5 Steps for your Next HE Marketing Campaign
1. Know your market!
With evolving trends in student recruitment across the higher education sector, it is now essential that all marketing leaders are aware of the changing nature of the recruitment pool. Before even beginning a new marketing campaign, all institutions should be aware of the continued changes to the admissions process, as well as the latest trends in qualifications and course preferences.
A comprehensive picture of your prospective students is the best bet for a fully tailored campaign which targets the right students.
2. Integrate your campaign
The most successful marketing campaigns in the sector are also some of the most highly integrated and cohesive. Have a theme, a core message and stick to it across all the platforms you use – both online and offline. Students want to easily recognise what a university is offering and why that offer is distinctive to them.
This means ensuring your website, university fairs, social media outlets and even prospectus drives home a core message which students will be able to relate to! With highly sophisticated marketing being led across the sector, it is vital that a campaign is as innovative and creative as possible if it is to have any traction.
3. Diversify your marketing platforms
Students are now increasingly seeking to gain their information and engage with organisations beyond simply a website and online course search. Many universities are now highly involved in very innovative social media campaigns. This doesn’t just mean Facebook and Twitter – but branching out to Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.
Of course, your platforms must fit in well with the message of your campaign, so find the tools that match the needs of your campaign!
4. Get your students involved
The best way to evolve and find new ideas when developing a marketing campaign is to talk proactively to your existing students! How did they discover the university? What were their main sources of information? How do your students feel you could change and do better?
Talking to existing students is the best way to determine which platforms are most in use and how students actually WANT to engage with their university. Prospective students also love speaking and hearing from people already experiencing the student life! So get your students involved on social media, YouTube and help them form your message for the future.
5. Keep changing!
The start of any campaign should have clear aims – who to target, how to attract more students and how to maximise the impact of your marketing! It is vital that at the end of the recruitment cycle your marketing team are able to reflect on what worked and how you can modernise and change every time. Marketing in higher education is far from static, so make sure you are moving ahead of the curve rather than following the pack.
To explore how to develop and enhance your next HE Marketing Campaign, join the Annual Higher Education Marketing Conference 2018 on Tuesday 17th April 2018!
Written by Callum Clark, Higher Education Marketing Conference 2018