Higher education continues to grow in popularity as more and more students seek out undergraduate and graduate programs. And with thousands of colleges and universities across the nation, there’s no shortage of options. Luckily, marketing-savvy schools can implement a strategic plan to help their institution stand out from its competition. Follow these basic tips to get your message across to the right people!
Segment Your Audience Appropriately
Universities serve anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people per year. So when it comes to promotion, make sure to identify exactly who you’d like your advertisements to reach. Current student, prospective student, and alumni groups often entail the most marketing efforts, but require separate messaging. Breaking down your strategy into three separate campaigns allows you to differentiate messaging and track results more easily.
For example, when marketing towards prospective students, send post cards, mailers, and emails that showcase your university’s capabilities. Where do these incoming freshmen fit into the grand scheme of things? Highlight majors, annual events, and clubs. Make viewers excited to contact your office, schedule a tour, and get involved!
With current students, focus on the more immediate present through email marketing and monthly newsletters. Creating a positive college experience is imperative — your enrolled students are your biggest advocates to prospects! Send along information and opportunities that’ll help prepare them for the future. Think invitations to career fairs, resume reviews, and finals study sessions. Consider posting extra flyers around campus as an additional effort to raise awareness for ongoing programs. Students will appreciate your help on the road to success!
Finally, don’t forget about your alumni. This audience responds best to campus events, volunteer opportunities, and anything that’ll help connect them to their alma mater. Send frequent mailers and save-the-dates for football games, make a difference days, and graduation ceremonies. Alum often like to stay as involved as possible, so keep the post cards coming on a regular basis.
Market Each Department Individually
From Pharmacy to Arts and Sciences and everything in between, each individual school plays an important part in the overall university image. Every department provides a different perspective and appeals to different types of students. How to attract the right minds to the right programs?
Give each department the freedom to craft their own messages, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your institution’s marketing. Students should receive a clear understanding of the school’s programs, requirements, and accommodations right off the bat. So, let each department design their own brochure or information packet that highlights all the best parts of the program. Providing information on the majors, minors, professors, and extracurriculars within that school will help students identify where their talents fit best. Use individualized collateral to ensure each department fully showcases its own personality.
Want to take your marketing efforts to the next level? Target prospective students by sending these department booklets to the homes of those who may be interested. For example, high schoolers who write for their local newspaper can benefit from receiving your Communication Department pamphlet in the mail. This type of targeting can give you the upper hand against competitors.
Keep it Consistent
Although each department should use unique messaging to set themselves apart from the rest, remember to stay true to the university brand above all else. All marketing materials should look like they’re part of the same family. The best way to streamline this process is through a brand standards guide. Outline all appropriate uses of university colors and logo variations, and ensure any staff member even remotely involved in marketing has a booklet on file. Doing so enhances the likelihood that students, prospects, and alumni recognize official university materials right away. Proper branding keeps collateral from being accidentally categorized as junk. You want your viewers to take pride in what the institution has to say!
But consistent doesn’t have to mean boring. Play with shapes and elements to get different designs for different objectives — just don’t violate that brand standards guide! Catch prospects’ attention with bright colors, call-to-actions, and fun designs. Alumni, on the other hand, may prefer a classic, timeless mailer design that reminds them of the good old days. Your enrolled students are always on the go, so play with your mailer’s fonts! Bold important information, and enhance sizing where necessary to ensure they get the message.
Looking to implement some of these tips in the near future? Print Tech has the tools you need to grow your university’s marketing efforts. Trust our capable team to handle your manuals, newsletters, postcards, and any other material you may need. Request a quote today!