How Universities Can Adapt to Today’s Top Trends
It’s no secret that marketing tactics are evolving, and most companies do their best to keep up. Yet, universities face the ultimate challenge – marketing to a demographic that prides itself on staying up-to-date in the latest fads. Teenagers live and breathe the digital world. Thus, mastering the trends becomes an essential responsibility for higher education marketing efforts. Read up on some of the biggest digital tactics, and learn how to make them work for your institution.
Social media marketing has taken over in the last decade or so. And as you may have heard, posts that include images out-perform text-based posts. Why not take it one step further? Videos are changing the way viewers experience a brand. Tell your institution’s story in a way that appeals to potential students across the globe! Leverage the passion of professors and enrolled students as they share how the university changed their perspectives, their goals, or even their lives.
Want to know the recipe for success? A visually appealing setting and compelling narrative will keep viewers watching longer. Pique their interest! But don’t forget to keep it short and sweet, before audience attention spans drop off. In fact, it’s often best to put your call-to-action at the beginning of the clip rather than the end. Hook the viewers before they have time to consider moving onto the next post.
Like video marketing, virtual reality provides viewers with a visual experience. And although the term sounds high-tech, universities can easily implement VR into their marketing strategies. Simply use a 360 camera to shoot a video that intricately displays your beautiful campus. After uploading to a VR-friendly platform like YouTube, send students a link along with university branded cardboard glasses. Any user who inserts a smartphone into this makeshift headset receives a real-world view that feels almost as realistic as an in-person tour. The video moves appropriately as viewers walk around or turn their heads, allowing them to see academic buildings with clarity. Provide important university information in a way that gets students excited to learn. Capture the attention your school deserves with this trendy, innovative marketing tool.
Google, Apple, and Amazon have opened the floodgates for smart speakers, home devices, and voice assistants. But how can this emerging technology help capture student’s attention? The answer may be simpler than you think – reorganize your website to enhance for SEO placement.
Let’s say a student asks Alexa: “What are the top universities in the area?” The device typically pulls from the top available information on the internet. So, make sure your website displays relevant information for target audiences, high-quality content, and meta descriptions, among other SEO best practices. When a relevant question arises, Alexa can then respond quickly with the name of your university. Not only does this enhance your “cool-factor” among students, it also ensures your website shows up more often across desktops, tablets, phones, and smart speakers. So no matter where your audience lives online, you’ll be right there to capture their attention with your stellar educational programs.
Personalizing the User Experience
Providing a positive user experience never goes out of style. But in the age of the Internet, it’s not enough to simply display pleasant messages towards your viewers. Now more than ever, users expect personalization. Segment your audience!
Use your database to see which programs current and prospective students have enrolled in or explored during past tours. Then, divide into categories of humanities, science, business, and so on. Create a different campaign for each topic, and send information or promotions to those who fit the category. Students are exponentially more likely to open email campaigns, direct mailers, invitations, and the like when the subject applies directly to their interests. This level of attentiveness will make you the obvious front-runner for students selecting between multiple schools.
Stay on top of the trends for an innovative approach to university marketing. Students will appreciate a strategy that goes above-and-beyond! Integrate technology to show you’re ahead of your competitors. Once you have a plan in place, give us a call! Our team of experts is happy to help turn strategy into reality with professional marketing, mailing, and printing services.