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6 Reasons Inbound Marketing Improves Your Student Enrollment

6 Reasons Inbound Marketing Improves Your Student Enrollment

Higher education marketing has changed a great deal in the last decade. Traditional marketing and advertising efforts are becoming more and more ineffective, but new avenues are taking their place. 

Today's college students are the first high school graduates of Gen Z, the most internet-native generation in history. 

Where millennials were notorious for texting and phone games, Gen Z does everything predominantly online. If Gen Z doesn’t know something, they head to Google or look up a business’s social media page. So when today's students are looking into which college they want to attend, they immediately head online. 

This is why digital marketing as a whole is essential for today’s colleges and universities. A key component of a solid digital marketing strategy is inbound marketing

Let us take a deeper look. 

What is Inbound Marketing for Schools?

Inbound marketing is a relatively new marketing approach, originating in the mid-2000s. 

Inbound marketing predominantly focuses on the search-engine culture. When we want to know something, we Google it. The websites we find are likely to be the brands we eventually buy from or the information we consume.

Inbound marketing focuses on creating relevant content to be found by your target audience. In this case, future students. Your inbound marketing blog posts, articles, case studies, landing pages, and other online resources --- provide potential students with the valuable content they need to make effective decisions about their education. 

The right inbound marketing campaign can help improve student enrollment (year on year) by engaging them through their online searches for college-related content and information.

1) Rank on College Search Results

The most powerful impact of successful inbound marketing is your appearance on college-related search results. Students learn to trust schools that become their source for online college information. 

If a student finds quality pages from your school every time they search for information, you become a thought leader to that potential student. Thus, that student becomes a viable lead for you in the future. 

Each time a student searches for anything college-related, you want your website pages as high as they can go on that search engine query. You want to become the leading provider of information about degree tracks, financial aid, campus life, programs that work for student lifestyles, and opportunities related to college choices. 

The higher your pages rank on search results, the more student eyes your marketing content will reach, setting you up to win the enrollment conversion process.

2) Supply Students with Helpful Enrollment Resources

Inbound marketing serves a purpose beyond awareness and engagement; you can also provide your “potential customers” with everything they need to enroll. 

College enrollment, in the past, has been something of a maze. Especially, for students who are looking to use scholarship funds or seek special programs.

Rather than forcing students to make a phone call or come in person to complete their enrollment, make it possible for self-driven students to fully enroll themselves through online enrollment resources. 

Hand-craft your online enrollment so that students are guided step-by-step through the entire enrollment process. By doing this, you can channel students through inbound marketing articles directly related to pre-enrollment steps.


3) Highlight What Makes Your School Great for New Students

Inbound marketing is all about showcasing the positive aspects of your school. 

Your inbound marketing efforts might include maps of your campus, reviews of your on-campus dining facilities, or news stories about student organizations. Anything engaging that you can write about the school is another form of lead generation for online-searching students.

Your school's website and inbound marketing plans have the potential to highlight what makes your school great. This is your opportunity to tell stories and showcase opportunities that will convince students your school is the right choice for them. 

The more interested a student is in your school, the deeper they will research your descriptive inbound marketing content. 

4) Create an Appealing Online College Culture

One thing that many colleges forget is to build a supportive and welcoming online culture. This culture is more than your content marketing. It is also about how staff, students, and organizations interact with future students researching your school. 

Build a chatroom, Facebook group, or a forum where students can come together to swap advice and resources. Make it possible for new potential students to reach out and find any answer they are looking for. Create a positive and welcoming online culture, administrated by staff and older students eager to help. 

This supportive online environment will create the impression that your campus culture is welcoming, and students will feel at home when they decide to join your school.

5) Tell Student Stories that Inspire New Students

Stories are powerful in education-based inbound marketing. 

High-schoolers planning for graduation are at a unique point in their lives. They are looking for direction to build the rest of their lives. So student stories and stories of successful alumni can be immensely persuasive. 

Students are looking for a career path and opportunities. Tell detailed stories through your inbound marketing strategy. 

Tell stories of a Freshman's first years on campus, of experienced college students who have their lives worked out, or graduates making use of their degrees. These stories will compel the high schoolers and non-traditional students alike to seek out your school to enjoy similar experiences of their own.


6) Become a Trusted Source of College Information

Finally, become a trusted resource for your future students. 

Be the go-to guide for how to write essay papers, how to study for the SAT, how to complete the FAFSA application, and how to research and apply for scholarships. Become a source of information on steps for moving to college, how to adapt, and how to prepare for that first set of classes.

The key is to have future students coming back to your website time and time again for new guides and resources. Once they rely on your college brand for all their college-prep information, there's a good chance they'll apply and enroll as well.

If your college or university is looking to boost recruitment through digital marketing, Sonority Group can provide everything you need. Contact us today to start building your compelling inbound marketing content!

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