As a university, the competition to make yourself stand out among your 5,000 rivals is at an all time high. Universities in the US are pushing all their efforts to step up their marketing game in order to catch the eye of undergraduates.
Here are some general tips to keep in mind when revamping your university’s marketing strategy:
- Define your brand
- Focus on the students and what they want and need
- Remember your primary audience is 17 – 27 year olds
- Realize this is the digital marketing generation and you are expected to conform if you want to succeed
In this age, people would rather watch videos instead of reading. Luckily we are able to insert videos on almost every platform. For example, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or even your university website! Videos are an easy way to showcase something fast and effectively. This is a way to show your school’s creative and fun side.
Having a website might sound like common sense, but there is more than just having a website. You want your website to be convenient and informational. People like to easily access answers to their questions, instead of having to track it down or speak to someone on the phone.
Making sure your website implements UX design elements. Layout is logical, graphics are up-to-date, and all your web pages load in an efficient manner. Also, make sure it is mobile friendly. Students are always on the go, having a responsive mobile site will make your university even more appealing.
Search Engine Optimization
Increasing your SEO will help to make sure your web page is one of the first to pop up in a search.This will create convenience and a more pleasurable experience for users. Search engine optimization may sound like a foriegn language to most. But in simple terms just think of it as the way Google ranks you. In order to get through to students it is important to be easily accessible. No one wants to go through a fight just to come across your website, instead they’llll move on.
Think like an outsider. What would they type in a search bar?
We are living in a heat wave of social media influencing. Everything revolves around social media and with each generation we dive deeper and deeper. Undergraduates live by social media. They are on it everyday, they have multiple accounts, and they even plan their days around finding cool selfie locations. If you are trying to reach generation z or “millenials”, it is time you step up your social media game.
Alumni – Showcasing your alumni is super important because they allow undergraduates to imagine the results of their own experience. Alumni are living examples of their own unique university experience. The majority of Alumni move on to do amazing things; Whether it’s graduate school, becoming a doctor, or becoming a CEO, potential students love to see the achievements of your graduates. It opens their eyes up to the opportunities you can offer and they can achieve.
Achievements – Even more, displaying your overall achievements will help you stand out. Be proud of the honors and awards you are presented and show them off! Shout out a student or faculty member who has accomplished something amazing. Achievements are not something to push under the rug. Don’t let them go unnoticed. Bring as much exposure to them as possible.
Campus – Show off your campus! Every campus has a different look and qualities that make it unique. Campus tours don’t always showcase the whole campus. So this is your opportunity to reveal your hidden gems. Prove your campus is different and sell what makes it better than the rest. Even provide virtual tours to prospective students unable to visit in person.
Social life – College is the “best years of your life,” showcase this! Present the social gatherings and opportunities you have on campus. Whether it is movie night, the homecoming dance, a football game tailgate, sorority recruitment, etc. Showing there are ways for students to connect on campus is essential. Even revealing the top hangout spots and restaurants around or near your campus can add to the experience.
Ambassadors – On social media platforms, especially Instagram, ambassadors and influencers are helping companies advertise and bringing in sales. Well, who said this couldn’t work for universities too? Creating an ambassador program can be resourceful. They can help to get the word out and answer questions in a less intimidating way.
Hashtags – Building your university’s brand is imperative. To add to this it is important to create hashtags that are unique to your brand. These are a fun way of getting the outside involved and being able to interact.
Marketing strategies will continue to change every year, but is important to get ahead and keep up with the trends of your target market. As long as you are advertising your goals and brand, you have succeeded. With a thought out marketing strategy you have the potential to increase the success of your university.
Marketing is not something to stress over, it is supposed to be fun-so enjoy it. And as the University of Tampa would say… #GoSpartans!
Focusing on all these elements can be time consuming-luckily we can help you out. Contact ADventure marketing for all your digital marketing needs!