Tips for Highly Effective Higher Education Marketing

As a continuing education institution or a technical college, if you focus on the needs of the student in your marketing efforts, students are more likely to feel a connection with you – and, from that connection, you will increase student enrollments.


In this post, you’ll find three sections that speak on how to better connect with prospective students and increase enrollments from that connection. Let’s get started.


The Story Students Buy


It’s no secret that you want to increase enrollment, but you could be pouring money into your online marketing for higher education and still get no results. That’s because your marketing message isn’t focusing on the right subject.


Your verbiage should invite prospective students into your story as the main character. Make note of the fact that your institution is not the hero of this story – that role belongs to your prospects.


Follow these seven steps to create a ‘story’ that resonates with your students and encourages them to enroll.


1. The Character

The prospective student is the main character living the story, and it’s your job to identify their problem and become the solution.


2. Has a Problem

Figure out the problem your prospective students are facing and clearly state how you can solve it. This should be clearly communicated on your website!


3. Meets a Guide

Your marketing message has to be completely nailed down to how the student feels and how you’re going to solve their problem. If they don’t believe you can solve their issue, they have no reason to listen to you.


4. Gives Them a Plan

In order to enroll, your audience needs a 3-step plan. This plan should be clearly stated in language that your audience can understand, not industry jargon.


5. Calls Them to Action

The audience needs to be told exactly what to do so they can achieve the success they’re looking for at your college.


6. Help Them Avoid Failure

Let your audience know the consequences they could face if they don’t enroll with you, and how your school can help them avoid these consequences. This should spur them to take action.


7. Ends in Success for Them

Your audience should be able to see themselves enjoying the success that you portray on your website and having a better life because of it.


Marketing for higher education revolves around creating a story that students identify with. If they can see themselves in your marketing message, then you’re on the path to increasing enrollments and doing great things.


A Website That Works


Your website is the first checkpoint that your audience uses to interact with you. At the very least, it’s their first impression of your institution, and you have five seconds to capture their attention. 


Instead of telling your own story, write a story that revolves around your students. Seeing themselves as the main character, just as we discussed in the previous section, will inspire them to act. 


Your website is far more than a brochure or a placeholder on the internet. It should be doing work even while you sleep and generating leads on a 24/7 basis. 


Here are four strong components of a website that works: 


1. Place a Tagline Above the Fold

We just told you that the first five seconds spent on your website are the most crucial, so make sure your audience is reading information that snags their attention during that time. This is why it should be placed ‘above the fold’ – AKA before any scrolling is done. Above the fold, a prospect should see your tagline and a clear statement of what you offer. Instead of being cute or clever, be concise. 


2. Have a Clear Call to Action

If you don’t communicate the next step that you want your audience to take, they won’t take it. No one wants to search around your website to try and find out how to apply or get in touch with you – instead, that option should be presented on more than one occasion. Some great examples of higher education calls-to-action include “Enroll Now,” “Book a Campus Tour,” or “Schedule an Appointment Today.” 


3. Show What Success Looks Like for Your Students

Instead of talking up your institution, focus on how it can enrich the lives of your students and how it can solve their problems – and exemplify how it can do so both quickly and affordably. You don’t have to embellish the experience, simply use a journey that a current student is already taking and show how the same could happen for prospective students. That is success in itself. 


4. Be Concise When Describing Your Products 

It’s tempting to use language that makes you sound like an expert in your field. But, at this point, your audience should already trust you as being their expert guide. You don’t have to further prove it to them with jargon. Instead, be concise and use language that’s universally accessible. 


Utilize these techniques for your higher education marketing plan and you’ll be well on your way to creating a website that works. Instead of losing your audience, you’ll increase student enrollments and create bright futures. 


An Automated Sales Funnel


Online marketing in higher education can seem like an expensive, yet necessary, plight. We agree that it’s necessary, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, if you’re putting forth marketing efforts manually, you’re wasting both time and money. We can help you avoid doing both of those things by developing and implementing an automated sales funnel that brings in new leads and works in the background while you focus on other things.  

If you want to increase the amount of leads your website is generating and turn those leads into enrollments, you’ll want to follow these three important steps:


1. Create Compelling Content

If your website visitors can’t understand what you do and how you can help them within the first five seconds (remember those five seconds from earlier?) they’re going to click off your page. Before you do anything else, create a clear and compelling brand message that will encourage website visitors not only to stay on your page but engage with it, too. Other ways you can drive conversions include downloadable content, blog subscriptions, chat bots, and pop-ups.


2. Capture Contact Information

Since not everyone who browses your website is ready to enroll right that very moment, it’s your job to cater to people who are in each and every stage of the sales funnel. Do this by creating a lead-generating PDF that a visitor can download in exchange for their email address. In that situation, they have the information they want and you have their contact information that you can use to keep in touch as they travel through the buying stages.


3. Automate Email Campaigns

You need to use emails to nurture your contact database so you get leads to move towards a purchase. This is how you engage with your prospects and build a relationship under low-stakes circumstances. The first email should include the lead-generating PDF that they requested. The second, third, and fourth emails should include your continued brand message, along with the problem a potential student is facing and how you provide the solution. The final email should ask for the sale and convert the lead into an enrolled student.


Using these conversion tactics allows you to gather contact information and begin nurturing the leads you collect.

Paid Advertising in Higher Education Marketing


Paid advertising can be a highly effective component in your higher education marketing strategy. Young people are increasingly online, and having paid ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media is a great way to build brand awareness.

Paid ads are successful at encouraging your target audience to take specific actions. You can use paid ads to encourage students to sign up for your newsletter, attend a webinar, or enroll in a class. All of this increases traffic to your website and ultimately turns leads into students.

Paid ads are an increasingly essential tool for marketing in higher education. Most students conduct online research before enrolling in a school, and you need to capture their attention. Online paid advertising is an incredibly effective method to help you stand out in a very crowded and competitive online market.

Higher Education Marketing


As a higher education marketing agency, Greenstone Media is here to help you succeed – and that happens when you use these concepts to convert your leads into happily enrolled students. 

For more information on marketing for higher education, schedule a call with us today.