Digital Marketing for Colleges
“Education” a very important industry developing at a very fast growing pace. Schools and colleges providing education are the foundation and are the most important trainers for the youngsters who are the future of the nation. Education empowers everyone and helps you to survive in this competitive life.
Industries dealing in schools and colleges have a big responsibility on their shoulders as they are the ones who will be nurturing our future generation. Education industry on the other hand is facing some problems in the continuous changing education system and choices of the young generation.
Many schools and colleges are found using old traditional methods of newspapers and advertisement. The world today is of digital media and this industry too needs to make changes in their strategy for marketing their colleges. Each student today is using a smart phone, laptops or tablets. Most of their studies and researches are now done through this digital platform. So to attract enrolments one has to rely on the digital media to get good inquiries and to survive in this industry
Below listed are some tips which needs to be applied by the colleges to attract more and more visits on the college website:
First and the fore most; important medium today. No one likes to read flyers, advertisements in the newspapers now. Mails mostly for the young generation is the best source to get in touch with them. Here the drafting of the mails holds a lot of importance; the content should be clear and concise. Too lengthy mails will not help to grab the attention of the readers. Mail should contain all the relevant information and should be presented in a way that all the required information is available in minimum words possible. Attractive formation of the mail will be able to attract the eye balls more easily. Besides emails, newsletters are low cost tools to reach masses at one time. You can apply a basic approach and send a weekly or monthly emails to both existing and new set of customers.
- Impressive website experience
“Your Company’s Website” another very important medium to attract inquiries and enrolments. When the parents visit the website it should be responsive. Surfing on the website should be easy and fast. Slow website will make the visitor lose interest and move on to other options. Pages on your website should load fast and there should be enough navigation links so that the visitor can complete his research work in one GO. Websites should be easily accessible on mobile phones as they are most used electronic device for surfing other than desktops or laptops. Your website should not be running sounds or spinning images as it will make the user lose patience; to surf soon. The website is the face of your college and if your website lacks to provide all the information; the parent or the student visiting your website will soon form an impression about your college too and not move further in his/her inquiry.
- Improve search engine visibility
Parents /students start their research work much earlier than they actually want to enrol their children or themselves. Here your presence in the search engine plays a very important role. Keywords should be a part of your content in order to get higher rankings on the search results. For e.g. most of the searches found on Google are with the keyword “Best college in ……….area” How does your college rank in when these types of search is done. You need to identify such keywords and use them in your content. This involves some research to be done on the key words so that your website also gets good ranking on the SEO.
- Engage yourself with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a very well know social media tool for marketing and advertising your work. It is a kind of a vehicle for professionals to network online. First step is to create a LinkedIn Group and encourage ex-students to join the group. Feedback and presence of ex –students will help you to attract fresh students to the group for inquiries. But to stand out in the group. Each and every business group are advertising through LinkedIn, hence it is a very popular medium to advertise your college as well. However one needs to see to it that the post contains all the required information such as contact details, contact person, email id, website address of the company etc.
- Impressive Facebook page
“Facebook” is another well-known social media platform. Nevertheless your page should be attractive and with all information for a new student or a parent. Upload videos of events, post of events conducted etc regularly in order to get an overview of the college. Links to your website, course information, contact details, teaching methods etc…all this should be a part of the page. The user at one glance should be able to capture all the information and move further. Navigation to your website for further details also should be easy so that the visitor can complete his research work on first visit with few a clicks.
- Online videos
Online videos are a very powerful way of communication and promotional tool. It is a very economical medium in comparison to traditional methods of advertising. It has the potential to reach the masses without on ongoing cost. Also you have the option to monitor how successful are you video uploads as the number of views can be monitored easily. Further it also has a comment section available for raising immediate concerns and inquiries which can be replied on the same platform. On the basis of this the success of your video can be known, comments mentioned will also help you make changes if needed before the next upload.
- Google Adwords
Little expensive medium but very useful. Google Adwords is Google’s advertising program, this program helps you reach audiences on surfing on Google. Here the advertisers bid on certain keywords which appear as search results on Google search. You have to pay to Google on the number of clicks done by visitors on their search and your advertisement will be displayed as a search result. Google Adwords works faster than SEO. Here you have an option to use multiple keywords and you can on and off your ad campaign whenever you want to. On the other hand search engine optimisation though very beneficial becomes a lengthy process as it requires lot of well written articles and backlinks whereas Adwords gives instant visibility depending upon the effort you put on the quality of your content.
- Offline and online activity go hand in hand
While doing your marketing collateral you need to keep in mind to collaborate both the online and offline options together. Suppose when you advertise in local newspaper then you need to mention your website address, link of Facebook page and other necessary details to contact you further. Hence all your outdoor signage should have your website address and all other communication going to parents either by newspapers on physicals mails should contain your online details. In case you are offering an online subscription then the link to subscribe should be available on the newsletter. This will lead to increased inquiries and awareness amongst the students and the parents and it will be easier for you to get the attention from masses using online and offline platform both.
Posting blogs is a perfect and a very popular tool of marketing. Informative blogs regarding different types of courses and enrolments, activities etc done in your college should be a part of your blogs. It helps to create connect with the readers, parents and also existing students. Here the content of the blog is very important, you need to ensure that the blog provide some valuable inputs to the readers, for e.g. like the Principal can post inputs regarding educational topics, teachers can provide inputs regarding teaching patterns and different types of courses, you can even invite guest posts from ex-students to do some more value addition.
- Content aspect
It is a well-known fact that there are variety of means of digital marketing, which one is working best for you is the task of your marketing team. Success of any digital marketing channel depends on the quality of content put in and on the other hand to keep monitoring the same on regular basis to find out which strategy works best for you. If you want to be at the top of the mind of your potential applicants then you need to ensure that all your channels are updated regularly and are updated with the current trend. Posts should be regular on and the concerns and questions raised should be answered promptly, regularly with correct information. The better the connect with your applicants the better will be the results.
To sum up friends !!! I have shared my points to be taken care of by you and hope they help you in framing your marketing plans. Nevertheless it is not always possible to apply all of them together neither the success of all the channels working together with the same results is possible. However close monitoring and continuous improvement will be required from time to time to get best results.