From education to employment

Tactics to avoid when marketing for the education sector


Marketing is a vital, but difficult, process for any sector. While it may be more heavily attributed to sales-based sectors, marketing has become increasingly important in the education sector over the last decade. As young people look to the future of their education, they have so many options to choose from. How do you make your establishment stand out as the wisest choice?

A good marketing campaign will do just that, but it’s important not to fall into any of these common marketing pitfalls:

Uninspiring language

Many students seek to take courses and degrees in language and marketing, so it’s crucial that you don’t make a bad impression on this front! Opting for dull, boring language in an advert or marketing piece is a sure-fire way to turn prospective students away. Who wants to learn in a boring, same-old environment?

It’s the ever-present teacher’s dilemma, but you need to make education exciting! Words like “succeed”, “achieve”, and “support” are all fantastic when talking about education, but don’t be afraid to show off your facilities to get students excited to attend. “State-of-the-art”, and “unparalleled” are great ways to describe the services and equipment you have on site to bolster the learning experience.

Aside from this, don’t fall into the trap of being tempted to use “trendy” language. On-trend language is on-trend because it is used as part of a generation’s identity. Hearing it used by another generation, or an outside establishment, can seem like a cringey attempt to be “down with the kids”. At best, people will laugh at it; at worst, people will feel patronised by the obvious sales-style ploy.

Bad quality photos and images

Prospective students will be spending a lot of time at your college or training centre. The last thing they want is to spend the majority of their time in a run-down, cramped, or otherwise unpleasant building. Your building might be none of these things, but it will look like that if you publish low-quality, badly-taken photographs of the site! People equate a poor-quality image as a reflection of what it is showing.

In fact, digital agency Bright North revealed in a study that a poor quality image will reduce the chance of someone picking you over a competitor or different establishment. Students want to be proud to attend your college or training centre, so show them that you are proud of it too. Invest in some good-quality images.

If you are a university or other education centre where students may be moving to live close by or boarding, it would be wise to show some pictures of the area too. Landmarks, impressive buildings, sights to see — let them see where they will be spending their time!

Being aloof to social media

Social media platforms are a fantastic marketing opportunity for all sectors, and particularly for the education sector. After all, your main audience are heavy social media users — SUMO Heavy Industries revealed that 72% of people use social media every single day.

Make sure your college or training school has a social media presence via the top platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Here you can post updates to current students, share success stories and achievements, as well as field questions quickly from prospective students.

Plus, with live-stream features, you could even hold a Q&A session that would allow prospective students from further afield learn more about the school without having to make a long trip to visit.

Ignoring older techniques

It can be tempting to embrace all the new technology when it comes to marketing. You want to look up-to-date and cutting-edge, right? Yes, and using technology is a great way to do this, but don’t neglect the power of traditional techniques. They certainly have their place in marketing campaigns, particularly at physical events like open days.

According to one university study into print adverts and digital adverts, print adverts had the most advertising effectiveness. The study took into account how long someone looked at the advert, how much information they absorbed, and how likely they were to respond to the advert.

Another survey into the differences of print and digital adverts showed that 82% of people trust print adverts, compared to only 25% trusting online pop-up adverts.

It’s certainly worth investing in printed material for open days, as visitors are more likely to recall information from them.

Make your marketing campaign not only stand out from the crowd, but streamlined and effective with these top tips!

Gary Peeling is the managing director at leading UK print company, Where The Trade Buys, offering a speedy printing service for large and small businesses. The company provides has a range of printed products, such as the entertaining and event-popular selfie frame, banners and much more.

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