Higher education recruitment and student engagement have undergone a massive shift in recent years. Along with this, the way we market and interact with prospective students continues to evolve.
Digital platforms are constantly evolving, as are their capabilities and reach. Along with this, legal and social considerations help keep up with these new consumer capabilities and expectations.
The pace and complexity of all these changes are dizzying and relentless. It’s no wonder that even large, sophisticated organizations look to outside partners for help. A partner as a higher education marketing agency.
A marketing agency has the potential to save you time and money while increasing visibility and engagement. Leaving you to focus on zones of power and mission-critical significance.
Using a marketing agency explicitly dedicated to higher education, however, has the potential to be a real game-changer. Let’s see why working with a higher education marketing agency is so important.
Speak the Language of Higher Education
Higher education marketing agencies don’t just speak your language, they understand the education landscape and its many challenges.
They will also know all the challenges and opportunities you face at every turn. This knowledge is very useful in putting your organization at the vanguard of higher education.
It will also help to set it apart from the mass of other seemingly similar options. As a result, your awareness increases, and the quality of your inquiries and engagement also increases dramatically, leading to more enrollments and graduates.
Comparative analysis of your performance
Today’s marketing strategy requires a data-driven approach that integrates messaging across multiple platforms. A hands-on, modern approach requires targeted marketing, branding, and personalized engagement of prospective students.
Partnering with an agency that understands the higher education landscape allows you to communicate what really sets you apart.
They have access to and knowledge of relevant market information to assess your specific performance against industry trends. Their specialty is to use this data and change your approach where and when needed.
In-depth knowledge of the higher education sector, existing relationships with multiple institutions, and a long history of performance marketing data across years and platforms, means marketing performance is benchmarked against other institutions in the foreground.
Going one step further, top agencies can seamlessly integrate with your existing platforms, allowing free exchange of marketing and performance data.
This provides valuable insights to both the school and the marketing team, leading to optimized marketing efforts for enrollment and beyond.
Hit the Ground Running
A general marketing agency may need to spend a lot of time early in your partnership researching and understanding the nuances of higher education.
That research time won’t stop there, as more time will be spent staying informed about all the variable factors involved in changing compliance requirements, accreditation considerations, and student behavior.
On the other hand, a higher education-focused marketing agency lives and breathes the higher education ecosystem, allowing them to spend more time creating solutions and optimizing their performance.
Because they understand higher education, they will quickly determine what makes you unique and be the ultimate sounding board and collaborator. And they can perform the day one.
An Agency focused on Meaningful Performance
Website traffic and conversions mean little if they don’t impact the overall enrollment and retention of prospective students.
Understanding your KPIs – the numbers that really matter and drive sign-ups – allows you to track your performance and compare it to your peers.
Things like brand recognition, engagement, and conversions are all important, but a top-quality marketing team will measure and optimize the most important KPIs – student enrollment and retention.
Experienced higher education agencies have teams dedicated to making your web content, image, brand, and voice consistent and relevant to your target audience.
Just as important as driving traffic to your website, you want to make sure that it is high-quality traffic that will actually convert into leads or sales.
The experts who specialize in marketing know how to target your specific audience and what kind of messaging is most likely to resonate with them.
Choose a Marketing Agency Wisely
Appointing a marketing agency is not a judgment to be taken lightly. The commitment is real! You’re selecting a long-term strategic partner, so getting it right will save you time and, potentially, headaches.
Regardless of their specialty, every marketing agency will need input, direction, and collaboration from your existing team. But a higher education agency will already be equipped with an invaluable base of knowledge, tools, and ideas.
They will know what it takes to elevate any campaign to another level of successful awareness, engagement, and sign-up.
In the end, numbers and performance matter. When choosing an agency to partner with, consider their strengths and track record with your type of institution. Do they have experience with your range of programs and enrollments, and have they had success?
A Few Things to Consider
Here are some less obvious considerations that can mean the difference between average performance and an exceptional strategic partnership resulting in long-term, large-scale growth:
Scope of Service.
There are some limitations to working with a digital marketer who focuses exclusively on paid search and social media. A full-service agency will consider all available marketing channels and platforms, redirecting your limited resources to those that actually deliver results.
Research your potential marketing agency’s mission and make sure it aligns with your values and goals across the board. When you’re trying to decide if an organization is a right fit for you, talking to colleagues who have already partnered with them can help give you some context.
Make sure to ask if they feel the organization is truly mission-driven. This will give you a better idea of whether or not you can expect positive collaboration and open communication with your new team members.
Commitment to Higher Education.
Consider the impact and positive contribution of the agency to the higher education ecosystem. Truly dedicated higher education marketers should be actively committed to giving back to the broader higher education community through research, thought leadership, and their actions.
Do they support associations focused on your higher education segment and actively contribute through thought leadership and active participation? The best partners understand that a better higher education system benefits all schools and the community as a whole.
The Right Support for Higher Education
The agency you choose to move you forward in your vision will have a huge impact on how quickly, efficiently, and reliably your institution begins to see returns on your initial investment. It will also greatly influence your growth over time.
I am passionate about improving the success and social impact of my clients through data-driven marketing. My goal is to hire high-quality students who enroll and persist in completing their studies.
My own custom mix of platforms and strategies that I implement will yield the best results for your individual goals in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
With years of experience working in the education sector, I have the ability to focus on the small details that ultimately generate the best results in a way you won’t find at other agencies.
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