No Silver Bullet
This surfaced a number of times. We heard how effective marketing in higher education requires a coordinated and concerted orchestration of numerous strategies and tactics to drive desired metrics when reaching student prospects. Prospects are consumers of various mobile and digital media across many platforms. It is not enough to ride one platform. Getting this wrong will sub-optimize your outcomes. But it’s also important not to engage in the “social media arms race”- you need to be exceptional in the channels with which you engage. Read more
For anyone beginning a career in university marketing, Fareed Zakaria’s In Defense of a Liberal Education (Norton 2015) serves as an excellent, brief introduction to issues facing American universities and colleges today. Zakaria, the Emmy-nominated host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, is a careful observer of developments in a number of critical cultural fields.
The book had its origins in an address to his daughter’s college class and has the flavor of zealous boosterism for the values of a college education. Which isn’t all bad if you find yourself forgetting the big picture, feeling overwhelmed in the trenches of enrollment management, or facing pressure from competing institutions. Read more
5 steps to stand out in a crowded marketplace
There is so much clutter, noise and frankly sameness in the higher education marketplace. In addition, the value of education is under scrutiny with skyrocketing costs, after-graduation debt and a difficult job market. So, at a time when the idea of college itself is being questioned, it’s critical to define your institution with precision and communicate clearly to your various publics.
It’s not enough to just tout the usual list of offerings associated with your institution. These need to be translated into meaningful benefits that leverage uniqueness, focus and differentiation. While there are a number of ways to find meaningful points of difference, here are 5 steps that we employ that have worked for our higher education clients: Read more
Is your target your target? For post-graduate programs, there are often more layers involved than simply targeting the prospective students for enrollment. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you communicate your program offerings.
- Understand who you need to convince. Often the attendee does not have the final say in enrolling in a program. Sometimes, parents, influencers or alumni play a key role. Or if gaining funding from their current employer, there could be several layers of approvals needed. Student prospects may need to gain the endorsement of their superior in order to champion them to the holder of the educational purse strings at their company – sometimes housed in a HR or talent management function. Read more
We have all been there. In years past, you developed broad based marketing plans for your institution, rooted in traditional media and presented them to your leadership. Then beyond reaching your student prospects, many of your internal stakeholders also were exposed to the messaging. They heard the radio spot, drove by the billboard, saw the print ad or watched the TV spot on the scoreboard. While these plans were strong on broad exposure, they were light on hyper-targeting and deficient in delivering metrics to determine their effectiveness. Read more
With the abundance of education opportunities today, understanding the key differentiators student prospects are looking for is crucial to best targeting potential prospects for specific programs. And with the flood of communications on various programs, from online, to weekend, to part time, understanding your target is key to creating a message that will resonate with them and uniquely identify that program’s benefits.
What does being influential on social media mean? It means that people actually care and pay attention. They will respond to your posts, retweet, share, favorite and like them. In order to maximize their influence, higher education institutions must have personality, consistency and engagement.
Collegeatlas.org ranks colleges in different categories based on their social media presence. What makes these colleges stand out above the rest? We decided to take one of the top players in four “most influential” categories and check out how they are crushing the competition.