Virtually any business or company can make use of digital marketing to spread their message and attract followers and clients. Educational institutions such as Colleges, Institutions, Universities, Schools, and Technical Schools are no exception. Making good use of digital marketing—in particular, social media—can help drive enrolments and build awareness about school offerings.
Many educational institutions are now putting digital marketing to work for them. Now is the time to see what it can do for you.
Why Choose Digital Marketing?
In the past, some educational institutions relied on reputation and word-of-mouth advertising. Others employed extensive print campaigns to promote themselves. These methods still have their place, but digital marketing offers an alternative that is not only highly effective but also cost-effective and easily measurable.
It has been estimated that in 2019 Canada had approximately 34.56 million internet users, representing nearly 96% of the population. For many of us, daily use is the norm. Between email, social media, news, shopping, and entertainment, we typically spend 3- 4 hours online each day, giving ample opportunity for marketers to reach their audience. In fact, it is believed that this will be the first year that more time is spent online than watching television.
Search Engine Optimization for Educational Institutions
Digital marketing relies on a variety of methods to raise your visibility and put you in contact with your audience. One of the most well known is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This key component of your digital marketing efforts involves raising your website’s ranking in search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and most importantly, Google.
Every second of every day, there are more than 40,000 Google searches taking place. In a month, university is searched for 49,500 times, while college is the subject of more than 160,000 searches. With so many users seeking information about continuing their education, you definitely want your name to be out in front of them.
Unfortunately, in most cases, those who are seeking information online will only click on the first few links provided by the search engine. That means that if you are not among the highest-ranking results, you are unlikely to be seen. Being the fifth result is scarcely better than being the 100th.
Search Engine Optimization addresses several ways that your website can climb the ranks to reach Google’s top spots. This can include addressing the speed of your site, the ease of navigation, and a host of other factors that, once optimized, greatly improve the experience of site visitors. Google’s focus is firmly on user experience, so when your site is viewed as reliable, authoritative, and relevant to the user’s needs it will rank higher.
Social Media for Educational Institutions
While social media can often bee seen as entertainment or a means of keeping in touch with friends and family, it is far more than just cat videos and Messenger. When used properly, it can be a tremendous benefit to your marketing efforts.
For the average user, social media consumes more than two hours—144 minutes—of their day, every day. Much of this time may be spent chatting or sharing pictures and videos, but much of it is also used to research products and services that the user is interested in. Social media offers consumers the opportunity to research a brand or company, getting to know them before ever making contact.
When it comes to educational institutions, more than 70% of those anticipating entering college are using social media to research the options available to them. This means that providers of higher education are able to communicate and form a relationship with prospects long before they set foot on campus for a tour.
By engaging with prospects, you have the opportunity to provide them with the information they need to make an informed choice by detailing programs and services offered and addressing any questions and concerns that they may have. More than that, however, you are able to provide them with less obvious reasons to choose your institution by demonstrating your campus culture and overall personality. Certain intangible parts of the student experience can be highlighted.
Those looking for the right place to invest their time, money, and effort will want to be sure that they can put their trust in you before making a decision, and building a relationship through social media is a perfect way to do just that.
Social media can also be used to make announcements about open houses, information sessions, fund-raising activities, sporting events and so much more. It is a perfect venue for communicating with past, present, and future students.
Why is Social Media More Efficient?
There is no denying that some traditional methods of marketing can work quite well, particularly for established institutions with sterling reputations, but digital marketing offers a number of advantages in that it has a much wider reach, while at the same time allowing your efforts to be highly targeted. It also gives you more immediate feedback on your efforts, whereas traditional marketing must be observed over a longer period of time.
Google Ads for Educational Institutions
Search Engine Optimization is the cornerstone of your digital marketing, but there are going to be times when you want quicker results than SEO typically delivers. At those times, Google Ads is there for you.
This pay-per-click platform can bring you to the top of Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) quite rapidly. Targeting words and phrases such as “college” or “choosing a school” can help you get eyes on your site quickly, ensuring that you are visible to your prospects at a crucial point in their research. Choosing your keywords carefully can also help you focus your efforts on a highly targeted group.
Digital marketing has become the leading means of connecting with your audience. Don’t overlook this powerful tool. Contact us today to learn how digital marketing can not only help drive enrolment, while also provide you with a host of other benefits.