How To Make Sure Students Find Your Online Programs

Online offerings are no longer a nice-to-have part of the college curriculum. Courses and full programs need to be offered online if you expect to remain relevant to learners who increasingly demand options in how, when and where they learn. But how do you make certain that your programs are discovered by the right students at the right time so they choose your institution over a competitor’s?

Don’t Have An If-You-Build-It-They-Will-Come Mentality

It doesn’t work that way. First you need to know if the programs you will build are what future students actually care about. Don’t make the monumental effort it takes to get new programs approved, built, staffed and put online without some serious due diligence. Did you know you can use several digital marketing tools to determine search volume for your potential program long before you create a syllabus or hire a professor? Not only does that help you understand whether or not anyone is looking for the type of program you want to add; it also can help you name it correctly. If your new program is Facility Management but way more people search for Facilities Management, that’s a quick fix. Take the easy lob and hit it out of the park!

Promote it Across Digital Platforms

You attained institutional buy-in and there’s an actual demand for the program you’ve chosen. Now what? If it’s an online program, make sure you promote it ONLINE. Consider the demographic you want to target and go after it on the platforms that make the most sense. If it’s an MBA program, you need to be on LinkedIn. But if it’s an M.Ed. program, why aren’t you promoting it on Pinterest where teachers often go for classroom inspiration?

Examine All the Data

Once you’ve taken all the right steps to attract students to your website, landing pages and to the programs you want to promote, you need to find out if what you’re doing is actually working. That’s where the data come in. You need to pull the data, analyze and evaluate, and then make changes on what you do, based on what you discover.

If all this sounds a little labor-intensive and complicated—well it is. That’s where ESM Digital can do the heavy lifting. Our customized Program Opportunity Report is just one of many tools we use to help clients find qualified students for their programs. If you’re interested in learning more about building programs and filling them with students, contact us today.

~Linda Emma