Online Marketing For Schools & Universities

By Chris Paterniti on Jan 22, 2021

Get enrolments and Promote your courses

Digital marketing for schools, universities, TAFEs and colleges really matters. If you aren’t marketing your institution online, you’re missing a huge opportunity to engage and attract more students. 

The truth is, students inhabit online spaces. Social media is part of their daily lives and Google is their go-to for searching anything – including which courses they want to take.

What’s more, your online presence can have a massive effect on your institution’s reputation. Students, parents and community members look to your online behaviour and  presentation to shape their opinion about your institution.

The good news is, digital marketing tactics can be hugely effective for education institutions. As a leading education marketing agency in Australia, we’ve helped many institutions in the education sector get impressive results with online marketing.

Do you want to 

  • Get more enquiries and enrolments?
  • Engage more with the surrounding community?
  • Enhance your institution’s reputation?

Our education marketing services will help more people find you and boost your online authority. We’re a digital marketing agency that’s driven by results and we’re committed to getting you a great return on your investment.

Attract More Students With Laser-Targeting

As an education institution, it’s likely you have a range of courses which appeal to different audiences. Being able to streamline your advertising and laser-target specific groups can dramatically increase the success of your campaigns.

Instead of simply advertising your institution as a whole, we can help you create highly targeted ads for specific groups of people. Essentially, with our tools we have the power to target specific people and "bucket" them into a specific course.

For example, we ran a successful Facebook campaign for North Regional TAFE that was called "skills to pay the bills". It was a TAFE course targeting want-to-be tradies to enroll in apprenticeship courses. 

So as opposed to just promoting your learning institution itself, we can laser-target specific people to the relevant course they’re interested in. We use highly relevant messaging that these markets want to see – including copywriting, images and videos.

Utilise “Lookalike” Audiences & Smart Prospecting

Typically learning institutions have databases of thousands of people who have completed, enrolled or even enquired about a course. This information can be utilised to increase your reach and attract more enrolments in the future.

A lookalike audience is a target audience that you create based on an existing audience. These people may not have had anything to do with your institution in the past, but they share many key characteristics with the people who have.

In other words, we can use our tools to find the 1% of people who look like the people in your database. 

Why is this important? If you know that people with x, y and z characteristics tend to enrol in a certain course, you can start targeting your ads to people who have these characteristics.

However lookalike audiences are evolving. Especially for industries like education where the characteristics of your target audience can change dramatically over a 3+ year study period. 

In other words, the people who enrolled in a course previously may not “look” the same as your new target audience.

So while using lookalike audiences is still an important strategy, it should be mixed in with smart prospecting for the ideal winning combination.

Smart prospecting is a way to target precisely and find new prospects outside of the lookalike options. It’s a powerful strategy to combine with lookalike for industries like Education.

Keep Potential Students Engaged with Remarketing

Many of the people who visit your website or see your ad for the first time won’t enquire or enrol straight away. But they might with a little reminder. That’s where remarketing comes in.

People who have been looking at a specific course page on your website can be cookie tracked and shown a relevant ad for that course. That means prospective students are seeing ads that are personalised and relevant for their study interests.

Let’s not forget drop off rates for students in online courses or schools too. Its getting harder and harder with our digital age to keep students engaged in their courses. Remarketing is a great way to deliver fresh content and ideas to your students to get them excited to re-enrol each year. With a 20% first year uni drop out rate in Australia, this statistic is sure to be somewhat relevant across the industry too. Imagine if you could keep even half of those students excited about the next year of studies, remarket them with a motivational video on what their degree or qualification can help them achieve after graduation and chances are, that percentage will start decreasing in different industry studies. 

A cookie is a small file that stores information about a person’s visit to your website without tracking any personal or sensitive information. The cookie will tell your ad platform when the user visits another site such as Facebook. Then a relevant ad will be shown to that user. 

People don’t always convert on the first go. Maybe they want to research your courses more,  or need more time to think if a course is right for them. Perhaps they want to weigh up their other options or didn’t find what they were looking for but the great thing is you can still track the impact of these Ads. Google Analytics will show you what is called ‘assisted conversion paths’ where you can see exactly how effective your remarketing ads are and how many people converted from the ads directly and indirectly. 

Remarketing is a reminder that says “we are here and we’ve got the course you’re looking for”. Remarketing gets proven results and is one of the most effective ways to drive up enrolments.

Tips To Improving Conversions

Before someone enrols in your course, they’ll look for evidence that you’re going to deliver. Building trust is an important part of any education institution’s marketing strategy and there are a few ways you can easily achieve this on your course pages.

One of the best ways to do that is by showing case studies of people who were successful in your courses in the past. Used as ads, videos that show past students who took your course and now have a job in the field will inspire prospective students. Video case studies can also paint your institution in a good light and build your online reputation. These can be repurposed on your website too with a section that people can see more than one ‘successful’ graduate and where they are now. 

Video is often identified as the most engaging and personal ad format and it has the power to show off the unique personality and brand of your institution. More than a blog post or article, videos have the power to capture attention and inspire more students to choose your school, university or TAFE.

Clear call to actions for downloadables such as course guidelines and information packs are a great way to engage traffic as a ‘soft lead’ before they are ready to hit that ‘enrol’ button. Capturing people at each stage of the funnel, like a course guide download is a great way to increase the pool of potential students that you can use to remarket to and keep engaged in your marketing funnel. 

There are so many ideas and proven methods that we have found work for the Education Industry and those alike. We can always brainstorm together and find a strategy that fits your institution.

Let’s Talk.

Chris Paterniti

G’day, Chris from Dilate here. 80’s music lover, digital marketing nut, passion junkie and seeker of good times. My approach to digital marketing is right at the core of most businesses - to cut through the sh** and focus on what really matters. And then grow. I love sharing knowledge and helping businesses grow.

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