From 2020 to 2021, universities across the country felt the impact of COVID. Community college enrollment rates dropped by nearly 12%, and postsecondary enrollment fell by over 4%. Because of these drastic declines, marketers everywhere feel the pressure to increase enrollment numbers. With the pandemic nearly behind us now, things seem to be inching back to normal. Events are proceeding, people are out and about, and in-person classes are finally back. Higher education institutions will likely see a surge of interest from potential students, so competition is expected to be fiercer than ever. To jumpstart interest in your prospects, you need a higher ed(ucation) marketing agency that can take your school to the next level. Today the experts at The Hive are sharing higher education marketing strategies to boost enrollment at your university.
Refine Your Value Proposition
In today’s world, the credibility of a college degree is constantly under question. More and more employees are hiring people based on their skill set rather than a degree. Enrollment marketing for universities should show the relevance of and why a degree is necessary for real-world applications. Now is the time to highlight why your university is a stepping stone toward a better career. Beyond telling a prospective student this, you need to show them. Here are a few ideas to spotlight your school and get your message across:
- Contact alumni and ask them to speak about how the time spent at your institution helped them find career success.
- Use social media to share these stories and get the word out about accomplished educators and students.
- Publish content that highlights student wins and the latest successes at your school.
- Back up all your messaging with facts and statistics.
Optimize Brand Image
Students spend hours online researching prospective schools. Having a positive and strong brand image is especially important when it comes time for a potential student to choose your school over your competitors. You can ask yourself questions like:
- What makes my institution unique?
- Why would a student want to attend?
- What can we offer in academics, extracurriculars, placements, and activities?
- What makes our educators different?
- How impressive is our legacy?
The answers to these questions will help you craft or optimize your ideal brand image.
Showcase Campus Life Through Social Media
Social media presents a robust engagement and conversion opportunity for your school. When it comes to marketing for universities, you need to take a competitive approach to make it work. Recent studies show that college-age students prefer using Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Your university must be where your students are online, and you need to showcase what campus life looks like. Other effective social media marketing strategies you should consider include:
- Use dedicated hashtags
- Feature your university’s social life
- Feature achievements
- Showcase your campus
Increase Traffic Through SEO
Having a well-designed website is simply not enough anymore. Your website needs to have a healthy mix of on-the-go, easy-to-digest, and long-form content. Utilizing savvy SEO tactics can help prospective students find your school when they search online. To boost your rankings to number one on a search engine, you can:
- Focus on less competitive long-tail keywords
- Create high-quality content
- Use enticing page titles and meta descriptions
Design a Mobile-Friendly Website
The student journey has moved online, and that includes how they begin their search. Gen Zers are using their phones to research prospective schools, and that means your website must perform well on desktop and mobile devices. Must search engines use page speed as a factor to determine a website’s page rank. Slower-to-load pages won’t be shown in the top results, let alone on the first page.
If you’re ready to take your university to the next level, connect with beMarketing—the premier higher ed(ucation) marketing agency in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our team of digital marketing experts is ready to help you leverage the above strategies so you can stand out from the competition. If you’re ready to get started on a project, contact us today.