More than 90% of Australian higher education digital marketers believe they’re investing in and building digital elements for their institution. Statistics show that educational-led marketing is the second most common strategy that 77% of B2B marketers use to nurture leads. Market conditions are forcing universities to engage in advertising and promotion. Until yesterday, they relied on their image and the natural flow of applicants, All because the competition is actively growing and young people’s ideas about quality education are changing. Many prefer to study remotely and use online educational services. Educational organizations must use the most impactful digital marketing tools to develop in this unfamiliar new environment.
What are the peculiarities of educational services?
There are 5 primary factors that significantly changed the educational market and the way of educational services promotion:
- Marketing of the services. Services are intangible. The client cannot come into the store, touch your product and evaluate its quality characteristics. The only thing the client can rely on is the feedback from former students and the organization’s reputation. Therefore, it needs to be worked on.
- Service not retained. Faculty change periodically, as does the curriculum. Even if former clients have left good reviews, the future client cannot be assured that the quality of education has remained high. To solve this problem, it is necessary to work with the educational institution’s reputation constantly.
- The long decision-making process. While deciding which hairdressing school to go to is made in a couple of hours, deciding which college to attend can take years. This means constant contact with interested students.
- Working for two target audiences: parents and students. As a rule, parents and children make the decision to attend an institution jointly. However, their values, desires, and perceptions regarding education may differ dramatically. It is necessary to work with both of these audiences.
- Active market development. New competitors have appeared in the educational services market: educational document-sharing platforms, courses, online tutors, workshops, etc. Requirements for education have also changed, like secured personal data when learning online.
Educational services strategy 1: PR (public relations)
PR campaign aims to increase the organization’s status, recognition, and prestige. These aspects are fundamental for the development of an educational institution.
First of all, we suggest paying attention to reviews. Applicants and their parents will pay attention to them when they choose educational services.
Working with reviews in education is especially difficult. Here you can’t just leave a comment on a negative review with apologies and a discount on the next purchase. It is necessary to encourage students to write positive feedback. And this should be achieved not by incentives and rewards for writing reviews but by a high quality of education and interaction with students, forming a comfortable environment.
An additional advantage will be if the authors of reviews praise teachers and provide some evidence of a high level of education.
If you have several training areas, then analyze the reviews separately for each area. Prospective students look first at the reviews of the department or educational program to which they want to apply.
Native advertising is another powerful PR tool. It has a significant impact on readers. They perceive it as a regular article and treat the information less critically. It gives the impression that the educational institution is in the spotlight and discussed in the press. As a result, the status and recognition of the organization are increased. The impact is indirect. The person thinks they have made the decision themselves, which increases their loyalty in the future.
Also, an important aspect of Digital PR strategy is crisis communication. When some negative aspect of the organization’s work is actively discussed in the media or on the Internet, it is necessary to respond to it. Measures must be taken to reduce the damage to reputation.
Educational services strategy 2: content marketing
Content marketing is an educational services strategy for dealing with information. It is primarily a way to build relationships and increase brand reputation. Interesting articles draw students and their parents to the site, where they unknowingly absorb information about your organization and become more loyal to it.
Advantages of content marketing strategy for educational services:
- If your articles are cited, your reputation and visibility increase significantly
- The credibility of the brand increases. With your articles, you demonstrate your expertise
- Unlike advertising, it does not cause irritation
- Long term result
- Possibility to spread the content at the expense of the users
- Organize your conference content in an abstract management system.
- Increase loyalty to the brand
- The natural inflow of the new clients
Disadvantages of content marketing strategy for educational services:
- Delayed result. Content marketing requires time to bring the first customers
- High cost of implementing a content plan
- Requires constant work on content
Content marketing strategy is complicated in execution but very effective in the long term. Content marketing is especially powerful together with email marketing software.
Educational services strategy 3: email advertising
In mailboxes, you can promote educational services with advertising. The peculiarity of banner email advertising lies in the advertising distribution model. It is shown only to users you or your employees send emails. This approach ensures maximum coverage of the target audience at a minimal cost.
In fact, email ad campaigns have changed the landscape of digital advertising strategy. They are display ads for your everyday emails. However, you don’t have to pay for the ad space within the emails your organization is sending day in and day out. In fact, a handwritten and hand-targeted email from one human to another is the most valuable type of email.
With Opensense, you can:
- Spread awareness about your products and services that would provide value to each recipient.
- Deliver specific banners after triggering events like survey results to take advantage of the momentum.
- Easily ensure your banners match the primary language of the recipient.
- Target the right audience by lifecycle stage, location, and more for any event.
- Promote your new podcast or branded content with your logo design to your most engaged crowd.
When combined, separate promotion channels work better because efforts are synchronized and united by a single marketing strategy. Also, different promotion channels complement each other and have a complex impact on the target audience.
For an educational organization, prestige and an impeccable reputation come first. This complex task requires working on PR promotion and building strong relationships with clients through content marketing.