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A recent study found that the number of high school graduates is expected to drop by 15% over the next decade, making enrollment a fierce competition!  

This, combined with more students considering online options, means fierce competition for attracting top talent to your college.

Does this sound familiar? 

If you’re worried about filling those seats (and keeping your budget afloat!), you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain how digital marketing can be your secret weapon for attracting students, standing out, and increasing student enrollment. 

Moreover, we’ll address the challenges you face, including – 

  • shrinking applicant pools
  • fierce competition 
  • Rise of online learning options

We will show you how to reap the benefits of the internet to reach a wider audience. 

The Enrollment Crisis: A Looming Threat

The landscape of higher education is changing, impacting student enrollment numbers across the board. Here’s the not-so-fun reality:

Shrinking Applicant Pools 

Remember when your biggest worry was having enough chairs? 

Demographic shifts and economic factors are leading to fewer high school graduates overall. 

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics projects an 8% decline in US high school graduates between 2022 and 2031! That means a smaller pool of students to compete for, making enrollment a fierce battleground.

Increased Competition 

Colleges and universities are popping up left and right, all vying for the same student population. 

It’s like a crowded marketplace; you must stand out to grab students’ attention. Think about rows and rows of colleges all shouting the same message – how do you make yours heard?

Rise of Online Learning Options

Rise of Online Learning Options

Students today have more choices than ever. 

Online degrees, boot camps, and alternative learning programs offer flexibility and convenience. If your college isn’t adapting to this trend, you might miss out on many potential students. 

Think about it: if students can get a great education from anywhere (remotely), why choose your traditional campus experience?

This “enrollment crisis” isn’t just a scary headline – it’s a real challenge colleges and universities face.

But fear not; there’s a more astonishing solution than flyers and bulletin boards (remember those?). 

Yes, we are talking about “Digital Marketing”.

Achieve Higher Conversion Rates

Turn more inquiries into enrollments with our optimized digital marketing strategies.

The Power of Digital Strategy

Power of Digital Strategy

“Stop wasting resources and attract top talent with a winning digital strategy.”

Imagine being able to…

1. Reach a Global Audience 

Cast a wider net and connect with qualified students worldwide, not just in your local area. 

The internet knows no borders; your college can utilize that or get left behind. Think about it – with a strong digital presence, you can connect with students who might not have even considered your college before simply because they didn’t know it existed!

2. Target the Perfect Fit 

Gone are the days of scattershot marketing, where you throw flyers out, hoping someone catches one. 

Digital tools allow you to laser-focus your efforts on students who perfectly match your academic programs and campus culture. 

This ensures you’re attracting students who are more likely to thrive at your institution and become successful alumni (which reflects well on your college in the long run!).

3. Tell Your Unique Story 

In a sea of similar colleges, how do you stand out? 

Digital marketing empowers you to craft a compelling online narrative highlighting your unique strengths, innovative programs, and vibrant student life. This allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition and capture top prospects’ hearts (and minds). 

Think about it – what makes your college special? Is it the award-winning faculty, the cutting-edge research, or the incredible student organizations? 

Showcase these unique features online and watch your enrollment numbers climb!

4. Track Your Results 

Unlike traditional marketing, digital campaigns offer unparalleled transparency. 

You can track the effectiveness of your efforts in real-time, analyze data, and optimize your strategy for maximum impact. This allows you to make data-driven decisions and maximize your return on investment (ROI). 

No more throwing money at marketing campaigns and hoping for the best! 

With digital marketing, you can see exactly what’s working and what needs improvement, allowing you to constantly refine your approach and get the most bang for your buck.

Digital marketing isn’t just a trend; it’s the future of student recruitment. It’s a strategic investment that allows you to connect with the next generation of learners, build brand awareness, and, ultimately, crack your enrollment goals.

The Top Digital Marketing Strategies For Higher Education

Thinking about how to increase student enrollment in colleges and schools? 

Reaching future students requires a strong online presence. We have created a list of top digital marketing strategies to connect with prospective students, showcase your institution, and stand out.

Top Digital Marketing Strategies For Higher Education

1. Social Media Mastery

“Be Where Your Future Students Are Hanging Out”

Remember that feeling of shouting into a void? Social media is the exact opposite! 

It’s a virtual hangout where you can connect directly with your target audience – future students! Here’s how to be the coolest college on the block:

  • Ditch the Boring Stuff 

Forget stuffy announcements. Share funny memes, post inspiring student stories, and run interactive polls. Show your college’s personality and let students see the fun side of campus life!

  • Live Q&A Sessions 

This is your chance to answer student questions in real-time. Transparency builds trust, and trust, my friend, leads to applications!

  • Targeted Ads 

Want to reach the exact student you’re looking for? Social media advertising lets you laser-focus your message and ensure it reaches the right people. Think of it as a personalized invitation to your amazing college.

Remember, you want to be the college everyone’s talking about online! ️

2. User-Generated Content

“Let Your Students Do the Talking (and Tagging!)”

Students trust their peers more than anything, so why not use that power? 

User-generated content (UGC) is like free advertising straight from your biggest fans! Here’s how to use it:

  • Hashtag Contests 

Encourage students to share their campus life experiences using a unique hashtag. Repost the best ones and showcase the vibrant school spirit!

  • Student Testimonials 

Feature videos or blog posts where current students rave about their college experience. Authenticity resonates and builds more trust with prospective students than a fancy brochure ever could.

  • Takeovers by Student Clubs 

Let student clubs showcase their activities and events on your social media pages. This adds diversity and shows a well-rounded campus life.

Think of UGC as a student-powered megaphone, amplifying the awesome things about your college to the world.

Student Clubs

3. Brand Building

“Craft a Story They Can’t Resist”

Your college is more than just classrooms and dorms – it’s a place where dreams take flight! Here’s how to showcase your unique offerings and create a compelling brand narrative:

  • Become a Storyteller 

Develop a clear message about what makes your college stand out. Highlight your unique programs, faculty expertise, and vibrant campus culture. 

Tell stories of student success, groundbreaking research, and the amazing things happening at your institution.

  • Visually Stunning Website 

Invest in high-quality photos and videos that showcase your beautiful campus and the energy of student life. Remember, first impressions matter online just as much as they do in person!

  • Consistent Voice & Style 

Ensure all your marketing materials, from social media posts to website copy, have a consistent voice and visual style. This creates a recognizable brand identity that students can connect with.

A strong brand identity is like a captivating novel – it draws students in and makes them want to be part of the story.

Attract International Students

Expand your reach globally and attract international students with our specialized marketing services.

4. Student-Centric Digital Marketing

“Ditch the Jargon, Speak Their Language”

Gone are the days of dry, impersonal marketing messages. Today’s students crave authenticity and connection. 

Here’s how to tailor your content to their needs and interests:

  • Speak their Language 

Ditch the jargon and complicated sentences. Use a clear, conversational tone that addresses their concerns and aspirations. Imagine you’re having a chat with a prospective student – what questions would they have? Answer those questions in your content!

Speak their Language

  • Content that Resonates 

Create blog posts, infographics, and videos addressing the issues students care about, whether choosing a major, navigating the financial aid process, or finding the perfect student organization.

  • Answer their Questions 

Anticipate their questions and address them directly in your content. This shows you understand their needs and are there to support them.

Student-centric marketing is like building a bridge—it connects you with your target audience and creates a pathway to enrollment.

5. Control Data for Better Results 

Digital marketing for colleges and schools thrives on measurable results. It’s not like throwing flyers into the wind and hoping someone catches one. 

Here’s how to harness the power of data:

  • Track Key Metrics 

Monitor website traffic, social media engagement (likes, comments, shares), and, most importantly, application rates. These numbers tell you what’s working and what needs improvement.

  • Analyze & Adapt 

Don’t just collect data – use it! Analyze your results to understand what resonates with students and what strategies need tweaking. This allows you to refine your campaigns and maximize your impact.

  • A/B Testing 

This is like having a digital test kitchen! Run A/B tests on different versions of your content or ad campaigns to see which performs better. Data is your guide, leading you toward the most effective strategies.

It helps you understand what students are looking for and tailor your marketing to their needs.

6. Video Marketing

“Show, Don’t Tell – Capture Attention in Seconds”

In today’s fast-paced world, attention spans are shorter than ever. That’s where video marketing steps in as your hero! Here’s how to use video to capture student interest:

  • Showcase Your Campus: Take students on a virtual tour highlighting the beauty of your campus, from historic buildings to bustling student centers.
  • Introduce Passionate Professors: Let students meet brilliant minds who will guide them on their academic journey.
  • Share Student Stories: Feature inspiring stories of current students and their experiences at your college. Seeing the success of others can be incredibly motivating for prospective students.

Keep it Short & Sweet: Aim for concise, engaging videos that capture attention quickly and leave a lasting impression.

Video Marketing

Remember, a captivating video can say a thousand words (and showcase the energy of your college in a way static images can’t).

3 Pillars of Digital Marketing Success

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole digital “enrollment marketing plan” thing? Don’t worry, it’s way less scary than you think! 

Let’s break it down into simple steps to help you increase student enrollment with excellent online marketing.

Think of it like a roadmap to get you to your enrollment goals! Here’s the basic idea:

Start with WHY

  • What exactly are you trying to achieve? More applications? More students transferring to your college?
  • Knowing your goals is like having a clear destination on your roadmap. Once you have that figured out, you can determine the best route to take.

Know Your Audience

  • Imagine you’re having a conversation with a specific student – are you talking to a high school senior or an international graduate student?
  • Tailor your message to their needs and interests. Generic messages are like shouting into the void – nobody hears you! ‍♀️
  • It’s better to have no message than one that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Be Everywhere (The Right Way)

  • Social media, email, maybe even some flyers – there are many ways to connect with students online and offline.
  • However, the key is to use each platform for a specific purpose. Don’t just post random stuff everywhere! 
  • Think of it like having different tools in your toolbox – you wouldn’t use a hammer to screw in a lightbulb, right?

It’s Not Over Once You Launch

  • Just putting content out there isn’t enough. You need to keep an eye on it, see what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments as you go.
  • It’s like checking your GPS while driving – if there’s a road closure, you must take a detour!

Here are some ways to keep your marketing efforts on track:

Check the Stats

  • Most online platforms have built-in analytics that show how many people are seeing and engaging with your content.
  • If the numbers are low, it might be time to change your approach.

Students Know Best

  • Don’t wait until students enroll to ask them for feedback! ️
  • Conduct surveys to find out what kind of content they want to see and where they hang out online.

Change is Good

  • What worked last year might not work this year. The online world moves fast!
  • Be open to trying new things and adapting your strategies based on what’s working and what’s not.

Pro Tip: Break down your big goals into smaller, more manageable chunks. This will make the whole process feel less overwhelming.

For example, instead of saying “Boost enrollment,” you could set a goal like “Run a successful TikTok campaign by [date].” This gives you a clear target and a deadline to work towards.

Personalized Marketing Campaigns

Deliver personalized marketing messages to potential students to boost engagement and enrollment.

Final Call

So, you’ve seen the power of digital marketing for educational institutions and how it can transform your online presence! But where do you begin?

Building a winning digital marketing strategy for schools and universities takes time, expertise, and creativity.  At PixelCrayons, we understand the unique challenges faced by colleges and universities. 

Our team of passionate digital marketing specialists can help you craft a customized plan that attracts top talent, showcases your unique offerings, and ultimately increases student enrollment.

We’ll help you develop engaging content, manage your social media presence, and track your results to ensure you get the most out of your digital marketing efforts. Let’s chat and discuss how we can help you turn digital marketing into your secret weapon for student recruitment.

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