How to do digital marketing for universities and what to learn from it
Marketing for schools has also been impacted by the digital wave. What can be learned from it? Take advantage of the tips.
No matter what your profession is, you have already realized that the internet is a curse and also a blessing. Thanks to him, progress in all areas is going too fast … The good thing is that the web is also the solution because everything is there, you just have to apply it.
Speaking of specific marketing, it is true that we can learn much more from the web than even from higher education books. This is relevant because our discipline has undergone significant changes in recent years as consumers have turned their eyes to online and mobile channels. The landscape has become much more competitive with brands struggling to capture and retain the interest of the masses on smaller screens. That is true for all turns.
For higher education in particular, the revolution of the web does not only mean opening online courses and thinking that everything else can continue to work as it does today. The large number of students seeking face-to-face universities is also sensitive to the digital wave. In order to attract visitors to school sites, which become leads and later clients, institutions have to start integrating digital strategies into their day-to-day campaigns; These should be directed essentially to three buyer people:
- New prospects
- Existing customers
Based on a 2015 E-Expectations study of high school students:
- 78% of respondents indicated that university websites make a difference in their perception of the institution.
- 70% of students have looked at a university website on a mobile device.
- 55% of young people stated that they are more likely to consider institutions that employ digital strategies.
What does this mean? And how are the institutions taking these ideas and evolving their enrollment management or the way they approach and improve enrollment, retention and progress? According to Marketo , Hanover Research has recently identified three main areas that describe these trends; While their research applies to higher education in particular, these trends can be extrapolated to all industries:
Importance of the brand and marketing
Institutions are increasingly aware of the importance of creating a unique brand presence to differentiate themselves from their competitors. There is a greater focus on digital channels, with 61% of education marketers indicating that they started their branding strategies in the last five years. Colleges and universities are investing in response design, analysis tools, social media and marketing automation.
In order to offer a truly coherent experience to students at all points of contact, institutions are beginning to understand and act on the need for a comprehensive multichannel strategy based on student behavior. From micro-moments to inspiring marketing . It is critical to ensure throughout the student’s journey, consistency and positioning, identity, strategy, stated objectives and personalized communications.
Tips for marketers:
Define your buyer persona and integrate your marketing strategies through the different channels that best define your target audience based on their online and offline behavior. In the online arena, this can be achieved with content marketing .
Engagement during the entire life cycle of the student,
The engagement marketing with students does not mean a successful registration, but a process that continues over time while in college and long after they graduate and become graduates. In addition to meeting admission goals, institutions have to worry about increasing student retention and the graduation rate to transform students into donors and brand evangelists. Look at this image from the home of UCLA, where Guy Kawasaki appears. Curious that in addition to working for this school, Guy earned his living being that, a Chief Evangelist .
This is where engagement- marketing to your consumer with a relevant message, based on what it is and what it is doing-comes into play. Through relevant, targeted and personalized communication, administrators and marketers can establish lasting relationships with students.
With a large amount of channels and information at your disposal, students must be reached in the right place at the right time. If a student’s digital language says that she is seeking financial aid, she must enter a program around loans, donations and scholarships. After registration, if she begins to show interest in going abroad, she should be sent information about exchange programs, internships abroad. Efforts like these can go a long way in increasing your affinity and loyalty to a particular institution. In this framework, having all the possible tools is of high value. What does your institution have? University blogs? Social networks? Online store? Online courses? Moocs?
Tips for marketers:
See the complete journey of your client as a whole, engagement, acquisition, retention and promotion. These are the 4 moments of truth:
Moment zero : When a user finds you on the page of a search engine.
Moment one: When it comes into contact with your product.
Moment two: When you use it frequently and even use other functionalities, accessories, services, etc.
Moment three: When you recommend online or offline and this becomes the zero moment of another person.
The growth of digital education
Online education is growing dramatically, with 71% of institutions currently offering remote offers. Some universities have even partnered with the Khan Academy, a nonprofit educational organization, to offer online education globally. While the biggest disadvantage of distance learning is the lack of face-to-face interaction, institutions are adopting experiential learning and innovative approaches to teaching such as “gamified” teaching to address this issue. Students can create a character, play as part of a team and earn experience points and rewards based on behaviors related to the class. Other examples of this are adaptive learning, where the system modifies the material in response to the student’s performance.
Private schools, public universities and community colleges alike can not ignore the importance of doing everything focused on the student, from branding and marketing to engagement and education. With the investments they make, students nowadays need to have a truly superior teaching degree; it is understandable to them to be selective about their options, and it is just that institutions provide them with the experience they need, through their school years.
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