It’s safe to say that more and more universities need to adjust their business strategies to be able to place a greater emphasis on education marketing. Over the last few years, the education sector has changed so much so that is crucial for universities to actively engage with both prospective and current students.
Here are some of the golden rules that universities need to work into their marketing strategies when targeting students.
Build links between interests and careers
The end goal for most students looking into the possibility of university is to not turn up to lectures for a few years before eventually pursuing a career that they are really enthusiastic about. The latest messages portrayed through social media have made it clear that becoming successful and being happy comes from following your interests more so than pursuing a career that is recommended to you by other people such as teachers and parents. Therefore, it is important to note that when looking to attract students, universities need to forge links between both student’s interests and potential career paths.
Don’t alienate potential students
Don’t make the common mistake of looking to apply your own experiences of university to today’s students, even if you were only at university a few years ago. How students both gain access to and engage with brands is always undergoing changes. Most marketing professionals never had Facebook at university, however most young people between 16 and 24 have never experienced a life without the internet.
Post your messages out through multiple channels
When marketing to students, being successful comes from understanding a young person’s consumer behaviour around multiple channels and how you can use a combination of both creative and media elements that come to reflect the behaviour of their chosen brands more so than limiting yourself to the safe confines of an old school educational institution.
The majority of students state that university is more about the experience than the actual degree. Therefore, it becomes apparent that your messages will have a greater effect if wider interests are targeted.
Use creative that runs parallel with young people’s lives
When students go to university, they usually form tight social circles that are based on a similar interest or hobby. Universities will successfully recruit new students if they make the potential student feel like they will fit into the university’s culture.
Therefore, success only occurs when the medium you use is determined by the marketing message.
Don’t dwell on the past – look to the future
The recent changes in legislation made by the UK government have ensured that there is more than one route into university. This has made it extremely difficult for universities to effectively communicate their marketing messages to prospective students as there are so many options available. Furthermore, this suggests that the education sector has become even more competitive and that student expectations have increased. Therefore, from a business perspective, universities need to review their value propositions, so they can clarify what they offer to students that other universities can’t, then communicate this message through a number of different channels.