The effects of the pandemic on college enrollment are still being felt today, with applications continuing to drop dramatically. In fact, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data shows that in 2021, enrollment in both community colleges and other postsecondary institutions fell by 11.3% and 4.2%, respectively. Due to this decline, there is more pressure on marketers in the higher education sector.
Many universities and colleges are rethinking and enhancing their digital marketing techniques in an effort to rekindle student enthusiasm for their degree programs and courses. Let's take a look at some college enrollment marketing strategies.
1. Use Video to Take The Lead
You can't afford to ignore the power of video in your college enrollment marketing efforts to bring in new students. Wyzowl found that 68% of people would rather watch a brief video than read text while researching a product or service. For this reason, it's no surprise that 86% of universities and colleges already have a YouTube channel, as reported by Dartmouth University. One way to showcase your college or university is through a video ViewBook tour. With a virtual tour, prospective enrollees can appreciate the beauty of your campus.
There are two main advantages that video content can offer for independent educational institutions:
Simple to make and reuse: Webinars, presentations, lectures, and interviews given at universities may all be easily reused into smaller pieces of content and shared through other platforms.
Offers a great return on investment (ROI): When a video is used in tandem with other engagement channels, such as email, ROI skyrockets.
2. Promoting Campus Life on Social Media
It is crucial for colleges and universities to use social media to reach out to potential students. Emarsys estimates that over 3.1 billion people are using social media. This number represents roughly 42% of the global population. According to eMarketer's latest study, social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are the most popular among U.S. teenagers.
Here are a few ways you can boost enrollment with social media marketing.
Get specific with your hashtags: According to research by Gartner, user-generated content significantly impacts the decisions of over 80% of millennials. You can boost your institution's social media credibility by tapping into the power of social proof with dedicated hashtags.
Create a social media database: Make a list of the many departments, schools, and administration's social media profiles that students can access directly from your website. It's a quick and easy way for them to stay informed.
Demonstrate the active social scene at your institution: Promoting campus life and a feeling of community through social media is an excellent way to attract new students to your institution.
Share your success stories: Highlight your students' and teachers' talents and accomplishments on your online profiles. In doing so, they will be better able to imagine themselves as successful graduates of your institution.
3. Optimize Your Website
The overall presentation of a website is also crucial to the success of any institution. After all, customers researching a company are likely to check out the firm's website to learn more about what the company does and how it may help them. The same goes for colleges and universities. Creating a positive first impression with prospective students requires a well-designed website that conveys relevant information. You can achieve this by following some of these tips:
Engage with the audience: Inviting comments and suggestions from site visitors makes them feel like active participants. Creating a website that invites feedback and fosters a sense of community are excellent ways to attract potential students.
Make it your own: Think about what makes your school stand out from the competition and highlight that. Spending time taking photographs of faculty, the campus, and student work can equip you to give your website a unique look and feel.
Include helpful information: You can think of a website as a means of communication. By including the details that users need, you can turn them into valuable resources. Prospective enrollees need to know your office hours, location, school history, and feedback from others. You can even include an interactive campus map.
4. Organize Virtual Events
Campus tours, visit days, and other admissions events that serve as the backbone of college marketing strategies are being discontinued at universities worldwide. The good news is that you don't have to start from scratch to start interacting with prospective students again. Using virtual event technologies to their full potential can tremendously affect current institutional goals and pave the road for more effective communication with prospective enrollees.
Institutions can attract potential students from all around the world by hosting and promoting webinars. Webinars allow for two-way dialogues between potential students and the academics from your prestigious institution.
5. Use Niche Blogs to Draw in Organic Web Traffic
Colleges and universities can benefit significantly from blogs because they are an integral part of many SEO and content marketing strategies. The entries on popular blogs often attract hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of visitors. Those who maintain a blog see an average increase of 88% in leads per month compared to companies that don't, and the same is true of universities that don't blog consistently.
In addition, higher education institutions can boost their reputation and foster student relationships through blog posts. To attract a wider audience, institutions of higher learning can use blog entries in a variety of ways, such as:
Admission blog: Start a blog dedicated to admissions and utilize it to answer frequently asked questions and dispel any fears potential students may have.
Department blogs: Your university's various departments and colleges can start their own blog to highlight their work.
Guest posts: To expand their readership or attract a specific demographic, universities and colleges can contribute guest articles to popular blogs and maintain their own.
The Bottom Line
Marketers in the higher education sector confront constant hurdles, not the least of which is finding strategies to boost student enrollment. If implemented effectively, these college enrollment marketing techniques will set your institution apart from the competition and help you connect with current and prospective students in a more profound way.