Want to generate more college admissions this year? You might want to look at your marketing strategy. About 74% of organizations rely on inbound marketing to generate results. Effective types of inbound marketing include search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content creation. With a strong inbound marketing strategy, you can boost enrollment at your institution. Otherwise, you might miss a chance to reach prospective students. Other colleges might have an easier time appealing to them instead. Don’t let that happen! Instead, use these seven effective inbound marketing strategies.
With a marketing strategy to attract students, you can get ahead of competing colleges. You can boost brand awareness, establish your credibility, and increase admissions.
Set your college up for success with these seven enrollment marketing strategies today!
It takes an average of six impressions before you start building brand awareness. To build recognition, consistency and repetition over time are key. You can use these inbound marketing strategies to boost brand awareness.
Inconsistent branding, on the other hand, might confuse prospective students. They could confuse your school with another.
Instead, you can use brand consistency to remain top-of-mind with prospective students. In fact, consistency could boost revenues by up to 23%. About 60% of people prefer familiar brands, too.
Before developing your marketing strategy to attract students, consider your school’s brand. Your brand includes the college’s:
- Font styles
- Imagery styles
- Color palette
- Mission and vision statements
Create brand guidelines to make sure every person on your marketing team uses the same branding.
It only takes 10 seconds for someone to form an impression of your brand. If your branding looks old and outdated, spruce it up! Modernize your branding to attract new students.
Make sure to use your brand throughout the rest of these enrollment marketing strategies. Prospective students will have an easier time associating your content with your college. They’ll recognize the value you can offer and decide to learn more.
2. Website Optimization
Your website can have a huge impact on the success of these inbound marketing strategies. After all, most of your content will direct people to your website. If your website is old and outdated, you could miss a chance to boost college admissions.
In fact, design has a 75% influence on your credibility.
Slow websites lead to a $2.6 billion loss in revenue every year. If your website is slow, visitors might leave without clicking around. Your bounce rate will rise, which can hurt your search engine ranking.
A lower search engine ranking could make it more difficult for you to appear in front of prospective students.
Meanwhile, people might get frustrated with your website. They’ll remember that frustrating experience and associate it with your school. In fact, about 88% of people won’t return to a website after a bad experience.
Meanwhile, over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized, people could struggle to explore your content.
Before using the rest of these enrollment marketing strategies, take the time to update your website. Here are a few tips that can help.
UX Design Trends
User experience (UX) design trends can make your website easier to use. Prospective students will have an easier time finding what they need. They could have an easier time enrolling online, too.
A few UX design trends include:
- Using shorter sentences and paragraphs to improve readability
- Organizing content into headings and subheadings
- Speeding up page load times
- Remaining mobile-optimized
- Ensuring website security with an SSL certificate
- Organizing your navigation
You can work with an experienced website design and development agency to improve your website.
Prospective students will have an easier time navigating your pages. They’ll click around and linger. Your clickthrough rate and dwell times will improve as a result.
Improving these metrics can boost your search engine ranking.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine if anything is causing your website to lag behind. Remember, people will leave frustrated if your pages are slow.
Fast web pages can support your search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising efforts.
Then, look for ways to generate leads throughout your website. For example, you can add a bright red “Admissions” button to the top right of the page. Red communicates a sense of urgency.
Add a form to the bottom of the page, too. You can also add a navigation bar to the footer or a sidebar.
Consider adding a chatbot to your website as well. You can engage visitors and offer the help they need.
Optimizing your website for lead generation can help you boost college admissions.
Take the time to optimize your website for mobile devices, too. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine if you’re already optimized.
If you’re not, mobile visitors will leave your website without clicking around. You could miss a chance to generate leads.
Without a mobile-optimized website, your search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising might suffer, too.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Nearly 70% of all online experiences start with a search engine like Google. Unfortunately, only 0.78% of users look at the second page of results. If your institution’s website doesn’t appear on the first page, prospective students might not find you.
With search engine optimization (SEO), you can boost your online ranking. SEO can help you:
- Appear at the top of search pages
- Generate website traffic
- Boost brand awareness and recognition
- Position you ahead of other schools
- Boost your credibility
- Build brand trust and loyalty
- Generate leads (form submissions, admissions, calls, etc.)
- Improve your ROI
In fact, SEO drives 1,000% more website traffic than organic social media marketing. SEO leads even have a 14.6% close rate.
You can use search engine optimization to draw more students to your website. Then, you can use engaging content to inform them about your college.
Take the time to research your target audience. Determine what keywords they use in search engines to find colleges like yours. Then, create content based on your keyword research.
Optimize your content by adding the target keyword in strategic places. You can work with an SEO marketing expert to get optimized.
They’ll develop your SEO link-building strategy, too.
With their help, you can reach the top of a search page. Then, you can make the most out of these inbound marketing strategies!
About 30% of all mobile searches are related to location (growing 50% faster than all mobile searches). When developing your SEO strategy, don’t neglect local SEO. Local SEO will help you attract more nearby students.
First, update your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your GMB listing can provide prospective students with your:
- College’s name
- Phone number
- Recent posts
Ask your current students, alumni, and faculty members to post their reviews on your GMB listing. Reviews can boost your credibility.
Prospective students can see how much people already love your institution. You could start drawing in new students as a result.
As you develop your SEO strategy, consider working with an expert. Google’s search algorithm changes multiple times a year. If you’re not up-to-date with the changes, your ranking could suffer.
For example, you can focus on:
- Google’s Core Web Vitals
- Creating high-quality, long-form posts
- EAT (expertise, authority, trustworthiness)
- Voice search
- Featured snippets
Look for an SEO expert who remains up-to-date with the latest trends. They’ll make sure your SEO ranking continues to rise. Then, you can reach more prospective students and increase college admissions this year.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the backbone of your SEO strategy. It can also keep your website full of fresh content. Otherwise, people might not find a reason to keep visiting your website.
As you develop your content marketing strategy, keep researching your target audience. What questions are your prospective students asking? What problems can you help them solve?
For example, you might provide them with a how-to guide to college admissions.
Experiment with different forms of content, including:
- Blog posts
- Videos (company culture, how-tos, interviews/Q&As, campus tours)
- Augmented and virtual reality (including virtual campus tours)
Then, make sure to optimize your content for SEO. When creating videos, make sure to add a transcript to the post. People can still watch your video without audio by reading the closed captioning.
Make sure to keep up with the latest content marketing trends, too. Keeping your content fresh will show prospective students you’re relevant.
For example, you can start hosting live streams. Consider scheduling a regular live Q&A session with prospective students. They can ask their questions to learn more about your institution.
Take the time to personalize your content, too. Personalization can help you connect with your audience.
For example, you might want to create different content marketing strategies for different majors.
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to keep your content fresh as well. As students post about your institution, share their posts. Encourage your students to use a branded hashtag as they start posting.
You’ll have an easier time finding their content before sharing it on your website or social media accounts.
Develop a content creation calendar to ensure you never fall behind with your content marketing. As you start creating your content, don’t forget to share it, too!
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows you to create engaging, eye-catching digital ads. These ads can appear on search engines or social media websites. You can even create display ads that will appear on other websites.
When someone clicks on your PPC ad, they’ll reach a landing page on your website. Then, you can engage prospective leads. A strong call to action could help you boost college admissions.
PPC advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent. That’s a 200% ROI.
In fact, traffic brought through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic advertising.
Pay-per-click advertising can get costly if you lack experience, though. Consider working with an experienced marketing agency. They’ll ensure you make the most of your advertising budget.
They can also help you create engaging, eye-catching landing pages. Then, you can boost conversions with ease!
As you develop your PPC advertising campaigns, consider creating a remarketing campaign.
Remarketing will allow you to appear in front of previous website visitors. Maybe a prospective student visited your website but didn’t have time to enroll. You can reappear in front of them with an eye-catching display ad.
You can use targeted language to encourage them to come back to your website. Then, you’ll get a second chance at enrolling that student!
Remarketing can help you remain top-of-mind. It can also help you boost brand awareness and recognition.
Developing a marketing strategy to attract students can set your institution up for growth and success.
6. Social Media Marketing
There are now over 3.5 billion active social media users online. About 90% of marketers say social media boosts their online exposure. Another 75% say it helps them increase website traffic.
Meanwhile, 70% of people who have a good social media experience will recommend it to someone they know.
As you start using these inbound marketing strategies, make sure to remain social with your audience. That includes prospective and current students.
First, make sure to share your blog content on your social media accounts. As people start commenting, comment back! Show your followers that you’re responsive and there to answer their questions.
Use social listening to make sure you don’t fall behind their comments.
Consider using influence marketing as part of your social media strategy, too. Current students can take over your social media account for the day. They can give prospective students a tour of the campus.
They can even create “a day in the life” posts. Prospective students can get an up-close look at college life.
7. Email Marketing
You can also remain top-of-mind by developing an email marketing campaign. For example, you can send subscribers your latest blog posts. You can also send people updates about upcoming events or accomplishments.
Make sure you add a form to your website to encourage subscribers!
Increasing College Admissions: 7 Inbound Marketing Strategies for Your Institution
Developing enrollment marketing strategies doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, consider giving these inbound marketing strategies a try. With these tips, you can boost college admissions and remain top-of-mind.
Need help developing a marketing strategy to attract students? You came to the right place.
Contact us today to get started.