Universities advertise themselves through a variety of channels, including their own websites, social media, events, college fairs, and collaborations with media outlets for targeted campaigns.
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In order to attract prospective students, universities use a combination of marketing and advertising strategies. This includes digital advertising, social media, university websites, college fairs, campus tours, alumni networks, collaboration with media outlets and partnerships with companies.
According to education experts, one key strategy that universities use is to highlight their unique programs or research initiatives. Universities also use testimonials from current students and alumni to showcase their success stories. A survey conducted by Lipman Hearne, a marketing and communications firm for colleges and universities, found that the most effective advertising messages are those that directly address a student’s primary concerns: cost, quality, and future career prospects.
Historically, universities relied heavily on print advertising, but in recent years digital marketing has become the dominant mode of advertising. Universities have adapted to this shift by using social media and targeted digital advertising through channels such as Google AdWords and Facebook ads.
It’s also worth noting that some universities have reputations that have been built over time due to various achievements, including their academic reputation, sporting program, or alumni success. According to a survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report, prospective students are primarily attracted to institutions that have strong academic programs, good location, and quality of student life.
Table: Examples of University Advertising Strategies
|Social Media||The use of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to promote the university and showcase student life.|
|College Fairs||Participating in college fairs to connect with prospective students and promote the university.|
|University website||Creating a website that provides information about the university, admission requirements, programs and courses offered, scholarship opportunities, student life, and more.|
|Alumni Networks||Highlighting successful alumni and leveraging their achievements to promote the university.|
|Targeted Digital Advertising||Using platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to reach potential students and promote the university.|
|Campus Tours||Inviting prospective students on campus tours to showcase the campus and facilities.|
|Collaboration with Media Outlets||Partnering with media outlets to create targeted campaigns that feature the university.|
In the words of Robert J. Kitzinger, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Central Connecticut State University, “Universities must stay ahead of the game with marketing and advertising strategies that are aimed at both traditional and non-traditional students”.
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Dominic Colenso shares tips on how to start a pitch or presentation to hook the audience. By beginning with a fact, figure, quote, story, video, or music, it will capture the audience’s attention and avoid boredom. He advises avoiding small talk from the onset and starting with a bang, ultimately avoiding distractions and ensuring the audience takes notice of the most important aspects of the presentation.
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How do you market a university? The answer depends on what resources your university has available for marketing. Social media, search campaigns, and digital ads are some of the best ways to reach prospective students. However, universities also use traditional mail and meet high school students in face-to-face events.
Top tips for your university branding
- Deliver value to your audience Having a clear picture of your target audience is the first step to a successful branding strategy.
- Choose your logo and colors carefully
- Invent your own catchphrases and slogans
- Keep your assets together
- Use the right means of social media to reach your students
- Diversify content types for both paid and organic engagement
- Maintain and boost your current position
More interesting on the topic
- Tell the Story of Your Institution.
- Maintain In-person Recruitment Events.
- Enhance Your School’s Visual Appearance.
- Create an Informative Website.
- Establish an Online Presence.
- Promote Your Online Reviews.
- Improve Campus Accessibility.
- Highlight Innovation.
- Complete an online information request form.
- Connect on Social Media.
- Email your admissions counselor.
- Attend admissions events in your area.
- Visit campus.
- Spend time on your “Why this College?” essay.
- Apply early.
- Optimize college website for search engines.
- Target keywords that are long-tail in nature.
- Come up with a strategy to earn backlinks.
- Focus on creating a sound website user experience.
- Run PPC ads.
- Create social media presence.
- Offer unique selling points.
- Integrate mission with messaging. A school’s mission statement and values are the foundation of the brand.
- Develop strategic value propositions.
- Establish a distinctive voice and tone.
- Create a strong visual identity.
- Create a comprehensive style guide.