Marketing a college or university can feel like a daunting task at times. Promoting the mission of such a large institution while appealing to prospective students, current students, and alumni — there’s a lot to take into consideration! But with the right ideas, you’ll breeze through your strategy. Follow some of the top university marketing tips to effectively increase awareness of your school and its prestigious programs.
Students will go out of their way to get their hands on some free swag. So give away promotional items that are most relevant to college-aged individuals! Drawstring bags, flash drives, or ID holders, for example, will likely get day-to-day use. Then, watch as your campus fills with students proudly sporting your logo! You can’t go wrong with widespread brand awareness and student satisfaction!
2. Produce Original Content
You’ve heard it time and time again: content is king. And no one likes boring content! Hype up your prospective and current students with relatable themes. Humorous or eye-catching images will capture attention, while ensuring viewers remember your message. Funny memes, campus photos, or unique promotional videos get students excited about what your university has to offer. No matter what type of content you put out there, always strive to separate yourself from the competition!
3. Host Easy-to-Enter Contests
Both Millennials and Generation Z value convenience above all else. Luckily, hosting a contest offers a convenient way for both students and alumni to get involved with your university. But if you implement a complicated entry process, viewers will most likely ignore the sweepstakes altogether. Try simply asking your audience to follow your social media accounts for the chance to win a prize. Increase your following while doing something to show past, present, and future students how much you care!
4. Get Students and Staff Involved
Your students and professors build important and unique experiences with your university every day. Ask permission to leverage their stories for promotional purposes! Feature some of the most interesting people around campus in your videos, social media, and collateral. These real, believable anecdotes will capture prospects’ attention with their authenticity. Creating a team of on-campus photographers, writers, and media specialists to work with your marketing department can help your university stand out from the rest.
5. Showcase Your Programs
Your stellar programs are often the number one incentive for any student to attend your institution. Showcase what your university has to offer in order to hook prospective students, while encouraging current students to get more involved. Provide helpful information about the many majors and departments through direct mailers, social media, email marketing, and the like. Why not include profiles about department chairs and professors as well? Students will appreciate this easy opportunity to get to know the people they’ll be surrounded by throughout their college career.
6. Utilize your Alumni
Alumni can be your biggest and best supporters. Use their passion and experiences to promote your university! Featuring alumni in blogs and newsletters will help prospective and current students envision what their future may hold after graduation. This provides a sense of security that often alleviates fears of debt or unemployment, making for a happier student body. Further, creating opportunities and networking events for alumni specifically will help thank them for their dedication to your university. When your alumni succeed, the university shines! Help them achieve their dream jobs by leveraging university resources to put them in contact with the right people.
7. Use Your Online Channels Correctly
Take the time to thoroughly strategize your digital presence. By promoting your university on the right channels, you’ll build a marketing plan that’s sure to succeed in the long run. Discover where your target audience lives online through research, focus groups, and demographic data. Then, use these platforms as often as possible! If most of your viewers spend time on Twitter, for example, set up an account that’s active and accessible. Tweet frequently, answer questions, and interact with students and alumni in real time to enhance your brand image.
8. Host and Publicize Events
Give your student body something to get excited about! Events are a great way to bring your campus community together for a few hours of stress relieving fun. As we’ve mentioned, a happy student body increases the likelihood that they’ll promote your institution to friends and family. Plus, events provide the perfect excuse to mail invitations, send email blasts, or update your social media page. Any reason to grab your audience’s attention (without bombarding them with sales-y collateral) keeps your university top of mind.
9. Invest in Your Website
All promotional efforts will ultimately draw your target audience to one of the best marketing assets: your website! Your university’s website should not only cater to students, but also to parents who wish to stay involved in their children’s education. Create a welcoming, simple design with tabs that are easy to navigate through no matter how tech-savvy the user may be. Above all else, organize your content in a way that thoroughly explains basic, need-to-know information. Anyone who has to mine for info may mentally write off your institution — visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for without hassle!
10. Go Mobile
Mobile technology advances more and more each year. And as phone size, memory, and capabilities increase, the need for desktop use decreases. So it’s no wonder that many Millennials and Gen Z target markets prefer to use their smartphones to access the Internet. What does this mean for your institution? Put time into making your website, emails, and newsletters as mobile-friendly as possible. You don’t want to turn viewers away from your collateral because the file took too long to load!
Looking to get your marketing off the ground? Start by consulting these top tips to stay on-trend and ahead of the competition. Once you’re ready to implement your strategy, contact the experts at Print Tech! From mailing to marketing and everything in between, we offer services that’ll help your university shine.