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Digital Marketing for Higher Education

June 25, 2018 // By: Ashlee Bartko

Your Competitors are using this key tool to get more students, but are you? How much are you spending on print marketing for your college or university? Hundreds of thousands of dollars or more? If you’re still buying names of students who have indicated an interest in a particular major, or those who have received a certain score on their standardized exams, you may be missing a huge opportunity in digital marketing; one that your competitors are likely using to increase leads with a lesser budget, to grow enrollment and profitability.

One of the main differentiators of digital marketing (such as Paid Search, SEO, and Email Marketing) is that you can target students who are searching for YOU. For example, you can show Google Ads to potential new students who are actively searching for specific majors, scholarships, athletics, and/or clubs. You can even target specific locations or your competitor college’s brand terms. Plus, it’s likely that your competitors are bidding on your brand terms already! Let’s look at three cases for using digital marketing at your college or university.

Lead Generation

The most obvious case for digital marketing is to increase leads and conversion rates, in order to generate leads that are more likely to convert. For example, Emma is an ambitious high school senior and is searching for a 3-year B.S. Nursing Program. She wants to stay in the Western Pennsylvania area. So, she pulls up Google and types in, “3-year nursing program in Pittsburgh.” She now sees an ad that takes her to University A’s website, with information on exactly what she is looking for on their nursing program. Over the next few weeks, she sees re-marketing ads for an upcoming University A’s nursing open-house, so she signs up. She is now in University A’s CRM system, and she can receive email communication from the University.

Strategic Direction

Digital marketing can not only help you get more leads, but it can also help drive the strategic direction of your college or university. For example, you want to attract more tech-savvy millennials by adding a new major at your university. You first want to ensure that you have a large enough market for the program to see the necessary ROI from the investments in marketing, faculty, facilities, etc. Using digital marketing, such as SEO and Paid Search, you run test searches for degrees in robotics, computer security, and game design. After analyzing months of search inquiries, data shows that searches for robotics programs are the highest, so you decide to move forward with this new program.

International Recruitment

Digital marketing can extend your global reach without necessarily doubling your staff or budget. International students typically pay two to three times the tuition as domestic students. They also don’t require financial aid from US colleges. Digital marketing can ease your budget and grow staff productivity. Previously, your international recruiters spent weeks abroad visiting international high schools. Upon return, they are buried in international transcripts, requesting VISAs, and other documentation. With less international travel, the staff has more time to focus on other tasks.

Digital marketing results in great data—but, you must use it. Analyzing your campaign results and making strategic decisions is essential to seeing the ROI: more students! Stream Companies is a full-service marketing agency that integrates across a team of digital marketing experts. So, if you’re just getting your feet wet in digital marketing, or you want to chat about the opportunities in your current campaigns, let’s chat!

Topics: Digital Marketing, Students, Recruitment