Education marketing: 5 tips for successful student recruitment

Published April 16, 2018

We know that the expectations of parents and prospective students is steadily increasing, and on top of traditional print marketing in the form of prospectuses, online entry forms, engaging digital marketing, and active social media accounts are now all anticipated as standard.

How do you make your institution stand out in a crowded marketplace? Our 5 steps to success can help you make sure all bases are covered in your education marketing strategy.

1. Consider all your audiences

With the rising costs of education and the growth in the range of educational options, prospective students and their parents are making decisions earlier and earlier as to what is the right choice for them. Your marketing materials can no longer be targeted just at the prospective students of the next academic year, it’s also important to consider how your materials and content will be received by younger audiences who might be researching for their future.

2. Be human

Don’t shy away from being authentic on your social media channels. Prospective students expect to get a feel for the personality of an establishment from channels like YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, and this is fast becoming part of their decision-making process. Create content that encourages engagement with your alumni, existing and prospective students. Also note that younger generations are increasingly turned off by overtly branded content.

3. Get serious

Insight shows that with the rising costs of education, students and parents are taking an active interest in the nuts and bolts of their education choices, including the course content, lecturer profiles and learning experience. For example, 70% of university students ‘strongly agree’ that having highly qualified teaching staff indicates that a university provides good-quality teaching, which is a key factor in their decision-making process. Your communications should take this into account, sharing a balance of the serious information together with the culture of your establishment.

4. Connect the dots

Print is not dead, sharing your prospectus is still a key part of your strategy but it shouldn’t be the only part of your marketing. Don’t overlook creating bitesize pieces of key content from your prospectus to distribute through your other channels. For example, create visuals for social media, communicate your USPs in an email marketing campaign, and make a mobile friendly version of your prospectus available. With teenagers checking their phones an average of 90 times per day, ensuring all of your communications are not only available but user-friendly via mobile, helps connect the dots and allows your message to always be heard coherently.

5. Raise your street cred (ibility)

Leaving a review has become part and parcel of everyday life. People want to hear from other people about their experiences, whether it’s booking a holiday, making an online purchase or eating in a restaurant. Testimonials from past and present students can be very powerful in raising your profile. Also remember to highlight any award wins, latest exam results and key achievements.

If you feel your marketing strategy is missing something, or if you have an open day coming up and need some help with your marketing efforts, please get in touch on 01483 746 650 or email us at hello@somethingbig.co.uk.

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