The world of marketing is ever-changing, with every industry imaginable adopting faster, sleeker and overall more effective marketing methods. In this regard, the education industry is no different. With so much information available to the potential students, it is easy to get lost in this deafening noise. A higher educational institution generates a lot of content inherently by nature, but most of the marketing strategies adopted by higher educational marketers are not able to nurture the streams of this content efficiently, and hence are not able to achieve their goal of increasing the overall volume of lead generation throughout thegv admission season.
Inbound marketing enables you to share your message in an easy and engaging way. It enables you to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, and on the right channel. Here are seven inbound marketing tactics which would enable you to kickstart your inbound marketing strategy and get the most out of it :
#1. Big Data and Research
To truly succeed and give direction to your marketing strategy, it is very important for you to assess how much you actually know about your prospective students. More often than not, there is a wealth of information gathered from various online channels, which marketers don’t nurture and neglect. Gathering and analyzing this information should be the first step to gain a better understanding of your audience.
Identifying and analyzing big data not only help you understand your prospective students but also helps these students learn more about you as a university.
There are various sources through which big data can be generated. Tools such as online forms, surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc. can be used to gain insights about valuable information, such as what made your current students and your alumni choose your university to begin with. You can leverage this knowledge to create a content strategy that can attract future students.
#2. Web Analytics
Your website is one of the most valuable resources which your prospective students and parents can use to research about your institution and its programs. Hence, it becomes extremely crucial for you to earn attention online through quality content, that can help you attract your prospective students.
There are many tools – free as well as paid, which help you perform data analysis with relative ease and efficiency. Some of the most popular tools are Google Tag Manager, Universal Analytics and HubSpot.
#3. Online Paid Advertisements
The greatest virtue of online paid advertising for inbound marketers is that it allows them to segment their audience according to their buyer persona. This enables them to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. This is one of the major drawbacks of traditional marketing methods, which does not facilitate such precise targeting of audiences.
#4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO has grown and developed into a full-fledged profession today, which has become an inevitable function for every online entity. Concerning educational institutions, the attitude of your prospective students and their parents is changing, with the majority of them turning up online to find answers to their questions and research about the most suitable school or college.
SEO is an ever-changing process, with new updates coming frequently. However, it is always centred around the searcher’s needs. It is important for you to know your prospects, research about them and give purpose to your content by centring them around the relevant keywords that would answer their queries and draw them to your site. By making your site visible to your target audience, you are likely to receive traffic which is more likely to convert.
#5. Content Strategy
All the efforts discussed so far would be worthless, if you don’t have a well-planned content strategy in place. A good content strategy is what keeps your business running, by helping you organise all the inbound marketing bits and pieces in a way that makes sense to your audience. It is your final masterstroke which would enable you to convert your website visitors into leads, and eventually into applicants.
The structure of a great content strategy includes an outline of the list of topics that your audience wants to read, the tone and voice of your content and the format in which your audience would prefer consuming it.
Your educational institution’s online content is a great way to tell its stories and is what sets you apart from the cutthroat competition. It is a great medium for you to build an emotional connection with your prospects and also show your worth as an institution, giving reasons why it is the best fit for them.
#6. Social Media
Social media has evolved in the past decade, with its usage not being restricted just to sharing photos and posting updates. It has also become one of the most powerful tools for businesses worldwide to run advertisement campaigns for various purposes, participate in discussions on various forums or among customer groups, create and update their brand’s page, and much more.
To optimize your social media strategy, the first thing you must do is research about which channels your prospects prefer to use. You can use social media channels to share your content, reach a new audience, and keep your current students engaged.
#7. Video Engagement
Video has become one of the most popular trends among marketers. And with Youtube being one of the web’s most popular search channels, this trend is not going to fade anytime soon. Hence, video storytelling is a platform your institution shouldn’t overlook.
There are plenty of reasons why having video content is a must-have for your institution. It enables you to convey your message to your audience in a visually appealing manner, which would not have been so effective through other mediums. Apart from that, videos also add a humane touch to your content and build emotions, enabling you to connect with your viewers on a more personal level.
These are the seven best inbound marketing tactics which will help you get started with your inbound marketing strategy. You need to decide which of these strategies and tools will enable you to market your content to your audience in an effective manner.
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