There are 6,900 accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States, including traditional universities, community colleges, for-profit organizations and online schools. This is the highest number ever. And what this means is that competition for applicants is fierce.
Couple this with the fact that:
- Modern day students spend at least 3 hours per day online
- Over 90% of prospective students review a school’s website before applying
- A majority of parents validate a schools reputation and legitimacy by reviewing its website
Schools and other educational institutions can no longer idly sit on the sidelines and hope that traditional marketing methodologies are going to successfully carry them into the future. They must up their digital marketing ante to compete.
Good digital marketing helps educational institutions by building brand awareness while simultaneously educating prospective students and their families on why they should enroll there. Digital marketing has a broader footprint than traditional forms of marketing so that schools can reach a larger audience, including international students, in a cost-effective manner. Optimizing online presence also leads to more students applying, and a deeper applicant pool.
Here are a few ways educational institutions can maximize their digital marketing efforts.
Create or Update Your Website
If you don’t already have a website, create one. If you already have one, make sure it is up to date. Your site should be functional, easy to navigate and have a professional appearance. It should showcase what makes your school different and better than others. Also:
- Make sure your website properly represents your institution’s values and mission
- Post photographs and videos so that prospective students get a better feel for things
- Include a section that has answers to the most frequently asked questions
- Create a way for people to easily contact you
Add a Blog
It’s not enough to just have a website. You need to have a blog too, which should discuss pertinent issues in education. Post regularly, with your end goal being to engage with your readers. Allow administrators, teachers, and students to contribute. If readers comment on the post, make sure to respond. Many people get information from blogs, so focus on content that offers advice and valuable information.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Make sure that your website is properly optimized so that it ranks well on Google, and use keywords that people would be searching for. Your goal here is to not only make it easy for people to find you when they are actively looking for you, but also to make your site discoverable to people who may have no knowledge of your institution just yet.
Use Social Media
If you don’t already have social media accounts, create them. And if you do have them, use them effectively. Use your profiles to interact with applicants, students and parents. Social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram have billions of active users, and social media channels allow for open communication and increased engagement.
A good digital marketing strategy will help improve visibility and increase awareness for your educational institution, which can lead to an increase in applications and enrollments. If you are interested in perfecting your online presence, contact JLB Works today.