higher education marketing and online student recruitment

A Digital Marketing Plan for Higher Education

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 16 Jun 2023 by Georgia Ventiroso
Digital Strategy | Social Media | Training

Are you interested in using social media to leverage your university’s online presence? Have you explored the possibilities of staff and student recruitment through digital channels?

Every industry has unique possibilities and challenges whilst using online channels to boost their reputation. For higher education, digital marketing can be used to promote the quality of your tuition, recruit new students for enrolment and support your graduates to discover their future opportunities. But not every university knows where to start when developing their digital plan or how to advance their online strategy to reach even further heights. As digital marketing experts, SocialB has supported numerous education programmes to improve their digital marketing plan through our vast range of courses. And we are here to let you in on a few secrets to set you on your way towards digital success. Read on to find out how.

online student recruitment

An online strategy for student recruitment

With so much competition and shifts in society, most universities face challenges in student recruitment. Building a strong online presence can create so many opportunities for you to reach and nurture prospective students, but before you get going, you need to set a plan in place. As part of your strategy planning, consider the following steps:

1. Understand your target audience:

If you’re clear on your organisation’s values and identity, it shouldn’t be too tricky to picture the types of students you are hoping to attract. Consider where your audience spend their time online, and the content marketing that can be used to hook their attention. Top tip: build persona groups and deep dive into their personality types, including hobbies and interests.

2. Analyse your competitors:

There is nothing wrong with some friendly competition and some of the best ideas can be sparked by researching our competitors’ approach. Have a look at the technique and tone that your fellow universities are taking to attract prospective students. Top tip: don’t just copy what they are doing but try to spot gaps that they are not yet filling and be the ones to pave the way!

3. Set clear objectives:

If we don’t consider milestones to reach, how do we know whether we are going in the right direction? Establish distinct KPIs using a SMARTER marketing model to monitor your progress. This will help you to stay on track and keep you motivated alongside your incremental increases, looking forward to an influx of leads from incoming students.

4. Multi-channel marketing:

Don’t just stick to one channel or approach. Nurture your audience across multiple channels such as social media, email marketing and SEO content. If you keep them engaged, then you’ll stay on their minds when they are considering which future school to go for. Top tip: use automation and retargeting to simplify your efforts and save you tonnes of time.

Empowering your graduates online

Setting your fledglings free can be a massive moment for both the graduates and the university itself. You may have given them exceptional skills to use in the working world, but have you empowered them to carve out opportunities with prospective employers online? Using social media provides incredible possibilities for networking and self-promotion. Give your graduates career confidence by offering them training on building a strong social media presence. Top tip: this will be another student perk for you to promote online, showing that alongside caring about their time spent within your university walls, you also nurture their future successes.

online reputation for higher education

Boosting reputation for your college

Alongside attracting the right students and empowering your graduates online, the overall impact of effective digital marketing will do wonders for boosting the universal reputation of your school. If you have a distinct online personality and seize the opportunities through digital channels, your presence will expand both online and offline. There can be short-term and long-term gains from having a solid marketing strategy, and although it can take time to build confidence and tactics, you will be celebrating the impact well into the future.

Do you want to take things to the next level? SocialB can offer bespoke training courses to accommodate your specific needs for up-skilling your team. We have supported several organisations within the higher education industry, and you can find some of our customer testimonials below. Please feel very welcome to contact our team if you have any questions or would like to hear about the alternative options available.

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