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Education Marketing: Spreading Your University's Story With Digital Marketing

You know your university has an amazing story to tell. From innovative programs to a stellar faculty, your school is transforming students' lives every single day. But in a crowded and competitive higher education market, how do you spread the word about all the great things happening on your campus? Digital marketing is part of the answer. By strategically sharing your schools story across channels like social media, email, and your website, you can raise awareness, tell your story, and drive interest in your school. And the best part? Digital marketing levels the playing field so schools of any size can reach prospective students. A guide to craft a compelling digital marketing strategy that will spread your university's story and showcase why students should choose your school.

College Students


Build Your University's Brand Through Social Media Marketing


Social media is one of the most effective ways to spread your university's story and boost brand awareness. By developing an active social media presence, you can engage prospective students, build relationships, and highlight what makes your school unique.

Focus on the platforms where your target audience spends the most time. For most universities, this means prioritizing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post regularly to stay top of mind, but don't overwhelm your followers. Frequency will vary by institution, but, a good rule of thumb is:

  • 1-3 social media posts per day on Facebook

  • 1-3 posts per day on Instagram

  • 2-5 tweets per day on Twitter

Share photos and videos to bring your content to life. Images of students, testimonials, campus life, academics, and alumni stories are always a hit. Also post about:

  1. New programs or areas of study. Talk about exciting opportunities students will have access too.

  2. Notable achievements by professors, students, sports teams or clubs. Celebrate your university's accomplishments and successes.

  3. Behind-the-scenes footage of campus events. Give people a glimpse into the vibrant on-campus culture. If you have online programs, showcase class case studies, project, or team activities.

  4. Inspiring stories of students or alumni. Share tales of perseverance, growth, and the pursuit of purpose.

  5. Quick tips or advice for prospective students. Provide value and helpful information for your target audience.

By posting authentic and engaging content on social media, you can spread your university's story, highlight what makes it exceptional, and build lasting connections with the next generation of students. Success comes down to consistency, quality, and showcasing the heart of your school.


Engage Prospective Students With Video Content


Engaging with prospective students through video is a highly effective way to spread your university's story. Videos allow you to show the personality and spirit of your school in a way that written content alone cannot.


Consider creating videos that provide an inside look at student life. Feature a "day in the life" of a current student, showing what it's really like to attend your university. Work with your internal marketing team or marketing agency to build out a video plan. We have done this successfully for one of our school partners and the videos are still some of the most watched on Youtube. Capture students attending classes, participating in extracurricular activities, studying in the library or student union, and socializing with friends.


You might also develop a video series where professors discuss their areas of research or passion projects. This allows prospective students to connect with faculty and get excited about the work being done at your school. This content can be repurposed in many ways and on multiple platforms.


Promotional videos are another option. Create an upbeat, inspiring video highlighting the best of what your university offers. Showcase state-of-the-art facilities, championship athletic teams, internship opportunities, study abroad programs, and anything else that makes your school unique.


Once you have great videos, promote them on your website, social media channels, and anywhere else prospective students spend time online. You can also show them at college fairs, student recruitment events, and high school visits.


Video content is engaging, memorable and helps to build an emotional connection between students and your university. By investing in high-quality, thoughtful videos and distributing them widely, you'll spread your school's story to more prospective students than ever before.


Optimize Your University's Website for Search Engines


Your university website is often the first digital touchpoint for prospective students and their families. Optimizing it for search engines like Google is key to spreading your school's story and reaching new audiences. Whether you are using a higher education SEO marketing agency or doing it in-house, this is a critical component to your schools online and community presence.


To improve search engine optimization (SEO), focus on your page titles, URLs, and content. Page titles are the first thing search engines evaluate, so include your university name and keywords that describe the page content. For example, "Admissions - University of Higher Education".


URLs should also be descriptive and contain keywords, e.g. universityofhighereducation.edu/admissions. Avoid non-descriptive URLs like universityofhighereducation.edu/page10.


The content on your pages is most significant for SEO. Use important keywords in page headings, in the first and last paragraphs, and throughout the body. For admissions pages, keywords could include:

  • University name

  • Admissions

  • Apply

  • Acceptance rate

  • Deadlines

  • Requirements

  • Tuition

  • Financial aid

  • Scholarships

Also include semantic keywords like:

  • Enroll

  • Register

  • Get in

  • Be admitted

Internal links between related pages on your site help search engines discover all your content. For example, link from your admissions page to tuition, financial aid, and student life pages.


SEO best practices also include fast page load times, mobile-friendly design, and secure site - University of Higher Education SSL certificate. Follow SEO tips for higher education marketers and reevaluate your website's SEO each year to keep improving your search rankings and reaching prospective students. With good SEO, you'll spread your university's story to more of your target audiences.


Reach More Students Through Online Advertising


Online advertising is one of the best ways to reach prospective students at scale. With platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads, Snapchat, Reddit, Quora, and even TikTok, you can get your university’s message in front of thousands of students across the world.


Target Relevant Keywords


Focus your ads on keywords and phrases students are searching for, like “colleges in [state/city name]” or “bachelor’s degree in [major name].” Place your ads on search engine result pages and social media platforms when students search those terms. Your ads should highlight your key programs and majors to capture interest.


Optimize for Mobile


The majority of students browse the web and social media on their mobile devices. Ensure your ads are optimized for mobile viewing with eye-catching yet minimal creative, easy-to-read text, and a clear call-to-action like “Learn More.” Keep file sizes small for fast loading.


Retarget Prospective Students


Use retargeting to follow prospective students around the web after they visit your website or social media profiles. Retargeting keeps your university's name at the top of students’ minds and encourages them to take the next step to apply or enroll.


Track and Optimize


Closely monitor the performance of your ads to see which are generating the most impressions, clicks, and conversions. Make adjustments to improve results like changing ad copy, choosing new keywords, or modifying your target audience. With regular optimization, you can achieve a higher return on your advertising investment.


Online advertising may require an initial investment, but the potential to connect with more students and drive enrollment growth makes it worth the resources. By crafting relevant messaging, optimizing for the mobile experience, retargeting prospects, and diligently tracking performance, your university can build brand awareness and spread your story to inspire the next generation of students.


Measure and Analyze Your Education Marketing Digital Efforts


This is one of the most important steps in understanding the impact of your marketing efforts. What you don't measure, you can't improve. To determine if your digital marketing efforts are effective, you need to measure and analyze the results. Some key metrics to track include:


Web Traffic


Monitor how many visitors are coming to your website and blog. Use Google Analytics to see where they’re coming from (social media, search engines, etc.) and what content they’re engaging with. See if traffic is trending up over time. More traffic means your content and social media efforts are working.


Lead Generation


Track how many leads or prospective students you’re generating from your digital marketing campaigns. Use forms on your website and social media profiles to capture contact information from interested students. See if lead generation is increasing month over month and year over year.


Conversions


The ultimate goal is to convert leads into enrolled students. Analyze how many leads end up applying and registering for your programs. Look for ways to optimize your digital marketing to boost lead conversion rates. Even small improvements can lead to big increases in new student enrollment.


ROI


Calculate your return on investment to ensure your digital marketing budget is being well spent. Compare the revenue generated from new student enrollment to how much you’re spending on digital marketing. Make sure you’re getting a strong ROI before investing more into new campaigns and initiatives.


Key Performance Indicators


Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to benchmark your digital marketing performance over time. Some examples include:

  • Number of social media followers gained per month

  • Increase in organic search traffic year over year

  • Rise in monthly lead generation over the previous year

  • Percentage increase in new student enrollment from digital marketing

Reviewing these metrics and KPIs regularly will help you gain valuable insights into what’s working and what needs improvement. Make data-driven decisions to optimize your digital marketing for the best results.


Conclusion


Utilize this framework, tools and knowledge to tell your university's story and engage your students and prospects across the digital marketing universe. Use your website as a hub to share the depth and breadth of your institution. Leverage social media to engage prospective students and build community. Create content that inspires and informs, showing the real experiences of students and faculty. With digital marketing, you can reach audiences at scale while still fostering meaningful connections. Success comes from consistency, creativity, and authenticity. Keep experimenting, learning, and improving to better serve your students. The future is bright for higher education marketers willing to embrace new technologies and new ways of storytelling. Spread your message, share your vision, and change lives. This is the why behind our marketing agency and the reason we only work in higher education marketing.

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