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Further education marketing strategies to boost your marketing efforts in 2023

Further education marketing strategies to boost your marketing efforts in 2023

Academic institutions are currently experiencing unprecedented changes. While some higher education marketers might find these changes daunting, others are embracing the revolution as an opportunity for growth.

With the right further and higher education marketing strategies, universities can drive interest and appeal to the new student generation.

The challenges of further and higher education marketing

Further and higher education academic institutions are experiencing a steep decline in student enrolment. The pandemic, rising tuition fees and lack of job prospects for new students have all played a part.

With so much uncertainty, many incoming students are wondering if a university education is really worth it. There is still a huge interest in lifelonglearning but return on investment has become a critical factor for students. Further and higher education marketing teams are now scrambling to appeal to their changing priorities.

To rise above these challenges, higher education institutions are spending more money on digital and traditional marketing efforts.

What are future students looking for?

According to The Student Room, high school students are looking for key information from prospective universities.

  • 70% are looking for course information
  • 67% want to know what the interviews will look like
  • 64% want accommodation information
  • 63% need to know about the flexibility of entry requirements
  • 61% are looking for information about funding
  • 61% are looking for guidance on their personal statements

There are also other elements that are important to potential students when choosing a prospective university. 

Current high school students have said that course content, university atmosphere, student satisfaction and accommodation are a priority. This information can be used by higher education marketing teams to create digital marketing strategies. 

Some marketing campaigns might revolve around showcasing campus facilities with short-form content. Other marketing campaigns might include testimonials from successful alumni.

6 simple and effective higher education marketing strategies

There are a lot of ways to appeal to potential students through the power of digital marketing. Here are a few ideas that can boost your efforts in 2023.

Create a mobile-friendly website

The next generation of potential students has been raised with 24/7 internet access. While 69% still own a laptop or PC, 75% select their smartphones as their device of choice. Higher education marketing teams need to go beyond thewhyand think abouthowstudents are accessing information.

Almost 60% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. Higher education institutions that don’t have a mobile-friendly website could be missing out. In fact, they could be missing out on over half of all visits from their target audience.

A mobile-friendly website automatically adjusts to the device your target audience is currently using. This includes both text and images. Google has said that they are now using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in its search algorithm.

Therefore, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will appear lower in the SERP (search engine results page). So, not only do mobile-friendly websites improve user experience, but they improve search engine optimization efforts too.

Embrace social media marketing

Did you know that 73% of aspiring students use social media to research schools? Further and higher education marketing teams can embrace social media marketing as a way of reaching prospective students.

It can be used to support user-generated content, generate tailored ads, showcase campus life and more. The University of Hull, for example, appealed to the growing interest in climate activism in their further education marketing strategy. Featuring the hashtag #MyPlasticPledge, they asked their students to pledge their plastic reduction efforts on their social media platforms.

Show off your campus

64% of prospective students say that campus facilities and accommodation have at least some influences on their decision to enrol. Showing off your facilities, therefore, is a great way to increase student enrolment and reach out to those potential students.

There are many ways to showcase your campus as part of your higher education marketing services’ efforts. Your higher education marketing strategy could include YouTube videos showing campus accommodations. You could also feature personal insights and experiences from student ambassadors.

Harness alumni testimonials and ambassadors

Using current students and alumni in your higher education advertising and marketing strategy is another great way of boosting your appeal. Current and past students can offer something that marketing teams cannot: a first-hand experience. Alumni can also offer insight into the employability options they have when they graduate.

Students are increasingly concerned with mental health and well-being. In particular, they want the universities they choose to help them understand how to manage their mental health. Using student ambassadors to highlight the services on offer is a great way to answer these questions.

Use the power of video marketing

Video will be one of your most effective marketing and social media campaign tools in 2023. TikTok statistics show that there will be 15 Million UK TikTok users by 2025. In fact, 65% of Gen-Zers use TikTok, Instagram and Youtube daily.

Embracing short-form videos as part of your digital marketing strategy can pique the interest of prospective students. In particular, Gen-Zers love personalised and authentic video content. Colleges and universities can use this to create academic tutor introductions or personalised campus tours.

Offer virtual tours

Virtual campus tours were vital during the pandemic but they have stuck thanks to their numerous benefits. Virtual tours are accessible and inclusive for students who may be unable to attend a tour physically. They help families save money on travelling, and always present the campus in the best possible light. Virtual tours are being offered at institutions like the University of Oxford, King’s College London, and UWE Bristol.

The further and higher education industry is evolving all the time, and marketing teams need to adapt their strategies to keep up. We can design a solid PR and comms plan that can help you appeal to the next generation of students.


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