs used in higher education marketing campaigns:
After starting your inbound campaign, you should consistently analyze how it's performing through your KPIs and calculate its ROI. Then comes the next part; reporting. Having a marketing dashboard that shows how each channel, post and page performance helps you in understanding and evaluating your marketing efforts.
Lastly, by regularly monitoring and evaluating each action in your campaigns, you start to learn what's working best for you and what's not working. The biggest perk of digital marketing is the flexibility of changing and trying new approaches as you go.
It’s important to measure your results against the standards you set while establishing your goals and the industry standards. Review your plan periodically (we recommend monthly or quarterly) and don't be afraid to try a lot of methods till you find the one best for your institution.
Creating an effective marketing strategy for higher education institution is not an easy task but the results are worth the effort. Start investing your tie and energy in the inbound methodology and we guarantee you a dramatic increase in your enrollment numbers.
Scitecs believes in the power of a strong marketing strategy for higher education institution in enrollment growth that's why we created STEP -Scitecs Technology in Education Program- to help HEI reach their goals by providing adequate practices and tools of the latest marketing and admission technologies.
The first STEP your HEI can take to increase its enrollment numbers is understanding how inbound enrollment, Inbound Marketing for higher education, and admission systems can benefit you. Download our eBook now to learn more about Inbound Enrollment.