When it comes to filling seats with students, it’s important to realize that high school graduates and non-traditional students alike have a ton of options. From tiny colleges to massive universities, institutes of higher education are all vying for the attention of students and donors to help stay on course and continue to move in the right direction.
But how does leadership make their college stand out as a place that can help students reach their goals? Resting on reputation often only works for the most prestigious of schools, and even Ivy League universities can benefit from help in keeping donations flowing and attracting the best and the brightest. This is where a higher education marketing agency comes into play. Let’s talk about how reaching out for help from the experts can help make keeping up enrollment and enticing donors a breeze.
When most people think of higher education digital marketing, their mind instantly goes to filling out a class with students, and can you really blame them? After all, a university’s whole purpose is to continue their goal of educating students – and collecting tuition is a huge part of that.
But, for most colleges, collecting donations from benefactors and alumni alike is also important to keep the institute afloat. In fact, some high-end universities rely almost entirely on the generosity of successful alumni, to the point where they are able to offer steep discounts on tuition to enroll the students with the most potential – regardless of their ability to pay.
A higher education marketing plan needs to take a two-pronged approach. Drawing in students is important, but so is continuing to solicit donations from those who believe in the college’s mission and want to ensure its continued success.
Quality higher education marketing firms recognize that marketing is about more than simply filling seats. Most colleges can benefit from at least a little help optimizing their advertising, and having a knowledgeable partner to guide them towards success is more than worth the investment.
Let’s face the facts: while educating students is the primary concern of most universities, all colleges need a steady stream of income to keep the lights on. While some of the more prestigious universities can let their reputation do most of the heavy lifting, ongoing outreach and brand promotion is beneficial for every higher education organization, regardless.
So, it’s important for most colleges that their decisions be driven, at least in part, by the bottom line. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just a fact of life. Just like a traditional business, you’re selling a product, and it’s important to balance the payoffs with expenses if you want to keep the college moving in the right direction.
Let’s talk a bit about how investing in a quality higher education marketing plan can pay off in the long run from a financial standpoint.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important so it’s worth saying. Most colleges are dependent on filling out classes for more than just continuing the goal of providing quality education. More students mean more tuition dollars, and unless you’re one of the big guys who attract tons of students just by existing, you’re going to have to invest some money in higher education digital marketing if you want to keep that income stream flowing.
While there’s some initial up-front cost associated with employing the services of a higher education marketing agency, the payoffs in enrollment will far dwarf any costs spent on promotion.
Most institutes of higher learning have at least some history of educating students, and soliciting donations from graduates and other benefactors is a significant income stream for many colleges and universities.
A marketing agency that is well-versed in this side of the equation can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the college’s outreach, as there are unique needs that separate this part of the equation from simply increasing awareness.
In this case, investing in an agency that can build out a comprehensive marketing plan can increase the effectiveness of soliciting donations for years to come.
The benefits of improving a university’s reputation can be a little difficult to quantify, but there’s no doubt that establishing the institute as a valuable resource for students and increasing overall prestige can have a lasting effect on a University’s finances for years into the future.
Quality marketing will emphasize the college’s strengths and establish them as an industry leader -- and that’s a large part of switching the process from chasing down students to having them come to you.
Effective public relations and advertising takes significant expertise, and expertise comes at a price. But investing in the college’s future is more than worth it in the long run.
Let’s wrap things up by talking a bit about the services that a marketing firm can provide a university. Quality promotion requires a holistic approach that tackles advertising from multiple fronts.
Students are spending more time than ever online, and a large part of that online time is spent on social media. A quality marketing agency will be able to speak to students in their language and entice them to look into what your college has to offer.
Chances are that your university has a branch dedicated to reaching out to alumni and other donors, but how do you know that you’re selling the college in the most effective way? A quality marketing agency can help train staff in the best way to keep a steady stream of donations coming.
Public Relations is important for any business, but it’s especially important for colleges and universities that rely on attracting new students and staying in the good graces of donors.
A comprehensive marketing plan should include managing the college’s reputation and establishing it as a go-to for quality education with degrees that carry weight in their fields.
A key to managing the university’s reputation is having students that succeed and professors that are leaders in their field. The truth is, not all sources of tuition dollars carry the same weight, and establishing the university as a valuable option for talented students takes a certain degree of finesse.
The best professors also have multiple choices for where to teach and do research, so getting across the value that the college can provide to educators and researchers is important as well.
All in all, a top-notch marketing agency can improve the bottom line, increase university prestige, and keep the institute’s goal of training the best and brightest alive.
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