How To Increase Student Enrollment In Higher Education

Vincent Hawley

April 23, 2024
20 minutes to read

Hey there, fellow higher-ed marketing warrior!   We all know the struggle is real. Between the never-ending social media algorithms and the competition fiercer than an all-nighter fueled by lukewarm coffee, getting your school to stand out can feel impossible.   But fear not!  Here at LimeCall, we’re all about helping you ditch the old, dusty brochures and conquer the exciting world of digital marketing.

Let’s face it, traditional open houses just don’t have the same pull they used to. These days, it’s all about creating a killer digital presence that makes students say “WOW!” instead of “Meh, next.”  That’s where these awesome strategies come in:

Totally Transforming Your Higher-Ed Marketing Game

First things first, let’s get a grip on the higher-ed marketing landscape. Understanding your audience is key to crafting messages that resonate. Once you’ve got that down, we can dive into the top digital marketing strategies specifically designed for universities and colleges.

Social Media Slayin’

Master the art of engaging content, and watch your follower count soar. We’re talking fun, informative posts that students will actually want to like and share.  And guess what? User-generated content is your secret weapon! Encourage students to share their campus experiences – it’s authentic and builds trust.

Building a Brand Like a Boss

Make your school the envy of everyone else! Develop a strong brand identity that reflects what makes your institution unique. Remember, it’s all about connecting with students on an emotional level.

Student-First Focus

It’s their education, after all! Tailor your marketing content to address their needs, wants, and (let’s be honest) anxieties. Show them why YOUR school is the perfect place for them to launch their futures.

The Power of Video

Keep those eyeballs glued with dynamic video content! Virtual tours, student testimonials, and even funny skits (think clean humor, of course) can seriously boost engagement.

Data = Decisions, Decisions

Don’t be afraid to geek out on some data! Tracking results allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. Use that info to refine your strategy and make your marketing even more effective.

SEO Superstar

Get your school to the top of the search engine game! By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you’ll ensure that prospective students can easily find you online.

The Alumni Advantage 

Your alumni network is a goldmine! Leverage their positive experiences to create powerful testimonials that showcase the value of your education.

Enrollment GETS LIT

Make applying to your school feel like the most exciting decision ever! Streamline the application process, offer virtual tours, and throw in some fun incentives to get those applications rolling in.

Your Digital Marketing Masterplan

Now that you’re armed with this arsenal of awesome strategies, it’s time to craft your very own digital marketing masterplan!  This isn’t just a one-time thing – think of it as a living document that evolves as you learn and grow.

The Future is Bright!  

The world of higher-ed marketing is constantly changing, but with the right approach, you can stay ahead of the curve.  By embracing these digital strategies, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your school into a thriving hub for the next generation of amazing minds.  Let’s get those “likes” turning into applications and watch your campus become the talk of the town!

Understanding Higher Ed Marketing

Ever feel like your school gets lost in the crowd at the giant college party?  There are universities, community colleges, online programs – it’s a competition to be the coolest hangout!  But fear not, because digital marketing for higher education is your secret weapon to turn heads and get those amazing future students interested.

So, how do we transform your school from wallflower to VIP room everyone’s buzzing about?  Let’s unpack some must-have tools:

SEO & PPC: Your Megaphone to the Perfect Audience

Imagine having a magical megaphone that shouts your school’s awesomeness directly to students searching for exactly what you offer. That’s the magic of SEO (search engine optimization) and targeted PPC ads! No more getting lost in the Google abyss (seriously, nobody checks page 2 anymore!).

Social Media: Where the Cool Kids (and Future Students) Hang Out

Remember those epic parties in college?  Well, social media is like the ultimate hangout for current and future students (okay, maybe even during some classes – wink wink).  That’s why you gotta be there too! Share your story, show off those amazing campus vibes, and make your school feel real and relatable. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are your launchpad to connect on a deeper level.

Content is King (and Queen and Everything In Between)

Blogs, videos, infographics – all these are like gold trophies for student trust. By answering their FAQs and showing you’re the expert on everything college-related, you become their go-to source for info.  Think of it as a friendly helping hand, not a sales pitch. When they see you understand their needs, your school naturally becomes the perfect solution.

Email: Not Boring, But Super Important

Okay, email might not win the “most exciting” award, but done right, it becomes your personalized connection to each and every student.  Think scholarship updates, event invites, and friendly reminders – all these keep you top-of-mind during their big decision-making time.  It’s like having a direct line to their inboxes, something they check every single day!

Video Power: Short, Sweet, and Totally Engaging

Forget those long, snooze-worthy campus tours.  These days, short and punchy videos are the way to go!  Student testimonials, quick glimpses of campus life, funny skits (clean humor, of course) – all of this makes your school feel real and relatable, not some distant idea.  Plus, with attention spans shorter than ever, bite-sized videos are way more likely to get watched (we’re talking 66% more likely!).

See the magic? It’s not just about the tools, but how you use them to build a presence that’s impossible for students to ignore.  Let’s get your school from wallflower to the hottest ticket in town!

Top DM Strategies For Universities and Colleges

Looking to get your school in front of the amazing students who are hungry to learn, grow, and rock their futures?  Well, buckle up, because when it comes to digital marketing for higher education (we’re talking colleges, universities, and all the incredible programs in between!), there’s a whole toolbox full of strategies waiting to be unleashed.

Here’s the cool thing: unlike a business trying to convince someone to buy a product they might not even need, universities and colleges have a unique advantage.  Your target audience – those future rockstar students – are already actively seeking a place to call their academic home.  They’re ready to jump in, they just need to find the perfect fit.

That’s where YOU come in, my friend!  By wielding these awesome digital marketing strategies, you get to showcase why your institution is exactly the launchpad they need.  So, let’s dive in and explore these strategies that will have students saying “Heck yes, this is my school!”

Social Media Mastery

Ready to conquer the platforms where your future students are living it up online?

Social media might seem like a wild jungle of content, with every university, college, and even your grandma posting stuff. It’s true, 90% of millennials are actively using these platforms, but that doesn’t mean you need to get lost in the noise.  The key? Picking your battles wisely.

You can’t be everywhere and do it well, so here’s a cheat sheet to find your student havens:

Gen Z Central: TikTok & Snapchat  

If you’re targeting Gen Z, these are your gold mines!  Think short, action-packed videos: lightning-fast campus tours, hilarious skits about student life, or even professors dropping knowledge bombs in a fun way.  Bonus tip:  Post your TikTok creations on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts to get even more mileage out of your awesome content.

Insta-tastic Impressions: Instagram  

This platform is still a visual powerhouse!  Stunning campus photos, student takeovers showcasing a day in their lives, or even inspirational quote graphics can skyrocket your shares and build a strong brand.

LinkedIn:  Connecting with Students & Parents  

This platform leans a bit more formal, making it the perfect spot for alumni success stories, career resources tailored to higher education, and highlighting your college’s impressive industry connections.  (This one is a surefire way to impress parents, too!)

Pro Tip Alert!

Don’t be a social media ghost!  Engage with your audience! Respond to comments, host live Q&A sessions, and throw in some fun polls and quizzes. Remember, social media is a two-way street!

Now, let’s ditch the boring announcements and unlock the power of storytelling!  Think of your social media profiles as chapters in your university’s epic story.  Here’s how to turn those pages faster than you can say “campus life”:

People Power:  Students Over Programs  

Sure, your academic programs are amazing, but it’s the student experience that truly reels people in.  Showcase the vibrant clubs, the epic dorm life, and those awesome volunteering projects –  everything that makes your campus unique!

Visuals are the MVPs

Let’s be honest, could a paragraph about your fancy new lab ever compete with a 30-second video of a student rocking that equipment?  No way!  Eye-catching visuals are key.

Conversation is King

Spark engagement by asking questions in your captions, running polls, and encouraging student-generated content. This shows you’re not just broadcasting, you’re building a thriving higher education community.

This is where the magic happens. Students won’t just see your college; they’ll feel the energy, the spirit, and what it’d be like to be part of the experience.  That’s a connection way more powerful than any brochure could ever dream of.  So, grab your social media cape and let’s get this party started!

User-Generated Content

Ever notice how scrolling through Insta and seeing a pic of your dream college can hit you right in the feels?  But what if it wasn’t some staged photoshoot?  Imagine seeing a real student’s post – their killer dorm setup, the view from their favorite study spot – captured perfectly on their phone.

That, my friends, is the magic of user-generated content (UGC), and it’s pure gold for higher education marketing!  Here’s how to unlock its power:

Hashtag Heroes

Craft a catchy hashtag that sticks – something like #[UniversityName]Life?  Then, get your amazing students to share their authentic experiences – funny moments, inspiring stories, whatever makes your campus special.  This builds a whole vibrant online world around your university, showcasing it from a student’s perspective.

Testimonials That Don’t Feel Like Textbooks:  

Ditch those stiff quotes from brochures.  Get real students on camera talking about the professors who impacted them, the club that changed their life – these authentic voices are way more persuasive than anything YOU could say in a fancy ad.

Make it a Blast-Off with Contests & Challenges:  

Photo challenge with awesome prizes?  TikTok dance-off using your school fight song?  These interactive ideas get students involved AND create tons of shareable content that truly captures your campus vibe.

Remember, It’s All About Sharing, Not Taking:  

The key here is to reshare student content on your official pages, ALWAYS giving them credit, of course!  This shows you value your students not just for their pics, but as real people with stories to tell.  And that authenticity is what gets prospective students excited to join your awesome community.

Real Students, Real Stories:  

Want a shining example?  Check out the University of Delaware’s #BlueHenPride hashtag.  It’s a perfect illustration of how students come together to celebrate their university culture, achievements, and unique stories.  It makes you want to be part of the action, doesn’t it?

This isn’t about fancy graphics or expensive ads.  It’s about showing prospective students the REAL deal through the eyes of their future peers.  Building trust with authenticity – that’s the superpower of user-generated content, and it’s way more powerful than any marketing campaign you could ever dream up.

Brand Building

Ever wonder why superheroes have those awesome costumes and catchy names?  It’s not just about looking cool (although that doesn’t hurt!).  It’s about instant recognition.  When you see that cape or that symbol, you know exactly who’s about to save the day.

The same goes for your university!  You’ve got your unique superpower – maybe it’s cutting-edge research programs, a killer location, or incredible internship opportunities.  These are the things that make your school stand out, but you need something to grab attention and make students say “Woah, that’s [University Name]!”

Think of it like the McDonald’s golden arches, the Audi rings, or even the Olympic colors.  These instantly recognizable symbols create a powerful connection with the brand.  That’s what you want for your university – a brand identity that makes students sit up and take notice.

Here’s how to craft your university’s superhero suit:

Discover Your Superpower: 

What makes your school the envy of all others?  Don’t settle for generic answers! “Friendly campus” just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Are you the go-to place for groundbreaking STEM programs? Do you offer hands-on internships that launch careers?  Find that core message, the thing that makes you shine, and let it be your beacon.

Look the Part: 

Your logo, colors, even the fonts you choose are like your superhero’s costume – they tell a story!  Do you want a classic and timeless vibe?  Modern and edgy?  Make sure your visual identity reflects your core message and use it consistently EVERYWHERE.  From your website to your social media posts, let your visual language be instantly recognizable.

One Voice, Many Platforms: 

Consistency is key!  Whether it’s a blog post, a tweet, or a campus tour, your university’s “voice” should always ring true.  Are you quirky and fun?  Super professional?  Whatever your personality is, let it shine through consistently.  This builds trust and makes your university feel real and relatable.

Sweat the Small Stuff: 

Imagine a student visiting your stunning, modern website and then getting handed a crummy, outdated brochure.  Yikes!  That breaks the spell, right?  Every touchpoint, from your website to your brochures and social media presence, should reflect your brand identity.

Pro Tip:  Get Your Students Involved!  

A logo design contest or having them vote on their favorite slogan gives students a sense of ownership in your brand.  That enthusiasm is contagious!  It builds a strong sense of community and shows prospective students that their voices matter.

A strong brand isn’t just about aesthetics.  When done right, it creates a positive emotional connection with your university, even before students step foot on campus.  That’s an advantage money can’t buy.

Action Time!  

Think of three words you want people to associate with your university.  Does your website and social media presence reflect those words?  If not, it’s time to unleash your inner branding superhero and give your university a refresh!  Let’s make your school the place everyone’s talking about!

Student-Orientated: Start Listening

Be a student-focused marketing whiz!  Ever feel like students are bombarded with the same old college brochures – generic pictures, fancy font, promises of a “bright future”?  Let’s be honest, it all gets a bit lost in the shuffle, right?  And who wants to wade through a sea of sameness when making a super important decision about their future?  Yeah, not exactly exciting.

Here’s the thing: students crave to be understood, not just marketed to. 

That’s the magic of student-centric digital marketing – it speaks their language and makes them feel truly seen.  So, how do we unlock this superpower?  

Let’s dive in!

Mind Meld with Your Future Students:  

Imagine yourself as a wide-eyed soon-to-be college freshman.  What are you worried about?  Is it figuring out finances?  Picking the perfect major?  Feeling overwhelmed on a giant campus?  THAT’s the starting point for your content.  Instead of listing endless programs, show them you get their challenges. Let your content become a helping hand, a friendly guide through the exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking) college application process.

Speak Their Lingua Franca:  

Ditch the stuffy academic jargon!  If your social media sounds like a textbook, students will hit that unfollow button faster than you can say “FOMO”.  Can you answer their FAQs in a fun, engaging TikTok video instead of a long-winded webpage?  Bingo! That’s how you grab their attention and make learning about your college actually enjoyable.

It’s a Conversation, Not a Lecture:  

Comments, polls, even live Q&A sessions with advisors – all these show you’re not just a one-way street blasting information.  You want their input, their questions!  This two-way dialogue builds trust and lets students know their voices matter.

** Ditch the Snooze-Fest Events:**  Let’s face it, traditional webinars can be a yawn-fest.  But a webinar on how to land their dream internship?  Now you’re talking!  Think beyond generic open days and create student meet-ups focused on niche interests and real-world topics.

Pro-Tip Alert!  

Get real student intel!  Survey your current students and ask what kind of events THEY would love to attend, what topics keep them up at night.  You might be surprised by the goldmine of information you uncover!

When students feel like you see them as individuals, not just numbers on a spreadsheet, that connection goes a long way.  They’ll trust you, they’ll feel welcome, and guess what?  They might even become lifelong advocates for your university – spreading the word, donating, and becoming part of your awesome alumni network.  That’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Action Time! 

Let’s do a quick audit. Look at your last 3 social media posts.  Did they offer students something valuable, answer a question, or solve a problem?  Or were they just singing your own praises?  If it’s the latter, it’s time to refocus your content and make it all about your amazing future students!  They’re the real rockstars here, after all!

Video Marketing

Let’s face it, most college recruitment videos are about as exciting as watching paint dry.  Long, droning speeches, that generic background music that sounds like a dentist’s office waiting room, and endless panning shots of the campus – no wonder students swipe past faster than you can say “Yawn!”.

But here’s the secret: video marketing, when done right, is a total game-changer!  It can grab attention, tell your story, and make students truly excited about your university.  So, how do we turn those snooze-fests into wow-fests?  Let’s dive in!

Pick the Perfect Platform:  

Not all platforms are created equal.  TikTok is all about quick bursts of fun and engagement – think a professor explaining a complex concept through a hilarious meme, or a 15-second dorm tour set to a trending song.  Instagram Reels can be a bit more polished but still super short and engaging.  YouTube Reels offers a mix of both.  The key here is to deliver value, and that value can absolutely be entertainment!

Show, Don’t Snooze:  

Instead of a talking head droning on about your amazing study abroad program, cut to a student having the time of their life exploring a new culture.  Emotions resonate way more powerfully than facts.  That’s the power of storytelling at its finest.

Real Stories Rule:  

An alumni video showcasing how a professor helped them land their dream job?  That short, impactful video is more persuasive than any statistics you could throw at students.  Real-world experiences are golden!

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Campus Challenge Time!  

This is a super simple but effective way to get students involved.  Have them compete to film the funniest study spot or the best dining hall hack.  It’ll be hilarious, shareable, and show off your school’s fun and vibrant atmosphere.

Virtual Open Day 2.0:  

Take advantage of Reels to break down your virtual open day into bite-sized pieces.  Create one Reel showcasing the science labs, another featuring student testimonials – the possibilities are endless!  This makes the information digestible and those share buttons practically scream to be clicked.

Bonus Tip Alert!  

Don’t let fancy equipment hold you back.  You don’t need a Hollywood budget to create engaging video content!  A student with a smartphone and some editing skills can be way more effective than a pricey production crew.

Action Time!  

Challenge accepted!  Can you take ONE piece of existing marketing material (a flyer, a webpage) and transform it into a short, punchy video?  Start small, see the response, and get ready to wow those future students!

Embrace Your Data

Ever feel like the word “analytics” triggers flashbacks to boring math classes?  Let me tell you a secret: data is actually your best friend in the world of digital marketing!  It’s the key to making sure all those hours you pour into your marketing efforts aren’t wasted.

In the age of artificial intelligence and the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, using data to guide your decisions is no longer optional.  It’s the difference between staying ahead of the curve and getting left behind by the competition.  Here’s why data is your secret weapon:

Ditch the Guesswork, Embrace Knowledge:  

Data tells you exactly what resonates with students.  That funny meme you were on the fence about?  If it gets tons of shares and engagement, you know you’re onto something!

Waste Not, Want Not:  

See a fancy ad campaign falling flat?  Analytics let you ditch it fast and redirect those resources towards something that ACTUALLY works. No more throwing money at strategies that don’t deliver!

Proof Positive:  

Numbers talk, and they talk loud!  When it’s time to impress your boss (or the board) with results, you need data to back you up.  Saying “this campaign doubled our inquiries” is way more persuasive than “well, everyone seemed to like it…”.

Metrics That Matter (and What They Whisper in Your Ear):  

Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics – the numbers that make you look good but don’t tell the whole story.  For example, having 100,000 followers on Instagram is great, but if only 100 of them click through to your university’s website, that’s not so great.  It’s better to have a smaller, engaged audience that actively seeks out your content.

So, what metrics should you focus on? Let’s talk:

  • Engagement (likes, shares, comments):  Are people even noticing you, or are you preaching to an empty void?  Engagement metrics tell you if your content is striking a chord.
  • Conversion (form submissions, etc.):  Is your content turning that interest into action?  If not, it’s time to refine your strategy.
  • Click-Through Rates:  These metrics reveal whether your headlines and calls to action are grabbing attention and enticing people to click.
  • Bounce Rate:  A high bounce rate means people are landing on your website and then leaving immediately.  This could indicate problems with your page design or content.

Bonus Tip Alert!  

You don’t need a PhD in data science to reap the benefits of analytics!  Most popular social media platforms and website builders have built-in analytics tools.  There’s also Google Analytics, a treasure trove of information even beginners can navigate.  

These free resources are a goldmine of insights to get you started.  Of course, there are always advanced marketing tools you can invest in later, but the built-in features are a fantastic starting point.

The truth is, data empowers you.  It helps you move away from random content creation and guesswork.  Instead, you’ll be crafting data-driven digital marketing strategies that get real results.

Action Time!  

Let’s dive in!  Log in to your social media accounts and find the analytics section.  Pick one metric (engagement rate is a great place to start) and track it for a week.  You might be surprised by what you learn!  Data can be a powerful tool, and the more you use it, the more you’ll discover its potential to transform your marketing efforts.  So, go forth and conquer the digital marketing world, data by your side!

SEO: Getting Found Faster

Feeling a little invisible online?  Want to make sure prospective students can find your amazing university when they’re searching for the perfect fit?  That’s where SEO comes in, and it’s like a magic key to unlocking the top ranks of search engines like Google (and yes, Bing and DuckDuckGo too!).

Here’s the thing: most people don’t even venture past the first page of Google results.  Think about it – if a student types in “Top Computer Science Universities in the US” and your school isn’t in the top ten, they might not even know you exist!  That’s where SEO swoops in to save the day.  

Let’s dive into how to use SEO to make your university the star of the search engine show:

Mobile First = Student First:  

These days, everyone uses their phones for everything, including searching for colleges.  So, if your website looks like a blurry mess on a mobile device, Google is going to penalize you, no matter how fantastic your programs are.  

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly – it’s a non-negotiable in today’s mobile-first world!

Speed Demon, Not a Snail:  

Websites that take forever to load are the enemy of both students and search engines.  The bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave immediately) for a slow website is brutal.  We’re talking about a 90% bounce rate for sites that take 5 seconds to load!  Ouch!  Test your website speed regularly and ditch anything that’s slowing things down (those giant, unoptimized images are a common culprit).  

A fast website is a happy website (and a happy search engine ranking!).

Security Seals the Deal:  

Ever come across a website with a scary “not secure” warning next to the URL?  Yeah, no student (or search engine) is going to trust that!  Make sure your website has HTTPS security – it’s a trust signal that tells everyone your site is safe and secure.

Backlinks: The Popularity Contest:  

Imagine backlinks as votes of confidence for your website.  The more high-quality, relevant websites that link to yours, the higher your ranking will climb.  Think about guest blogging on other higher education websites or partnering with successful alumni businesses to get your school’s name out there.  

Getting listed in relevant online directories is another great way to score some valuable backlinks.

Keyword Magic (Without the Spam):  

What are students ACTUALLY typing into Google when they’re researching colleges?  Those are your golden keywords!  Tools like Google Search Trends and Keyword Planner can be a goldmine for uncovering these search terms.  But here’s the secret: don’t just stuff keywords into your content like a robot.  

Your website and blog posts should be written in a way that naturally answers common student questions and provides valuable information.  Engaging, informative content is what Google rewards with high rankings.

Pro-Tip Alert!  

Don’t try to be everything to everyone.  Focus on a few niche programs or unique offerings that your university excels in, and optimize your SEO strategy around those areas.  It’s better to be the undisputed champion for a few things than a distant also-ran for everything.

The best part about SEO?  It’s a long-term strategy that pays off big time.  Imagine students finding YOUR university organically, through search engine magic, instead of you having to chase them down with endless ads.  Organic traffic is the holy grail, and SEO is the key to unlocking it.

Action Time!  

Let’s put your SEO skills to the test!  Head over to Google and search for your main program offering along with your location.  

Did your university appear on the first page?  If not, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and use these higher education marketing strategies to make your school the SEO superstar it deserves to be!

Your Students Are Your Secret Weapon

Feeling the pinch of students being super savvy these days?  They can spot a marketing message a mile away, and let’s be honest, who wants to be bombarded with sales pitches when making a life-changing decision about college?

Here’s the thing: students crave authenticity.  

They want to see real people, real stories, and real results.  Fancy ads and generic brochures just don’t cut it anymore.  So, how do we bridge that trust gap and connect with prospective students in a meaningful way?  The answer lies right at your fingertips – your amazing alumni network!

Student Success Stories: The Power of Real

Let’s face it, students are way more likely to believe someone who’s walked the same path as them than a polished marketing message.  That’s why showcasing real-life case studies of alumni who are now thriving in their careers is a total game-changer.

Show, Don’t Just Tell:  

Don’t just brag about your alumni’s impressive job titles – that’s only half the story.  The magic lies in showcasing the potential that resides within YOUR STUDENTS.  

Tell the journey, the struggles they overcame, the impact a mentorship program with a professor had on their success.  These relatable details resonate with prospective students and paint a picture of what their own college experience could look like.

Make Your Alumni the Stars:   

Ditch the stiff newsletters and one-size-fits-all emails.  Give your alumni a chance to shine!  Feature them in short, engaging video interviews on social media.  Turn their stories into bite-sized, shareable content that prospective students will actually stop and watch.

Building Bridges with Alumni: A Win-Win

Here’s the amazing thing about this approach: it’s a win-win for everyone!

  • Surveys = Story Gold:  Regularly check in with your alumni through surveys.  This not only gives you fresh content to showcase their achievements, but it also keeps them feeling valued and connected to their alma mater.
  • Events with Impact:  Think beyond the obligatory alumni mixer.  Organize career panels where alumni can share their expertise with current students.  Events like this build immense goodwill and create a sense of community.

Pro-Tip Alert!  

Don’t underestimate the power of recent graduates!  Students often connect more readily with someone who’s just a few years ahead, navigating the early stages of their career.  Highlight their struggles, their triumphs, and how your university helped them get there.  Focus on the journey, not just the destination.

The Alumni Advantage: A Self-Perpetuating Cycle

By using alumni success stories as the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, you’re not just attracting new students, you’re fostering a thriving alumni community.  These proud ambassadors will sing your praises, attracting even more top students who will then go on to become successful alumni themselves.  It’s a beautiful cycle that benefits everyone!

Action Time! 

Do you have a system in place to easily track your alumni’s accomplishments?  Even a simple online form or a dedicated LinkedIn group can make a world of difference.  Start collecting those success stories and get ready to transform your digital marketing strategy!

Let’s Make Enrollment Exciting

Let’s talk about shaking things up!  Enrollment season can get a little, well, predictable.  

Those same old brochures and generic applications can leave students feeling, well, bored.  

But fear not!  We’re here to inject some serious excitement into your enrollment process and turn it into a happening that students will actually be buzzing about.

FOMO: Your Friend, Not Your Foe:  

Early bird discounts are a classic for a reason, but let’s take it a step further.  Think beyond just saving a few bucks – offer limited-time rewards that are truly enticing.  Imagine this: “Only 25 spots left at this amazing price, PLUS a free campus swag bag!”  Scarcity and a little extra something special create a sense of urgency and make students feel like they’re getting an exclusive deal.

Student Superstars:  

Word-of-mouth marketing is a goldmine, and guess what?  Your students are your secret weapon!  Create a referral program that turns every enrolled student into a mini-marketing machine.  Think cooler-than-cool merchandise (not just another gift card) as rewards for referrals – something students will be proud to show off and tell their friends about.

Experience the Excitement (Even Virtually):  

Can’t swing a campus visit for everyone?  No worries!  VR tours aren’t some futuristic gimmick – they’re a fantastic way for students to get a real feel for your beautiful campus, even if they’re miles away.  This is a game-changer for international students who might not be able to visit in person.

Social Media Mania:  

We all know selfies are a dime a dozen on social media.  So, how do you stand out?  Create a social media challenge that encourages students (and current attendees!) to share why they CHOSE your university, using a unique hashtag that reflects your school spirit.  Remember, user-generated content is king (or queen) when it comes to building hype and authenticity.

Gamify Your Enrollment:  

Enrollment checklist got you yawning?  Let’s ditch the snooze and turn it into an epic app quest!  Imagine earning points, badges, and leveling up as you complete each step of the enrollment process.  Suddenly, that checklist transforms into a thrilling adventure, making enrollment feel less like a chore and more like conquering a fun challenge.

Pro-Tip Alert!  

Partnering with a student group is a genius move!  They’re the ultimate insiders when it comes to what feels cool and what feels, well, cringey.  Listen to their ideas, give them some creative control, and watch your enrollment marketing strategy transform into something truly engaging and authentic.

This approach to enrollment marketing is a surefire way to turn a potentially tedious process into something positive and exciting.  It injects fresh energy and makes your school the place to be – the one where enrollment isn’t just a formality, it’s an unforgettable experience.

Action Time!  

Let’s get brainstorming!  Think about your next enrollment period.  What small, unique, or engaging element can you incorporate to make it stand out?  

Even a little creativity goes a long way in making a big difference!

Your Marketing Master Plan

Ever feel like the words “digital marketing plan” send you running for a nap?  We hear you loud and clear.  But guess what?  Crafting a winning plan is way less intimidating than you might think!  Let’s break it down into bite-sized pieces that are easy to understand and even easier to implement.

Start with Your “Why”: The Roadmap to Success

Every good journey starts with a destination in mind, and your digital marketing plan is no different.  What are you hoping to achieve?  Do you want to see a surge in applications?  Attract more transfer students?  Your goals are the foundation that everything else will be built upon.  Once you have crystal-clear clarity on your objectives, you’ll be able to identify the most effective strategies to get you there.

Know Your Audience: Speak Their Language

The key to successful communication is personalization.  Forget about blasting out generic content that seems like it could be for anyone, anywhere.  

Who are you trying to reach?  Are you targeting wide-eyed first-year students or seasoned international graduate students pursuing their next big step?  Your messaging should feel like it was tailored specifically for them.  

Remember, it’s better to have no content at all than content that feels lost and directionless.

Be Everywhere, But Be Smart: Quality Over Quantity

In the digital marketing world, it’s important to have a presence across various channels.  Social media, email marketing, even some well-placed old-school flyers can all play a role.  But the key here is intentionality.  

Each platform should serve a specific purpose, not just become a dumping ground for random posts.

The Journey Continues: Analyze, Adapt, and Thrive

Digital marketing is a living, breathing entity.  It’s not a one-time thing – it’s an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and refinement.  Don’t just launch your campaign and walk away.  Keep a close eye on your content, analyze its performance, and identify what’s working and what’s falling flat.  This proactive approach ensures your content stays fresh and relevant, actively contributing to your overall goals.

Listen and Learn: Students are Your Secret Weapon

Most platforms offer built-in analytics that give you valuable insights into how your content is performing.  Are people engaging with your posts?  If not, it’s time to tweak your strategy.  But here’s another powerful resource at your fingertips: your students themselves!  

Surveys aren’t just for post-enrollment feedback.  Ask them what kind of content they’d like to see and where they spend their time online.  Their insights can be a goldmine for creating content that resonates.

Embrace Change: Stay Ahead of the Curve

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving.  What worked like a charm last year might be a complete flop today.  Don’t get stuck in a rut, just because it’s “the way you’ve always done things.”  Be open to adapting your strategies to keep pace with the latest trends and student interests.

Pro-Tip Alert!  

Break down your big goals into smaller, more manageable chunks.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a giant objective like “boost enrollment,” set a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goal like “Run a successful TikTok campaign by [date].”  Suddenly, that daunting goal feels much more actionable.

Action Time!  Let’s Get Planning!  

Do you have even a basic digital marketing plan in place?  If not, no worries!  Start small – write down 3 goals you want to achieve and then brainstorm 3 ways to reach each goal.  That’s it!  You’ve already taken the first step towards creating a winning digital marketing strategy that will get results.

The Future of Higher Ed Marketing: Owning the Digital Space

Students today are glued to their screens. To connect with them, your college or university can’t afford to simply have a digital presence – you need to dominate it. Here’s where innovative marketing strategies come into play:

Video is King (and Queen): 

Showcase the vibrant off-campus life, tell compelling student stories, and create anything that’s shareable and engaging.

SEO is the New Gold: 

Make sure your college is easily found on Google searches. Don’t let students choose your competitors because they simply can’t find you!

Alumni: Your Secret Weapon: 

Their success stories resonate far more powerfully than any ad campaign. Leverage their experiences to inspire prospective students.

Enrollment? Make it Fun! 

Gamification, early-bird discounts – ditch the chore factor and make enrollment an exciting experience.

Beyond the Banner Ads:  

Move beyond traditional digital display ads and websites. It’s all about truly understanding your students’ needs and crafting content that feels personal and speaks directly to them.

Ready to Take Action?

This is where CallPage comes in as your secret weapon. We help you instantly connect with interested students. Instead of clunky forms and waiting periods, they get a callback within seconds. This skyrockets your conversion rates and makes every student feel like a priority.

Don’t wait to transform your higher education marketing strategy. 

Try LimeCall today and watch your application numbers soar!

20, April 23, 2024, Vincent Hawley

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