You have worked hard to build a reputable reputation as a university and now you are keen to grow your student population. You have invested in new facilities, created new courses and launched your online presence. You have provided a world-class education to many and have seen an increase in both the quality and quantity of applications for each cohort. Now what? How do you get more students to enroll?
It’s natural to feel a little deflated after hitting such a significant milestone. The more successful you become, the more you want. However, maintaining growth at this level is extremely difficult and it takes a significant amount of planning and research to achieve.
Firstly, let’s identify the prospective student population. What are they looking for in a university? Secondly, what can you provide that they aren’t getting elsewhere?
To get the most out of your existing students, you need to understand what is holding them back and whether you can offer what they need. This is especially important if you want to grow your university abroad. Overseas students can be an invaluable source of income, but only if you make sure they are satisfied with their experience. One of the primary reasons why people overseas choose to study in Ireland is because of the many opportunities that exist for them to progress academically. However, unless you can provide an excellent environment for your students, it’s unlikely they will continue their studies here. Below, we will explore how you can use digital marketing to your advantage and attract more students to your prestigious university.
Attracting The Best Candidates
It is important to establish your criteria for what makes a successful candidate before you begin your digital marketing strategy. When it comes to marketing, nothing is more effective than word of mouth – students recommend a lecturer to their friends, colleagues and classmates. Therefore, the most effective way of attracting the best candidates is by word of mouth. What does that mean?
Firstly, you want to establish yourself as a brand. Your brand will represent you and your university, and it will be important to ensure that you develop a strong and consistent brand. Establishing a clear brand will help future students identify the qualities that you offer. It will also help you identify what you need to improve on in order to make yourself more attractive to applicants.
Your brand is a reflection of yourself and your teaching practices. It is made up of the words you use, the way you present yourself and the services you provide. While your brand may change over time, it should always remain authentic and consistent with what you stand for. Take the time to establish your brand before you begin your digital marketing strategy – it will make a huge difference.
The Importance Of Online Marketing
This is the golden era of digital marketing. With so much information available online, prospective students can research you and your university thoroughly before making a decision.
Students today are more connected than ever before and they can access all the information they need with a few clicks of the mouse. Your website, social media platforms and email campaigns should all be configured to promote your university and allow prospective students to find out everything they need quickly and easily.
Marketing through digital channels ensures that your target audience is in front of you, at the right time and with content that is easily digestible. In a nutshell, digital marketing is about to disrupt every industry.
With the right strategy, you can gain complete control over the way your university is depicted online. You can choose the content that is published, when it is published and where it is published. You can design your social media platforms to fit your style and branding. The only limit is your imagination.
If you have a limited budget, it’s essential that you target the right audience. While it’s important to reach as many people as possible, it’s even more important to reach the right person. This is why you should invest in digital marketing and why you should consider marketing via social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
The Growth Of Online Marketing
Traditional marketing methods, such as radio commercials and billboards, are being phased out in favor of digital marketing. The below graph shows the exponential rise of digital marketing in comparison to traditional methods.
The growth of digital marketing is attributed to a combination of factors, but mainly to the growth of internet connection. Not only can prospective students research you and your university online, but they can also discover a wealth of information about campus life, accommodation and other aspects of university life.
According to HubSpot, by next year (2022), 50% of all consumer interaction will happen online. In 2022, 95% of American adults use the internet and in Africa, the number is even higher – 98% of adults use the internet. That is a lot of potential students and a lot of opportunity for your university.
If you are concerned that your university doesn’t yet have a strong enough presence online, this is a golden opportunity to build and establish your digital presence. Designing a website isn’t as difficult as you would think – there are simple drag and drop tools that can be used to build a professional-looking site in no time. Investing in digital marketing is essential if you want to see your university grow.
The Importance Of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of modifying content on your website in order to increase its rankings on search engines like Google. Your content may include everything from articles to images – it depends on your niche.
The goal of SEO is to increase the number of visitors to your site from organic searches rather than paid advertisements. Paid advertisements, such as Google AdWords, can be extremely effective if used correctly. However, rather than relying on paid advertisements, you can use the information gathered from SEO to improve your organic search results.
To get started with SEO, you will need to perform extensive keyword research and use that to inform your content strategy. Knowing what keywords to use and how to use them effectively is the basis of good SEO and it can be learned quite easily. If you want to become an expert SEO, you can take a digital marketing course that will teach you the theory as well as the practical application. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your website is optimized for the keywords that will attract the right audience.
Building A Brand Library
A brand library is a collection of material that is associated with a specific brand. The materials may include anything from TV advertisements to product brochures and website content. Having a brand library gives you a wealth of content from which to draw upon when designing your digital marketing strategy. You can use this brand library to create unique and compelling content to attract prospective students. If you have a limited budget, you can use free content, such as Wikipedia, to create compelling content.
The brand library is one of the primary sources of content for your website and it is also used to inform other digital marketing efforts, such as social media marketing and SEO.
In my opinion, videos are one of the most powerful forms of content that can be used in digital marketing. Videos can be used to tell a story, provide instructional information or showcase a product. Designing videos for specific platforms and incorporating them into social media campaigns is an effective way of gaining more subscribers and engaging with your audience.
The below video, for example, was designed for the Medium platform and incorporates animation, photos and video. Designing videos for specific platforms can be challenging, so it’s important to develop a working relationship with a professional video content creator.
Guest Blogging And Online Reviews
Guest blogging is when a third party writes content on your behalf and publishes it on their website. You will need to pick a related niche, do some research and find a few quality blogs in which to guest blog. Once you have done this, send the blogger an email offering to blog for them on your behalf. Once they agree, you can go ahead and write the post and make sure that it is published – this is important in terms of building credibility and showing that you are a skilled professional.
Reviews are a popular method of attracting potential students to an education, so your university should be engaging with existing students and encouraging them to leave a review.
Reviews can be left by both current and prospective students, so it is a great opportunity for your university to get their thoughts on campus delivered directly to their inboxes. Reviews are a fantastic way of demonstrating to potential students that you are a serious brand, an accredited university and a responsible member of your community. For more information, you can contact your local Better Business Bureau. They may have advice on how to market your online university and how to evaluate your pricing structures and services.