Marketing strategies for educational institutions

July 30, 2019
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Education is a challenging sector for marketing. Marketing strategies for educational institutions have become increasingly competitive and complex over time.

Some obstacles include budget constraints and having to turn to an entirely new audience each and every year. In addition, with the growth of digital marketing channels, it is becoming increasingly difficult to create marketing strategies for educational institutions that are actually successful among users.

What is clear is that it is necessary to carry out marketing strategies for educational institutions because the users are waiting for them. The students or the tutors of the students look for online registration forms, web pages with complete information on the possible accesses to courses, learning methods, social media presence, etc.

As digital channels evolve, marketing strategies for educational institutions must also be renewed. The goal is finding new communication channels to connect with users.

How to approach marketing strategies for educational institutions

Education is a unique sector within the marketing sphere, and therefore, its strategies can get really complex. However, it is actually possible to design a good marketing strategy that helps you turn your leads into students.

However, the first thing you need is to understand the environment in which you want to make an impact on. Who is your target audience? What kind of education is offered by your institution, and who is it aimed at?

Key questions you should consider before start working on your marketing strategy

  • What do you want to achieve through your strategy? Having the goals clearly defined from the beginning will help you shape the campaign at every step.
  • How will you measure your campaign? This is really about measuring the ROI of your campaign. But if this is the first time you are carrying out marketing strategies for educational institutions, you should know that the first step is always to achieve a high level of engagement with your audience. Gain your users’ trust and build a good relationship.
  • How often do you want to make contact with your audience? How often would you send messages that would impact your users? There is no concrete answer to that. Communicate something whenever you have something relevant to say and as many times as you want.
  • What kind of content do you want to send? Offer your users something of value in each communication.
  • How will you track your actions? Using analysis and tracking codes will allow you to see the traffic you generate. It is important to track all your marketing actions so you can analyze your audience and determine what kind of actions have the most impact on it. It’s also important to know where in the process your action may have failed because then you will have to change your strategy. If you’ve sent an email but did not get the expected result, you may need to change the design or use another subject. Any small change can lead to a big improvement, so keep track of all your strategies.

Marketing strategies for educational institutions you should consider

1.- Instagram

It’s just impossible to ignore a social network with 800 million active monthly users. With incredible reach and great interaction, Instagram offers educational institutions the opportunity to bring the reality of their institution out so the interested users can have a peek.

Instagram has become one of the best apps to show the reality of the educational sector. It is perfect to bring reality out to followers and users interested in programs, facilities, extracurricular activities, etc. offered by the institution. Everything makes sense in Instagram.

Instagram’s charm is mainly due to its simplicity. It is not excessively difficult to post beautiful and attractive photos depicting real scenarios. In addition, thanks to the photo-editing functions of this social network, photos can be taken and posted instantly.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories also allows you to interact and broadcast almost live what is happening at the educational institution. This option is perfect for announcing or streaming events, conferences or talks that are taking place at that moment. It is a perfect opportunity to connect with potential students.

If you work for or study in a university, for example, you could take pictures of different events and keep them in the featured stories so they don’t get lost with time. So any student looking for university options for their future can have more information and know the daily reality of the university in question.

2.- Animation and video in higher education marketing

It has been proved that, in general, video format has a greater impact than text. But in the educational sector, this happens even more so. In general, a visual experience, at least in the educational field, has a greater impact than any leaflet offered by any institution.

That’s why many institutions use platforms like Vimeo or YouTube to upload videos. Videos and animations can be strategically designed to reach a wide audience. Video ads and animations can be a very successful component of marketing strategies for educational institutions.

Virtual Reality Videos in Educational Institutions

Virtual reality opportunities within education are getting more popular than ever. Their use is not limited only to classroom activities.

Virtual reality is increasingly being used to attract new students to American universities, for example. Companies such as Campus Tours offer panoramic virtual reality tours inside buildings and around campuses.

Many institutions have introduced the possibility of taking a virtual tour of their university campus. The intention is to offer the experience to people who cannot be there in person either because of lack of time or because of their location. It allows future students and their parents to explore the campus from wherever they are.

3.- Facebook Ads

A study by Hanover Research found that through Facebook ads, schools are able to connect with potential students without spending significant amounts of money. This tool can be another option for your strategy.

Here are some tips you can follow to make good use of Facebook ads for your marketing campaign:

  • Show authentic pictures or videos of real students and alumni. This way, you will show authenticity in your advertising and help future students see themselves in that same place.
  • Don’t forget to include calls to action. Offer your target audience an added value. You can, for example, offer an easy online registration in exchange of information, or a tour of the campus by appointment. Other options can also be e-brochures or a trial class or just more information about the school. Any action that suits your institution and may interest potential clients will do.
  • Interact with users. Communicate with users who share, “like” or comment on your ad. And, of course, don’t leave comments unanswered.
  • Create segmented advertising campaigns. The more relevant your message is to a particular audience, the better it will work.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of ad creativity. The graphic resources you use can trigger your conversion rate.

4.- Google Ads

If you have a budget earmarked for your digital marketing strategy and have just started, using Google Adwords may be a good option. It will help you drive traffic to the web and optimize your website.

Create personalized and targeted ads. It’s best to build on the audience data you’ve interpreted and based on it, create specific ads for that target.

Using re-marketing in the educational sector makes a lot of sense. Students take some time before making a decision. Make your ad appear to users more than once.

Add additional information to your ads. For example, the institution’s phone number or email so that people can contact directly or ask for information. Offering easy contact is always a good way to recruit students.

5.- Having an intuitive website

Nothing that has been said so far makes sense if your institution’s website is not well designed. An intuitive website is one of the most valuable tools for your marketing strategy. Visit the New York University website to give you an idea of some good design.

The information you offer must be clear and easy to find. Many users will look for information about programs, prices, courses and other points of interest on your website. Get all your platforms ready to offer detailed information in a neat and coherent way.

Marketing strategies for educational institutions are not something easy. Like any strategy, it takes time to develop, and creating a great strategy involves a lot of testing, fixing mistakes and lots of learning too.

It’s about understanding how to attract the user and how to send the right message at the right time. If you are unsure about where to start, or if your current strategy is failing, Antevenio can help. Find out how we can help you start building a strategy that works for your brand.

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