Here are some of the top trends that higher education marketers should not miss out when preparing for their marketing and content strategies in 2018 and beyond.
Many universities have used video marketing as one of their main marketing strategies. However, most prospective university students favored college web content through text rather than video. Nevertheless, it is still critical to not that in the world of higher education, the trend of video marketing is more about the idea of storytelling. Therefore, marketers should think about how they can better include storytelling into their digital marketing campaigns.
Most higher education marketers have yet to tap onto the trend of Influencer Marketing. Many can begin doing so by searching and identifying students whom are most active on social media and have a large number of followers. These student influencers will be responsible for posting about their student life experiences and live-streaming the highlights of their campus episodes.
In addition, marketers can look into offering a full reimbursement of a semester study abroad programme if they blog about it their experiences throughout or provide top social media influencers with discounts on textbooks, dining and even housing.
The use of augmented reality (AR) as a form of marketing strategy should not be neglected despite the high costs involved. AR provides great accessibility to the masses without the need for any additional equipment. Higher education marketers can kickstart this strategy through the use of simplified AR such as virtual campus tours and an interactive campus map.
At present, social media’s live streaming feature is one of the cheapest and easiest marketing method and can be carried out by identifying some of the best events organised on campus. In addition, rather than have your marketing department be there to capture the moment, why not get your influencer instead? By doing so, it furnishes your target audience with the fun event highlights from a student’s perspective in real time.
Managing Dark Social
Dark social occurs when web content is shared privately through direct messages, emails and chatting platforms. A widespread of engagement typically becomes untraceable, unanalyzable and unmanageable. Dark traffic is traffic from a referral link, a “Tweet this article” link or other links without referral tags within the URL.
Therefore, dark social marketing should be designed by:
- Using a URL-shortening tool. Customised, shortened links make tracking and analyzing easier (and look cleaner on social media);
- Use sharing buttons on your site to make sharing with your preferred link (which should include a referral tag) much easier for visitors; and
- Use dark social tools designed specifically to mitigate and manage dark social shares.
Email marketing is the most commonly used approach by universities to reach out to students. However, universities typically tend to neglect the importance of email segmentation. By undergoing the segments by department, major, hobby, sport, financial or life situation better allow marketers to gain wider reach and responses from their target audience.
Niching Down – Even More
Audience segmented should be carried out for most marketing campaigns because it is all about storytelling. Successful stories sent to a more targeted group of individuals will result in more effective marketing strategic results.
Analyzing – Even More
Marketing analytics should be made a fundamental element in all marketing campaigns, and is one that higher education should partake in. This is because it provides concrete data for every marketing exercise that brings about costs.
Micro-moment marketing is essential as it not only makes a brand more noticeable on the internet, it also makes information easily available to the target audience. Micro-moments are pertinent the various internet searches and decisions.
As universities dive into the search of university excellence, they should look beyond the academia aspect, and start focusing on the marketing and branding strategies of institutions as well. This is because the choice of universities by prospective students go beyond strong academia programmes. Universities brand image and the perception that students have towards these institutions play a critical role in their choice of universities. Therefore, it is important to keep up with the latest higher education marketing strategies so as to remain relevant and attractive to prospective students.
The above opinion is that of the editor and not necessarily that of QS Asia.
Join us in the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2018 from 22-23 May 2018 as we discuss on the topic on “In Search of University Excellence: Perspectives from Russia and Central Asia”.