In recent times, the environment of higher education has been completely revolutionized. Increases in the level of competition, availability of information, and changing trends in the job market among others have contributed to this monumental paradigm shift. The question that arrives in one’s mind is – what brought all these changes in the well-established education industry? The obvious answer would be the advent and availability of technology across the entire world. The education industry has seen constant changes since then. With technology taking center stage and increasing pressure to keep the enrolment rate high, colleges/universities are opting for a more business-centric approach.
According to a survey(1), a typical educational institute spends about 11% of their annual revenue on their digital marketing activities. If this pace at which educational institutes are spending to differentiate themselves from competition remains the same, then the number will end up rising exponentially.
Effective digital marketing can help an institute to expand their physical reach and increase the enrolment rate. If that wasn’t enough, a good marketing strategy for educational institutes can help strengthen their fundraising capabilities and position in the market. Here’re a few trends that have caught on in the education industry.
1. Hiring external agencies
It has been observed that the educational institutes are now shifting towards the marketing-centric approach and are preferring an external agency with some expertise to market their brand better. This approach lets institutes focus more on other activities and create a better overall experience for students. Also, outsourcing places these marketing tasks into the hands of the people who can execute it better.
2. Web Analytics
Universities are utilising a data-driven approach to analyze and determine their target audience. With their TG present on multiple digital platforms, there is enough analytical software available in the market that educational institutes can use to get a better hold of the who, when and where when it comes to their TG, and helps increase the efficiency of their marketing campaigns.
3. Marketing automation
With digital marketing coming into the picture, there has been an increase in the usage of marketing automation platforms/tools. Through the usage of marketing automation technology, institutes are now able to connect and deliver better results to their students. These tools enable institutes to segregate the database based on the behavior and performance of their students on social media platforms, test results, involvement in co-curricular activities, which enables them to serve them better with more personalized and customized solutions.
Along with the benefits of reaching out to students with better solutions, marketing automation solutions also helps to minimise the manual work and make the marketing process simple for educational institutes.
Through the provision of an accurate campaign analysis, calculation of ROI, identification of leads, sending out personalized emails to students, developing the ability to manage the multi-channel campaign and many other key benefits, marketing automation has become a critical tool to attain sizeable results in the education marketing sector.
Your website is your digital face; it basically represents who you are. Many educational institutes are now focusing on designing a better website. As per few of the studies, it is observed that there’s a trend where educational institutes are now spending more on personalization and optimizing their website than ever before.
An informative website can not only help a brand to provide relevant experience to those who come to gather information. If the website happens to be appealing enough, then visitors tend to share their details, which gives a chance to convert that particular lead into a student.
If we go by numbers, then approximately 49.74%(2) of internet web page views come from mobile devices. This is perhaps the reason why most educational institutes are now looking to target the mobile audience for their marketing campaigns.
It is estimated that mobile subscriptions will hit 9.3 million by the end of 2019, and a the major share of this population will be students between the age of 18-25. Also, more than two-thirds of these students say that they prefer to receive a mobile message for any updates or reminders, which makes mobile marketing crucial for the educational industry. To target this particular audience, educational institutes are now putting an effort to make their content crisp and in an easily accessible format, so that they don’t miss out on any potential business.
6. Social media
This is not something new, but we simply have to mention the changing trends in social media marketing. Social media holds the most significant role in one’s educational institute marketing strategies. With an increase in social media marketing efforts for various educational institutes, offline marketing has taken a serious hit. With a major chunk of the TG present on social platforms, educational institutes are now taking it way more seriously than ever before.
With these aforementioned advancements, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter give the freedom of interacting and targeting the appropriate demographic from the giant pool that is present to them. Institutes are coming up with various innovative campaigns to engage students and garner their attention. But, with millions of content pieces floating on the surface every minute (couples with an attention span of less than 6 seconds), it is difficult to maintain this attention towards yourself. Therefore, educational institutes are trying to leave no stone unturned when it comes to attracting these students towards them.
With things like VR, AR, IoTs and artificially intelligent bots evolving at a blisteringly fast pace, all we can say is that educational institutes must work in sync with these changing trends to achieve their desired results and not miss out on anything substantial.
If you wish to understand more about educational institute marketing tactics and how digital marketing can help an education institute to reach out to a greater audience, then visit here.