The education industry is undergoing a major change, with most of the higher educational institutions and universities leaving their traditional marketing playbook and adopting niftier online marketing strategies. And, with a change in the pattern of how students and parents research and select their preferred educational institution, the challenge for an educational institution is to increase student enrolments during the admission process. This is where inbound marketing steps in.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that involves the creation and distribution of relevant content for your audience, without having to pay hefty amounts for advertising. The principle of inbound marketing focuses on letting your prospects find your business and keeping them engaged by using channels such as blogs, infographics, social media, SEO, videos, whitepapers, etc.
In other words, instead of cold-selling education courses, you produce and distribute content that people are looking for, and also provide some value to them by fulfilling their immediate needs.
Adopting an inbound marketing strategy can enable educational institutions to go a few steps further in their marketing strategy, and meet all the marketing goals they have in mind. Here’s how inbound marketing strategies are effective for educational institutions:
#1. Target and Nurture the Right Kind of Leads
While you may be using marketing tools or resources to target and reach your target audience, your reach may be limited to a small number of clients, and a very specific pool of them to boot. This means that you would need to maximize every opportunity to gather those prospects, and it needs to be a consistent effort.
By adopting the inbound methodology, you can use tactics such as building your content assets, participating in social media and other pull strategies which can draw interested students to your website, and thus widen your pool of prospects. And since inbound marketing is all about understanding the needs of your buyers and providing a solution to them, you can leverage this opportunity by creating customized content which is suitable to the specific needs of the buyer, and offer knowledgeable content which would add to their knowledge.
#2. Opportunity to Nurture Your Leads by Educating them
A major aspect of inbound marketing methodology for the education sector is to educate and make your prospects aware of the product or service which you have to offer, and how it helps them reach their end goals and ultimately add value to the lives. With an inbound marketing approach, you can capture those leads and nurture them at every stage of the sales funnel.
This method is a lot more effective since you form tailor-made campaigns to create multiple conversion points and shorten the time between a prospective student’s first visit and their application submission. It would allow you to answer and foster interaction with your prospects about pertinent questions – from pricing and expected results, to what makes your education institute different.
#3. Convert High-Quality Traffic Into Prospective Students
Adopting an inbound marketing strategy would enable you to attract higher quality traffic to your website, convert them into prospective student applications, and then nurture them to take admissions. This is made possible due to a relationship based on information, advice and resources, which is instrumental in the lead generation process, and ultimately closing them for sales.
#4. Exercise Relationship Building and Delighting Your Prospects
Inbound marketing is all about delighting your customers – even after your customers have made their purchase – with the goal of turning them into the promoters of your brand. Building relationship with students beyond the course curriculum is every education institute’s primary goal, and inbound marketing provides a perfect solution to fit this requirement by throwing in a plethora of options for doing so. By adopting smart content strategies such as recycling cornerstone content, social outreach initiatives, etc., you can aim to foster a lifelong relationship with your students by constantly keeping them in the loop, thus gaining their trust and affinity.