5 Tips for your Next Higher Education Marketing Campaign

Please see below 5 tips when planning your next Higher Education Marketing Campaign. The 5 tips below have been decided upon by the team here at IG Higher Education and come from research looking back over 5 years worth of best practice from the Higher Education Marketing Conference.

To further explore how to develop and enhance your next HE Marketing Campaign, join the Higher Education Marketing Conference in December 2020. 

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1. Know your market!

With evolving trends in student recruitment across the higher education sector, it is now essential that all higher education marketing teams are aware of the changing nature of the student recruitment pool. Before even beginning a new marketing campaign, all institutions should be aware of the continued changes to the admissions process especially in light of the recent February 2020 announcement of the OFS Admission review as well as the latest trends in qualifications and course preferences.

A comprehensive picture of your prospective students is the best bet for a fully tailored campaign which targets the right students.

For more information around the OFS admissions review and widening participation and access join the OFS at our Higher Education Widening Participation Conference here: https://hewideningparticipation.co.uk/

2. Integrate your campaign

The most successful higher education marketing campaigns are also some of the most highly integrated and cohesive. Have a theme, a core message and stick to it across all the platforms you use – both online and offline. Students want to easily recognise what a university is offering and why that offer is distinctive to them.

This means ensuring your website, university fairs, social media outlets and even prospectus drive home a core message which students will be able to relate to! With highly sophisticated marketing being led across the sector, it is vital that a campaign is as innovative and creative as possible if it is to have any traction.

3. Diversify your marketing platforms

Students are now increasingly seeking to gain their information and engage with organisations beyond simply a website and online course search. Many universities are now highly involved in very innovative social media campaigns. This doesn’t just mean Facebook and Twitter – but branching out to Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Of course, your platforms must fit in well with the message of your campaign, so find the tools that match the needs of your campaign!

4. Get your students involved

The best way to evolve and find new ideas when developing a marketing campaign is to talk proactively to your existing students! How did they discover the university? What were their main sources of information? How do your students feel you could change and do better?

Talking to existing students is the best way to determine which platforms are most in use and how students actually want to engage with their university. Prospective students also love speaking and hearing from people already experiencing the student life! So get your students involved on social media, YouTube and help them form your message for the future.

5. Keep changing and striving to innovate

The start of any campaign should have clear aims – who to target, how to attract more students and how to maximise the impact of your marketing! It is vital that at the end of the recruitment cycle your marketing team are able to reflect on what worked and how you can look to new innovations and tools to use for your next campaign. Higher Education marketing is constantly evolving so you cannot afford to stand still therefore you must make you are moving ahead of the curve rather than following the pack.

Written by Callum Clark, Head of Programme, Higher Education Marketing Conference 2020