From 2013 to 2016, a Google and Complete study found that the number of prospective students that exclusively search online for classes and programs has likely tripled or quadrupled. This should be one of the many reasons why institutions should care about their business' digital marketing.
A solid digital marketing strategy is critical to engage with prospective students. The University of Phoenix has in the past spent nearly $400,000 a day on ads according to search analytics firm SpyFu. The spending is more than any financial firm or retailer, the traditional big spenders on online advertising. The University of Phoenix alone has drastically increased the competitive landscape of advertising online in the education industry.
Technology has given your ideal prospective students the 24/7 window to gather information, engage in social media, or communicate with other people regarding your institution. Close to if not all students use the internet, including college-related websites, while making their higher education decisions. Your school has to make it on these student's short list, whether nationally or internationally, to have any chance at getting the right students.
Research on what kind of students are actively seeking out higher education in regards to what kinds of students you want to attend your institution is essential. Here are some factors to consider when tailoring your digital marketing plan to prospective higher education students:
- The point in their life they consider achieving their higher education
- If they have a full-time or part-time job
- Are they financially independent
- Are they a single parent
- Are they married
- If they have children or other dependents besides a spouse
There are several ways to keep up with your target market, and one of the most important tactics is having online content available 24/7. Colleges and Universities commonly have segmented content through blogs, website pages, and other various campaigns to generate content for their prospective students. Whether it's college courses offered, tips for financial aid, post-grad careers, travel tips, health pointers, or even things to do in the area; digital content marketing keeps your brand alive and well in the eyes of the public.
To evaluate your current brand through digital/website audits, to engage more effectively with your prospective students, or to learn more about your digital marketing efforts; click here.