Use It or Lose It: Budget Tips for Higher Education Enrollment Marketing

“Use it or lose it” is great advice for much more than learning a new skill. It also applies to higher education enrollment marketing strategies.

In terms of budgeting, many educational institutions work on the “use it or lose it” basis. If funding is not used at the end of the school year, it does not roll over into the next year’s operations. In fact, if money is left unused, those in charge of budget planning may decide that funding for your department should go down in the upcoming year.

For that reason, savvy higher education enrollment marketers will optimize their spending habits at the end of the school year. Even if the previous school year’s enrollment period has already passed, there are always strategies that can be put in place to help enrollment in the following year.

Here are some of our top strategies for planning your enrollment marketing spending:

Look Backward to Plan Ahead

Just like learning a new skill, a schedule for improvement is key to success. The best athletes and artists take into account their past improvements when planning their future advances, and so should your enrollment marketing team. What strategies have worked the best in the past, and how can you continue to vary and build on them in the upcoming year?

One of the best ways to build on an already successful strategy is to ensure accessibility. If you have a beautiful website that looks great on a computer and is bringing in enrollments, you should check that it is equally effective on mobile. All digital marketing, from websites to emails to social media posts, should be just as visually appealing and easy to navigate on phones and computers.

If you’re looking for a worthwhile investment for your end-of-year enrollment marketing budget, selecting an update for a tried and true engagement strategy, like email outreach or a seasonal social media campaign, can be an effective way to make the biggest enrollment impact for the next semester.

Practice Ongoing Optimization

It’s never a bad time to assess and update your current marketing campaigns. The world of online communication is changing fast, and a truly effective enrollment marketing campaign is constantly evolving to keep up with the changes.

One way to test your enrollment marketing effectiveness is to utilize A/B testing for your messaging and designs, in order to identify which formats connect best with your target audience.

Connecting with your audience is a crucial part of marketing outreach, not just your visibility. There’s a distinct gap between applying and enrolling in higher education institutions, and a truly successful higher education marketing strategy will overcome that gap with an authentic connection to the future student body.

Summer can be a great time to put your higher ed marketing budget to work by experimenting with different marketing strategies before you’re swept up in the busy season of the semester.

Ask an Expert

Each institution of higher education has its own enrollment marketing journey, just as developing a skill is a unique journey for each individual. However, people learning new skills can also turn to experts for advice and guidance on their journeys, and the same is true for higher education enrollment marketing teams.

Here at Greenstone Media, we have put together our Enrollment Marketing Blueprint, which is a comprehensive assessment of any current enrollment marketing strategy that leads to the design of a customized enrollment marketing solution. Our years of experience with helping higher education institutions of all sizes have made us experts in the field, and we’d be happy to help you transform your marketing strategy into its most effective format.

You can choose to partner with an expert at any time during your school year, but the summer is a great time to start. We’ll have time to perform several in-depth marketing audits and discuss your vision for a truly effective enrollment marketing campaign for the next school year.

Are You Ready to Use Your Budget for Enrollment?

Learning how to budget for enrollment marketing efforts is a skill, and like any skill, the best time to “use it or lose it” is now. If you’re ready to take action and make the most of your enrollment marketing efforts, we’re ready to help.

Your future enrollment marketing success starts with you. Schedule a strategy call with us today, and find out how you can make the most of your higher education marketing budget.