ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

9 New Years’ Marketing Resolutions

A new year means new business goals, marketing plans, and metrics to measure. Is your school ready to kick off 2015 with a bang? These marketing resolutions will help you navigate the New Year. Share, print, and pin these resolutions to keep your school’s marketing on track for 2015:

Resolution_9It’s time to break open the black mystery box of marketing to understand and optimize the ROI of all your online marketing efforts. You need to understand just how all your marketing pieces work together—from  pay-per-click advertising to social media to SEO—and what your internal team or agency is doing to help (or hurt) your school. Ask the really tough questions to find out exactly what works and what doesn’t and how you can get the results you want for your school.

Resolution_6It’s time to stop worrying about producing perfectly polished messages and start using what your students already produce on your behalf. Now is the era of user-generated, authentic content! True testimonials, images, and videos that show what your campuses and school are really like appeals to future students much better than canned messaging. Your current students and grads will love being in the limelight and prospective students will appreciate the authenticity.

Resolution_7It doesn’t matter how much money you are willing to spend on marketing and advertising. If your school doesn’t have a good reputation, your brand will suffer and there will be a negative impact on your marketing results. You need to keep a close watch on what people are saying about your institution online, respond appropriately, and monitor how it impacts lead flow from all sources. A good reputation equals a positive brand that will help create more inquiries from all your lead generation campaigns.

Resolution_1Your potential students, particularly those in the 18-34 age range, are probably not watching traditional television. And if they are, they’re likely fast forwarding right through advertisements that do not interest them. Shift your marketing budget to catch prospects where they are with more targeted video advertising on sites like YouTube and Facebook and to see a much better return on your investments.

Resolution_4Why would you choose to share someone else’s content when your content can be the kind that is shared by others? Set aside a portion of your marketing budge to create your own branded content like blogs, infographics, images, and videos that will appeal to current, past and prospective students. Original, branded content marks you as a thought leader, raises your brand recognition and gives a boost to your lead generation.

Resolution_2Social media advertising is not just about generating likes and shares. Advertise on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to target prospective students with quality content that appeals directly to their interests. Use the right kinds of images, blog posts, infographics and engagement messages and you can drive prospective students to specific landing pages to get high quality, highly targeted inquiries.

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Digital marketing is a moving target and if you want to use it effectively, you need to stay current. Facebook is still a major player, but students are also on sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. Have a social media strategy that includes these other channels to get the best engagement. You need to go where your students and future students are, not force them to come looking for you.

Resolution_5If you really want to implement effective marketing strategies, you need to delve deeply to determine the results of your current marketing efforts. If you don’t know how, then let us help you! At Effective Student Marketing, we conduct audits for new clients and often find unacceptable levels of waste in marketing campaigns. Lead tracking needs to show you what the return on investment is for on all your marketing efforts. Does yours?

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The days of staying in the corner office and presiding over your school from above are gone. You need to step out and confidently represent your institution online and become the face of your school. Social media isn’t just the concern of your marketing department; it’s your job, too. You have an opportunity and obligation to positively engage online to effectively lead your school through 2015 and beyond. Be a transparent and authentic representative at the helm of your school so you can forge stronger relationships with prospects, students, and graduates and boost your school’s overall brand image.

Are you ready to make New Year’s Resolutions that will make a difference for your school? Contact us at Effective Student Marketing for a free consultation to see how our 9 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions can work for you!