The demographics of college campuses have changed. Once heavily populated by fresh high school graduates wanting to continue their education before entering the workforce, today's college recruits are represented by a variety of ages and backgrounds. Enrolling for a myriad of reasons, each student is also looking for a unique experience.
While traditional college students who take all or most of their courses on campus still make up a majority of the population, working adults are going back to school to finish degrees or change careers. These students may be more interested in taking classes at night or strictly online. Gen Z students prefer attending classes online, and some students are enrolled in certificate programs rather than full bachelor's or master's degree programs.
With this new reality, attracting potential students takes more than just sending out flyers to high schools or hoping prospects will seek out the school's website, because all these various groups want to be communicated with in a different way. Digital marketing tactics can help colleges and universities reach their target audiences whomever they may be, wherever they spend their time, at any time of day using the methods that consistently work for them.
Create Virtual Content
According to Nielsen, college aged viewers watch more video on the internet than any other age group. This makes YouTube Marketing a good avenue to tap into.
- Offering virtual tours of the campus will introduce potential students to your physical site and amenities.
- Posting videos of events, lectures, sports functions, and other live content can give a feel for the types of activities available to students.
- Conducting taped interviews with current students and instructors works to let those considering enrollment hear what the student body and faculty have to say about what it's like going to school there.
- Live-streaming is a valuable way to familiarize prospects with the day-in-the-life aspect of the campus.
Campus beauty shots can also be included along with enrollment requirements and instructions.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
College students use social media to connect with family and friends, and to keep up with their school work and study groups. Some instructors have found that posting curriculum information and classroom assignments on various platforms is the best way to reach their students. With so many individuals now attending college lectures virtually, this falls in line with students' preferred method of receiving information.
A social media marketing campaign can help to advertise what's special about the campus and attract students who are interested in the areas that are specialized in. It's a great way to share branding images of the institution while recruiting those who have the best chances of excelling.
Invest in Paid Digital Advertising
A paid digital advertising campaign can cover everything from search engine optimization to pay-per-click display ads to OTT and social media ad placement.
When the goal is to attract students from a variety of demographics, a trusted media partner can help to optimize exposure and get the marketing message in front of the right sets of eyes by positioning it across all platforms. A paid digital campaign includes the added benefit of tracking performance metrics so that everyone involved can know what is working and decide where to make adjustments as needed.
Employ Radio Influencers
Many depend on word-of-mouth information from someone they trust to help them decide how to spend their money and where to spend their time. When researching colleges, potential students want to hear from someone they look up to that they are making the right decisions about their futures.
By forming relationships and hiring radio influencers, college campuses can tap into the powerful effect they have on their listeners. Influencers not only share their opinions on live radio, but they often post their advice on social media platforms. This marketing technique is very effective with an audience who wants the advice of someone who matches their personalities and shares their values.
Work With a Savvy Digital Marketing Partner
Because colleges need to attract a broad demographic in terms of age and experience, a variety of marketing tactics need to be utilized. Social media, virtual tours, paid digital advertising, and radio influencers can be used in combination to garner interest among potential applicants.
Data attribution is key to optimizing digital campaigns. An experienced media partner has the tools to analyze the data to determine which marketing tools make the biggest impact on prospective students. Together with the client, it can be determined which aspects of the campaign are getting results, and where dollars might be more effectively focused more to interest perspective students.
Talk to a media professional today to achieve enrollment goals for the coming term.