Why Digital Marketing for Higher Education Matters
May 22 2023
With more than 3.5 million Americans graduating from high school each year, it might seem that digital marketing efforts aren’t necessary for higher education institutions. After all, don’t America’s 4,000 degree-granting colleges and universities have a captive audience that basically needs what they’re offering?
That’s not necessarily the case. Colleges are constantly competing with each other. If a university elects not to pursue a robust digital marketing strategy, it’s not meeting students where they are, and it isn’t getting the prospective students it really wants on its campus.
How Does Digital Marketing Work for Higher Education?
Much like any other product, digital marketing campaigns start by catching the attention of the prospective customer. This approach has two prongs because parents and prospective students are considering possible college options. Smart institutions use one style of digital marketing for each group to attract their attention. For example, a university’s ad aimed at parents could talk about the value of a degree from the school, while an ad aimed at students could discuss the benefits of campus life. Both highlight positives about the school, and both hit at different things that each group cares about.
The goal of this digital marketing strategy is to increase awareness and interest in the institution and its programs, expand the reach and engage potential students and parents, and also alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders. The step to deciding on a college is much more drawn out than buying a brand of breakfast cereal, so giving users the basics to get them interested is important in the first steps. Out of 4,000 possible destinations, an institution wants to be in that group of 50 or so that a student and their family could see themselves considering.
How Can Digital Marketing Help With Higher Education?
The challenge for institutions is to get themselves to go beyond that first group. That continues with offering an easy-to-use website that functions on computers and mobile devices. Parents and prospective students want to see plenty of good information they can trust when they visit a school’s website. A good digital marketing agency can ensure that the information available meets their needs.
More importantly, the information has to be available where the users are. It’s no secret that today’s teens are far more likely to spend time on their phones than on a laptop computer, meaning a strong mobile website is necessary. Not only that but a strong social media presence is required. Education marketing efforts work best when they meet students where they are, and most students spend a lot of time on their preferred social media networks. A well-placed post on a social media network can get students interested in learning more about the institution, especially if it seems to come from someone they consider a peer. Coming up with the right strategies can provide the edge to getting students to ask for more information and get a positive image of the school.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important?
The average student only applies to a handful of colleges based on several factors unique to them. Given that this is a race that started with 4,000 options and gets whittled down to only 0.1% of the possibilities, everything an institution can do to give itself an advantage makes a difference.
Providing a little information here and there is the first step to creating a positive image of a school the student might not have initially considered. You might be surprised how many students decide their ideal school is a place they didn’t consider when they started the process. If they end up loving the school, that can serve as a positive reference for future students, helping more people find their way to the institution. Without a proper digital marketing strategy, these students are almost never within reach.
How Can Adtaxi Help?
At Adtaxi, we understand how to build a robust strategy that meets both kinds of potential users and creates engaging ads rather than intrusive ones.
Once they make that first click to make contact, we can help provide ways to further engage with them by acting as a true partner for the institution. Making the right digital marketing efforts today can help forge the connections that bring tomorrow’s students to campus. Once a prospect gets their foot in the door, it’s much easier to get them to want to make campus their home, and the right digital marketing strategy is the first step on that journey.
Our digital solutions can be specifically tailored to an institution’s goals and are proven incredibly beneficial in driving enrollment. Adtaxi’s thorough audit of existing strategies helps evaluate any potential gaps that could be addressed by incorporating CTV into the mix. The team is experienced in implementing diversified media mixes, including display retargeting and prospecting, to help institutions reach their desired audiences.
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