A solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is more than an asset in the digital age. It’s vital to helping any business, individual, or organization reach its target audience, and educational institutes are no exception. This will especially be true in 2023 and beyond.
Many prospective students still want and value a good education. However, financial concerns and uncertainty about the future leave them conflicted about whether to enroll. As a result, enrollment rates have dipped over the last few years, with over 1.3 million students turning away from higher education.
Dedicated college enrollment marketing can help educational institutes like yours successfully recapture potential students’ minds, hearts, and imaginations, boosting enrollment in the process. Here are some must-know strategies to get started.
1. Expand Your Website’s Reach With SEO
Digital-age students still turn to friends and mentors for advice when deciding whether (and where) to go to college. But eventually, most still head to Google for additional answers. Mastering the fine art of effective SEO for higher education can help ensure their searches lead them to your college’s website.
Start your next SEO campaign with thorough keyword research to get a read on what terms would-be students are currently searching for. Optimize your entire website accordingly, and get to work producing a stream of fresh blog content that addresses key concerns students and their parents might have.
Include a variety of different subjects and content types to keep things interesting and give visitors something to keep coming back for. Be sure to target students at every stage of the journey toward enrollment as well.
2. Boost Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Email has been around almost as long as the web itself has been, but it remains one of the best ways to reach audiences for a variety of reasons, including:
- Pretty much everyone uses it, including prospective students and their parents.
- People are pre-conditioned to see email as an appropriate marketing avenue, with 61 percent even preferring email contact for this purpose.
- Most people check their email at least once daily, with some checking more than once per hour or more.
- Email opens the door to ongoing contact and deeper relationships, making it easier to nurture leads.
Implement a fresh strategy for encouraging visitors to join your mailing list by offering incentives and promising value. Then deliver on that promise with useful, engaging, personalized messages that resonate with prospective students.
3. Create an Engaging Social Presence With Influencers
Genuinely successful marketing strategies to increase student enrollment always involve meeting your future alums where they live—and in 2023, that’s on social media. According to Pew Research, up to 88 percent of adults between 18 and 29 regularly use social media.
They also want and expect to use their favorite platforms to engage with brands they’re interested in. Naturally, this would include educational establishments for those thinking about what to do next in life or still deciding which school best fits them.
The key to success here is to create a personal and entertaining presence while also addressing people’s burning questions and concerns. Consider which types of posts do best on each platform and make a variety according to a planned content production schedule. Videos, surveys, and shareable educational infographics are all good picks.
And partner with influencers in your niche when you can. Influencers bring readily engaged audiences to the table and provide powerful social proof that something they endorse is a good choice, making them a great way to get through to new students.
4. Work on Your Reputation With Branding
Branding is just as important in marketing edtech solutions, colleges, and universities as in any other context, especially today. Digital-age students don’t want to go to school just anywhere. And an education is only part of what they hope to get from the experience.
How does your school align with the values and beliefs of your ideal student? What does an education at your school bring to the table that nobody else has going for them? Maybe there’s a killer creative arts program or a truly unique campus culture.
Paint a vivid picture of what a student will become part of when they seek education at your school. Then, incorporate that picture into your evolving brand identity. Use elements like statistics, value proposition statements, visuals, and copy tone to keep your branding consistent across every aspect of your marketing strategy.
5. Rely on Alumni to Tell Their Success Stories
In a day and age that finds more young people unsure whether they want to continue their education, it’s essential to demonstrate how going to your school can make a real difference in their lives.
Leveraging successful alums is an effective way to show off your most impressive success stories. Examples can include:
- Winners of prestigious, widely recognized awards
- Huge business successes
- Innovative scientists, creators, or entertainers
- Thought leaders in their respective fields
- Community leaders who stand out in all the right ways
And proud alums generally love to give back to the alma maters that helped them make all their dreams come true, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Acquire quotes you can use in your marketing and add an “alumni” page to your website. Post spotlights for notable examples on your blog.
Storytelling is a powerful thing when it comes to marketing, and success stories say a lot about the education of the people behind them. Don’t be afraid to use this to your advantage.
Putting in action the right marketing strategies to increase student enrollment will require a true dream team you can count on to carry you to the finish line. That team should include lots of experienced education writers and digital marketing experts.
Meet and hire some of the best in the business when you sign up for your free 14-day WriterAccess trial today! You’ll love the difference genuine expertise makes for your school.