Launching a new program today takes a lot more than devising course curriculum and setting up deadlines for admissions. In our fast-growing world, education program marketing has evolved to set a standard for itself, especially in attracting relevant students.
Today, my blog is going to focus on how online marketing techniques can be used to enrol students for high education and online programs.
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.
Create relevant website/webpage or landing page
Every course you design is unique and suitable to a fraction of an audience only. 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 my 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.
- 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 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, I have come up with a small infographic that highlights the kind of information schools share on their social media channels to understand the base of their audience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.