Marketing Technology Trends For Higher Education In 2018
Learn from other colleges and universities to create an effective digital marketing strategy for improved engagement, applications, and enrollment yield.
Marketing technology is one of the trends in higher education that can either simplify your job or make your life harder – depending on who you ask and how you use the tools. Across the industry, admissions and marketing professionals in Higher Ed are using CRMs, email marketing software, and virtual campus tours to expand their reach to a huge pool of potential applicants.
However, simply adding new tools to your arsenal is not enough to ensure you meet your admissions and enrollment goals. To create a great digital marketing strategy, you must review all available data and analytics to figure out which tools will work best to help you tell your institution’s unique story to the students you’re trying to reach.
Marketing Technology in 2017
We conducted a marketing technology survey in 2017 to dissect the current state of digital marketing in higher education. This survey showed that schools are using the following tools to market for enrollment:
Each of the colleges or universities surveyed had their own technology focus. Customer Relationship Management tools (CRMs), analytics tools, and email marketing software have all been adopted more in higher education admissions offices, while other tools like social listening tools and marketing automation platforms have been less readily adopted.
How this Data Helps You
We know what you’re thinking. These are great data points, but what do they really mean for my school’s admissions and enrollment numbers?
With a little bit of analysis, you can use these survey results to ensure that you use the right digital marketing trends to reach the applicants you want, to help them form an emotional attachment to your school early in the recruitment process, and to encourage them to choose your school over others.
Here are a couple highlights from the survey:
First impressions are crucial in admissions. Your entire relationship with a prospective student can depend on your first interaction. The survey found that 27% of schools that met their admissions goals were still unable to identify interested applicants early in the process. Marketing automation tools could help these schools immediately target the ideal candidates and lead them through the admissions funnel.
Meanwhile, 25% of schools that did not meet their goals felt they were not able to get enough qualified applicants, compared to 10.28% of schools that did. While this concern speaks to a “bottom-of-the-funnel” conversion, it also highlights a need to focus more on telling the institution’s unique story effectively from the first interaction in order to emotionally engage the right type of students early on.
Craft Your Strategy
This data clearly shows that just using a particular tool or tactic is not enough. You need to take the data you collect to serve as a bridge between your audience and your digital marketing strategy.
As with any marketing strategy, the first step is to know your own story. Can you answer these questions?
Who are your prospective students?
Where do those prospects spend their time?
How do they like to consume content?
What sets your institution apart, and why do your prospects care?
That may sound like a tall order, but analytics give you the unique opportunity to learn about your audience and how they are using your digital resources. Once you know your own story and your audience, you can decide how to best use technology to more effectively engages the right pool of prospective students and transform them into applicants.
To get the full results of the survey and how to use them to help you meet your admissions and enrollment goals, download our white paper: