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3 min read

Overcoming Shifts in Education Marketing

Overcoming Shifts in Education Marketing

Every year, new technologies emerge, and existing platforms change. Reaching a point where constant technology shifts and pivots are no longer a luxury but a must-have. Keeping up with these shifts can seem like a never-ending game of cat and mouse; any adjustment in strategy immediately necessitates the subsequent adjustment to keep up.

Successful higher education lead generation depends on making these continuous adjustments. Unfortunately, education-based institutions can often be slow to adapt. That puts enrollment marketers figuring out how to generate leads for education in a bind: how do you keep up with and stay ahead of constantly changing technologies and marketing trends in a way that doesn't upend the status quo at your institution entirely? 

There is no single answer to this question. However, combining a few practices can help schools manage the shifting tides.

Table of Contents:

1) Humanize Your Communications

Many new, emerging, and shifting technologies connect to back-end management platforms that can seem complex and challenging to implement or update. Think customer relationship management systems (CRM) or email marketing platforms designed to build complex automated flows.

But pull back the curtains, and these platforms support a broader, more straightforward goal: to make your marketing more relevant to prospective students through personalization. Once you embrace that goal, adopting these technologies becomes more manageable as well.

CRM systems are a perfect example of that process. Once implemented, they capture relevant information about prospective students and their families, including anything from their high school to the major they're interested in. 

You can even connect your CRM to your admissions events to capture which they've registered for and attended. This can then be used for more relevant personalized outreach, which will never become outdated or irrelevant in the recruitment funnel. 

2) Focus on the Evergreen Successes

Speaking of things that never become outdated: don't let the changing field of digital marketing distract you from what's always worked and will likely continue to work. Instead, continue to embrace the concepts you've seen that impact driving student leads and enrollment over the years.

Consider lead generation for online education as an example. It might be tempting to jump onto trends like new digital ad types. At the same time, some of the most established marketing tactics can also work in this arena.

Since it became a popular marketing channel over a decade ago, social media has given prospective students a glimpse into campus life. That same concept can remain true when attracting students online, allowing you to showcase your campus, services, and student life in an easily accessible format.

3) Align Marketing With Admissions

Remember to consider the importance of connecting your digital marketing strategies with the daily work of your admissions office. Whether managed by the same team or different departments, your students will look at every interaction with your university as coming from the same source. Close alignment can ensure that this consistency works to your advantage.

You can build that alignment through a few factors:

  • Consistent messaging, including the typical talking points you use to promote your school.

  • Consistent timing, ensuring that print materials and in-person high school or college fair visits align with digital efforts.

  • Budget alignment, working to find a good balance between what needs to be spent on digital marketing, print materials, and more.

You can also go further in building this alignment. For example, social media monitoring has emerged in recent years as a crucial to-do for any digital marketer. Use that to your advantage by notifying your admissions office of the types of mentions your school gets online from prospective students, including general sentiments and specific messaging points they can address in their communications.

4) Let Data Guide Your Decision-Making

One of the positives of the constant shifts in digital marketing is the ability to measure the success of your efforts. Improved marketing reporting tools, from Google Analytics to individual ad platforms, allow marketers to easily see which of their efforts and investments are working and where the ROI might be less favorable.

Most obviously, that means starting to track your digital ads and emails not just based on how many clicks or views they receive but how many leads and applications they generate. Similar tracking can exist for any link-based promotion, from email to organic social media, when connected to a cross-channel tool like Google Analytics.

Setting this process up can be complex initially. But the payoff is significant. Not only will you be able to understand which of the newest trends and initiatives are working. Those same metrics will also help "sell" your marketing efforts to university stakeholders that might have previously been hesitant to implement new initiatives.

5) Find a Reliable Higher Education Marketing Partner

Embracing new and shifting technologies is complicated. Between CRM, CMS, Automation, Social Monitoring, Marketing Reporting, Algorithm Shifts, and more, it can be easy to get confused or even discouraged. The good news is you don't have to go through making these adjustments on your own. 

Instead, consider finding a marketing agency partner who can help you walk through some of the above strategies and implement new and emerging opportunities. A partner focused on higher education marketing can be especially valuable here, allowing you to leverage their digital expertise and extensive experience in higher education.

Of course, not all education lead generation companies are created equal. You need a trustworthy partner who can build custom strategies for your situation and needs, combining the ability to leverage cutting-edge tools with reasonable pricing and a focus on delivering marketing and enrollment ROI. 

That's where we come in. If you're ready to manage and embrace the shifting currents of higher education marketing, let's chat! 

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