Today’s Lesson: Higher Education Marketing Trends

Walking to class. Walking to the library. Walking to accept the diploma.

The people and places surrounding the student during these walks are essential. You want to make sure that they know your college is the right place for them.

However, that is a little tricky because higher education’s constantly changing form is affecting student opinions of further study and how they engage with individual institutions.

They have to work harder to grab the attention of potential students because going to college is no longer a must-do. These institutions are facing a big decline in student enrollment.

It is important for colleges to enroll more students and increase student engagement. So, marketing is necessary to increase enrollment but also for brand creation and ensuring that it is visible, engaging and credible.

Here are a few trends to look at for higher education engagement:

Social influencers:

Influencer marketing is a big deal at the moment. This can involve leveraging social-savvy students and encouraging them to share their experiences. This can be highly beneficial to higher education institutions. You can bring tech-savvy students aboard and hand over screen control to those who can instantly relate to your target audience because, well, they are the target audience.

Video marketing:

A video is the perfect way to contain emotion. It will make people feel happy, sad, scared or angry:

  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook and YouTube videos each week.
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
  • 74% of all internet traffic is video.
  • Videos on social have 135% greater reach than photos.

You want to be looking at the sentiment behind why video is powerful, and it all boils down to storytelling. The videos can be created for major yearly events, such as move-in day, campus festivals and commencement, to give prospects a first-hand insight into what life is like on campus. Use real stories from real people to give your videos more power.

User generated content (UGC) for social proof and reach:

Word-of-mouth recommendations are evolving to align with the digital landscape. Use content from former students for future prospects:

  • 70% of people trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy.
  • 72% of brands believe that shared UGC helps them engage their audience.

Use hashtags that students can use to bring together their experiences in one place. Then, publish the tweets and Instagram posts on your website and in marketing collateral to entice prospects.

Creative social media campaigns:

To cut through the noise that this generation is consuming, you need to get to the point — and quickly. Multichannel marketing campaigns are the way forward but, more than anything, higher education institutions need to get creative if they want to stand out. The majority of the Generation Z population prefers to use Snapchat and Instagram, two very visual and ephemeral channels.

“Mobile first” marketing:

If you want to reach prospects where they’re most comfortable, you need to implement your marketing strategies on mobile before desktop:

  • Mobile/Smartphone is 75% of Generation Z’s most frequently used devices.
  • Laptop computer is 45%.
  • Desktop computer is 30%.
  • Tablet is 10%.
  • 49% of average smartphone users on campus have acted on an ad they’d come across on their mobile device.
  • Three-quarters of Gen Z reported making purchases from their handheld devices.

Higher education institutions will be implementing more geo-targeted ads that reach prospects and students wherever they are over the next year. Reach media advertising allows audio and video to catch the eye and garner attention.

Email marketing segmentation for more personalized experiences:

Personalization is set to be big over the next year in every industry. People want to feel as though brands are speaking directly to them, and they don’t have the time to waste checking out unrelated content.

74% of marketers confirmed that targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

By using segmentation, you can deliver relevant content to the right people in order to build up rapport, trust and credibility.

Micro-moment blogging to answer key questions:

Written content is still necessary because 64% of college prospects would rather read a college’s website content than watch a video delivering the same message. It is important to get video and text working together in tandem because, naturally, there are some areas where video is necessary while others are best for text content. Text can be used for key terms and common questions prospects and students have. Consider what they would search for in Google.

Augmented reality:

In the next year, we can expect to see higher education institutions tapping into this trend and creating games and stories that overlay real-life campus scenes in an attempt to engage students and attract new prospects. This could be virtual campus tours with augmented reality offering visuals and information along the way. It is a fun way to enable future students to experience the feel of the campus.

These methods allow students to create deeper, more-meaningful connections with institutions and build a bigger picture of what life on campus is like before they enroll. So, make sure they know that walking to class on your campus is the right choice. Contact Kazoo today to learn how we can help you market to potential students!