Higher education marketing is changing and it’s changing fast! Thankfully, the team at Effective Student Marketing is on top of these new marketing trends. We’re utilizing them with our top schools and we’re seeing great results! Here are the 5 things you need to be doing with your school’s online marketing strategy in 2013 to stay competitive:
Invest in Facebook Ads
If there’s one thing that needs to be a part of your school’s online marketing strategy in 2013 it’s investing in Facebook ads. Facebook is one of the most visited sites on the Internet, which makes it a powerful tool for reaching your target audience. Facebook acts as the new word-of-mouth marketing, so you can bet your prospects will be checking your page before they decide to enroll. That means the more fans your school’s Facebook Page has, the more trustworthy your school becomes. Investing in Facebook ads will allow you to grow your audience exponentially. The targeting feature for Facebook ads also happens to be extremely advanced. Because your ads can be so targeted, reaching your audience can be rather inexpensive. Facebook has just added conversion tracking, making it easier to track the impact of your Facebook ads and analyze the return on investment.
Be Mobile Friendly
Today’s prospects are on the go and they’re searching for information on your school on their mobile phones. We’ve found that over 50% of our clients’ website traffic is now coming from mobile devices. If you think the desk-top version of your school’s website works just fine on a mobile device – trust us, it doesn’t. You need to create a mobile site for your school that makes it as easy as possible for mobile visitors to get the information they need and then fill out a form with their contact information. We’ve built mobile optimized websites for our top schools and ran online ads targeting mobile users. The results were a 493% increase in online leads, plus an additional 460+ mobile click-to-calls. A mobile site and mobile ads are solid investments in 2013.
Create More Visual Content
Hopefully you’re already blogging for your school as part of your online marketing strategy. Your blog is a great way to reach new prospective students who are interested in training for a career your school offers, but who aren’t necessarily familiar with your school. The new marketing trend for 2013 when it comes to blogging and social media is to create more visual content like infographics and images. This type of visual content is very appealing to your audience, making it easier for them to read, respond to, and share with friends. Recently we’ve witnessed huge growth in visual social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. By creating visual content specifically for these popular new sites, you have the opportunity to generate an enormous amount of new traffic to your school’s website.
Own Your Online Reviews
You need to take ownership of your online reviews in 2013 if you haven’t done so already.People are talking about your school online and it’s your responsibility to know what they’re saying. Your prospects will be researching your school on these sites like Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo Local, College Prowler, and Student Reviews, and one negative review could be enough to keep them from enrolling. You need to claim your school on all of these sites so you have the ability to respond to negative comments. When you’re responding, you should be calm, diplomatic, and express that you truly care about what this person thinks about your school. Responding to your online reviews shows that you’re committed to improving the student experience at your school. That speaks volumes to prospects who are reading these online reviews as part of their decision process.
Take Risks To Improve Your ROI
Chances are your school is wasting valuable marketing dollars that could be better spent elsewhere. Start the new year off right by reviewing the performance of every marketing line item. Invest more money in the campaigns that are performing well to optimize them to their full potential. For the items that aren’t performing, stop investing in them! Use that money to fund new marketing initiatives that you haven’t tried before. Maybe you’ve been flirting with the idea of investing in a mobile site or one of the other ideas we’ve listed above. Now is the perfect time to try them out! Don’t throw your money away on old-fashioned marketing initiatives that don’t give you the return on investment like they used to. Stop doing what isn’t working and take a chance on something new! You can potentially reach a whole new demographic of prospects you never would have reached before.