Marketing in the education sector is notoriously difficult. Budget constraints and the need to appeal to an entirely new audience every year are well-known challenges.
With the rise of digital marketing channels, professionally marketing for the education industry has become even more demanding and competitive. Students (and associated parents) now expect a consistent online experience and a genuine social media presence.
With candidate recruiting becoming a year-round process, even veteran educational providers should be re-evaluating their marketing approach on an annual basis. You will need to understand how marketing for educational institutes works in Australia.
What Does Higher Education Marketing Work?
Higher education marketing is the process of marketing an institution to those seeking any type of higher education degree, which in the U.S. or Australia is defined as any degree beyond a high school diploma.
So, how can you make sure your marketing plan for the education sector is successful? Some of it will generally depend on the setting and goals of your school, college, or institution, but here are some common considerations.
Take into Account Social Media
Candidates now expect you to be active on key social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. Milking the most of social media platforms and understanding what your audience wants to experience on each channel can help you keep your university, school, or institution in the foreground of their minds, so make sure you’re taking advantage of them.
Social media is one of the top platforms you can use to market your college to prospective students. You can as well collaborate with the favourite influencers of your prospective students and advertise the content on social media.
One of the most popular higher education marketing trends is showing up where your prospective students are.
Research by McKinsey found that the marketers who were best at understanding their audience were the most successful in all measures: acquisition, conversion, satisfaction, and more.
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Timing and Schedule Planning is Important in Your Educational Institute Marketing Strategy
Consider when you can effectively develop or evaluate your higher education marketing strategy during the year while still providing time for implementation. Making preparations for the upcoming academic year in June and the new fiscal year and spring intake in February are best.
Setting aside time during critical times of the year to focus on your marketing strategy, independent of your budget, will assist you in developing demand that leads to filling those spaces in your educational institute.
It’s also important to remember to keep prospective applicants warm all year. Don’t think of candidate recruiting as a one-time ‘open day,’ since if you’re not on top of things all year, rivals will find it all too comfortable with sneaking up on you and grabbing prospective students when you least suspect it.
Take a Multi-Channel Strategy, But Tie Everything Together
A prospectus is still essential and the most fantastic way to tell your narrative, from outcomes to prestige, infrastructure to extracurricular activities – but they shouldn’t be viewed as a mere document in a heap.
Print isn’t dead (at least not in academia), but make sure your prospectus is a part of your online and email interactions and every other promotional item you hand out at events. Keep your theme consistent throughout to get the most out of your money. This will help you gain popularity through all the channels – online and offline.
To better understand how your school can market itself, learn more about multi-channel and omnichannel marketing strategies.
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Marketing Saves Your Educational Institute from Being Pushed Out by Your Competitors
Avoiding redundancy requires focusing on innovative marketing as part of any institution’s strategic planning. While developing a marketing strategy will take time, it will be time well spent and may pay off in terms of standing out in a saturated industry.
Focusing on your core beliefs and how your educational institute can communicate them online and offline will help you to stand out from the crowd in your marketing and attract the ideal student group. Additionally, having a straightforward marketing strategy that displays your message well can also boost your chances of ranking well on search engines.