How can Education program marketing assist universities in student enrolments? An Overview.

Launching a new course today takes a lot more than devising a course curriculum and setting up deadlines for admissions. Universities are competing with each other in the digital space, to attract students and enable student enrollments for their courses. And this, surprisingly holds true for both online and offline courses!

This means in our fast-growing world, education program marketing has evolved to set a standard for itself, especially in attracting relevant students to their courses.

Today, my blog is going to focus on how online marketing techniques can be used to enrol students for high education and online programs. 

Education Program Marketing: Using online marketing techniques for Student Enrollment

As an education marketing agency, recruiting students for programs using “online marketing” techniques is a unified process.

Holistically, student enrolment lifecycle goes through a series of steps starting from – Identifying target personas, reaching out to prospects (drive website traffic), engagement, nurturing and conversion.

Before we move forward in understanding how marketing techniques can be strategized, let’s take a look at how our student enrolment flywheel looks like.

 

education program marketing - spinta digital

TARGET PERSONAS: Identifying your Target Groups

Understand the nature of your target audience (for your specific course) and classify them according to their age, gender, geo, educational background, domain and interest. Perform initial research of the “program” that you are going to market and understand the kind of audience group that you would be looking for successful enrolment.

For instance, if you are looking for student enrolments for Post Graduation in Business Analytics, your target student might need to have a minimum of 2yrs of work-exp and might need to have a relevant Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

Similarly, for every course or product that your offer identify your target personas and segment them categorically.

This way, you devise customized inbound marketing strategies to reach these audience groups.

REACHING OUT TO PROSPECTS: Branding + Attracting Traffic to your Website

After identifying your target personas, the next step is to build your student list.

Use optimized digital marketing solutions that help to increase traffic to your website/landing page that explains your program.

Brand your webpage with simple, outreach campaigns like PPC Campaigns, Social Media Advertising, Social Selling, Email prospecting and drip marketing, Content Marketing, Video Marketing etc.

ENGAGEMENT & NURTURING: Connect with Prospects 

Devise optimized engagement strategies to nurture your inbound traffic.

Engagement and nurturing are extremely interesting strategies that can be implemented for higher education marketing; due to their ability to interact and connect with prospects.

When it comes to implementing educational program marketing, engagement and nurturing strategies include newsletters, sequential drip marketing mailers, social media marketing, webinars, LIVE web sessions, podcasts and long-form content marketing.

CONVERSION: Successful Matriculation into Programs

When it comes to education program marketing, conversion metrics are usually measured in terms of student enrolment.

Implementing a unified education program marketing process ensures that students are not only engaged and nurtured from the campaigns but also result in the successful matriculation to programs.

Recommended Digital Marketing Strategies for Education Program Marketing

Website or Landing Page

Every course you design is unique and suitable only to a fraction of the audience.  Therefore, before you approach students via branding (reaching out to prospects), you ought to create a website that can help students comprehend on how your course is going to benefit them.

While working on one of our projects with Virginia Tech (India), one thing that my team constantly came across from sources were queries like:-

  • Course details.
  • Application requirements.
  • Course fees and structure.
  • Deadlines.
  • Opportunities and exposure!

Therefore, while creating a unique landing page for your course, make sure you keep in mind that you answer these very basic, but important questions.

Social Media Marketing

Social media has been consistently expanding its presence amongst industries.

Today, colleges have been constantly reaching out to their target audience via social media channels, especially on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Most schools today are killing it on social media! Be it the launch of a new program or any local event, the first thing that any successful college/university does it update it on their social media profile.

Having done some research, here’s a small infographic that highlights the kind of information schools share on their social media channels to understand the base of their audience.


PPC Advertising

Remember to take smaller steps instead of a giant leap! Inbound marketing is a cumulative process that builds on smaller, nurtured steps to give you a result.

Let’s face it. Your target audiences are youngsters who are tech-savvy. This means the first place they go towards to search a new program or a course is Google.

Today a student’s decision making is spread across social media campaigns and online reviews of a school. The stronger you are on digital platforms, the better is your reach to students.

Here are a few ways, you can leverage on generating traffic through PPC campaigns.

  • Focus on very specific audience group.
  • Cater to a very basic need – draw attention to your website and learn more about the course.
  • Use persuasive words like – “Filling fast”, “Limited Seats”, “Scholarships”, “Application fee waiver” etc.
  • Target websites to show your display ads.
  • Use specific program keywords like “postgraduate in big data”, “diploma in filmmaking” instead of generic ones like “postgraduate program” or “diploma program”.
  • For a newly launched program evoke an interest with freebies.
  • Connect with course specifics like “12-month program”, “online course”, “part-time” etc.

Email Prospecting

Emails have been an integral part of online marketing today. Be it email newsletters, monthly mailers, subscription alerts etc. emails play a constant role in reaching out your target audience to keep them engaged on the updates.

At the top of my list, most education programs use emails in order to keep in touch with their prospects. Of these, some varied ideas you can use emails include:-

  • Course Details and Introduction  The beauty of online marketing is the ability to reach a wide scale of an audience than you can ever imagine. For instance, at the launch of every new program, you can always email your students from your university’s “graduate” database to take a look at the new course and the modules that you offer. Alternatively, you can also send a formal email to your alumni’s to refer friends/relatives to take a look at the newly launched program.
  • Information Sessions and Webinars Reach out to your target audiences for upcoming information sessions and webinars from program directors or faculty. Give them and engaging deal with pristine details on how attending these information sessions and webinars can help.
  • Monthly Newsletters Branding is always interesting, especially since it gives you a chance to brag your (or in this case, your school’s) achievements in a subtle way. Stick to monthly newsletters that constantly show your school’s achievements.
  • Weekly Mailers Like I said, smaller steps count more than a giant leap. Sending weekly mailers with the progress of your course, about events happening in and around your school, anything new and interesting in your program clicks well amongst students and piques an interest to probe further.

Social Outreach and Follow-ups

A successful inbound marketing strategy is not only limited in reaching out to leads but also in converting these leads to enrolments.

Social outreach comes into implementation at the engagement and conversion stage of the funnel. Every prospective lead you receive is subjected to nurturing. Keep in mind their age and interests to update them via calls, emails etc. about why they should enrol in your program.

Guide your leads into a seamless journey of enrolment. Provide them with a tailored content that answers what they are looking for. Follow-up with calls that don’t push them to enrol but drives them to apply.

Spinta Digital: Education Program Marketing (Case Studies)

 

Virginia Tech University (India)

Course Promoted – Postgraduate Diploma in Business analytics.

Digital strategies used:

  • Web design and landing page creation
  • PPC advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Email campaigns for student enrolment
  • Information sessions
  • WEBINARS by the Program Director

 

Kings Cornerstone International College

Course Promoted – Bachelors in Automotive Engineering, Bachelors in Business Management, Bachelors in IT and other relevant Bachelors program.

Digital strategies used:

  • Web design and landing page creation
  • PPC advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Video Marketing

 

Loyola College (LIVE)

Course Promoted – Diploma in tourism management, Diploma in Cinematography, Film Making, Human Resource Management.

Digital strategies used:

  • PPC advertising
  • Social media marketing

To Conclude…

Always remember that no matter when your leads come from, tracking is extremely important. For instance, if students have subscribed to your newsletter – it’s your touchpoint to set up a suitable connection. Set up tracking codes at relevant places to make sure your audiences are targeted in the right way.