Before we talk about how to engage in effective digital marketing, we need to understand what it actually is. So basically, with the constant developments in technology and the growing popularity and utilization of online services, the internet has become a very profitable place to start a business. The aspect of accessibility provided by the internet, which allows more and more people to view and react to things online, is the main reason why online commerce is booming as an industry. It has led to companies spending millions of dollars every year on marketing their products online.
Digital marketing is targeted at a specific audience, as advertisers use statistical data and technology to target specific and relevant consumers. Commonly used platforms to get customers are social media sites, video games, online chat rooms, and search engines themselves.
Online advertising and the US education industry
The United States of America has always taken the lead when it comes to profiting off any new innovations in the market. The companies there have been engaging in online commercial activities for a long time. It has led to the rapid popularization of services like online retailing and ad campaigns, and the spread of internet marketing companies.
The US education industry has also turned to this mode of attracting individuals. Falling enrollment levels and higher rates of dropping out over the past few years have led the system to consider boosting the number of students joining them, by greater promoting the benefits and opportunities of studying the US. They have been one of the most frequent users of e-marketing, with nearly all higher or tertiary education institutes putting up ads on popular websites and social media.
Nearly every single teenager in the US has access to the internet
Most students these days simply look at the websites if a particular institute if they require any sort of information regarding the course dates, course fees, application details, etc. This requires educational institutes to focus on their online presence. Considering how nearly 80% of students use search engines like google to do educational research, makes it essential that universities and colleges make efforts to entice prospective pupils via better-designed websites and other methods.
Ways in which the education industry needs electronic marketing
The very obvious advantage is the fact that student enrollment will increase. If the institutes advertise online, they will surely reach a larger number of students, and their parents, as compared to other promotion methods. More enrollment means more fee, which leads to more revenue for the industry as a whole.
When it comes to choosing where to study, students mostly look at the rankings of the university. In order to make sure that they are ranked well, and are prominent to everyone, the educational firm needs to make sure that they invest well in marking their presence online. The overall impact of this policy will help achieve the two objectives being sought after by all companies, regardless of industry: revenue and reputation.
E-marketing fundamentals that colleges and universities should know
- Websites are crucial: We can look up anything on a search engine. But all information is provided via websites. Consider a website as a digital shop, where you display your stock, attract consumers and make sales. The shop needs to be attractive enough to catch the interest of an individual.Similarly, your website must be well developed and constantly updated, so that anyone getting information does not face any inconvenience. You can hire the services of website developers for this, and make sure that the data presented on your site is unique and interesting, as data shows that nearly 80% of students make a decision about admission based on the website and its contents. Track the activity on your site and use to make it more user-friendly and responsive. Large institutes like Harvard and University of Pennsylvania invest a lot of effort in ensuring that their website is up to the mark.
- Know your audience: the most basic rule to selling something is that the seller knows about the audience they will be receiving, and hence, they display the goods that they know will be required by the specific consumer. Similarly, knowing who you want to attract will help you engage in better promotional activities. Use craft messaging, persuasive adverts, data analytics, social media polls, online surveys etc., in order to know about the type of people who are likely to visit your page, and design it according to their expectations.
- Mobile phones: having a website that anyone can browse on a computer, is good. However, we need to realize that about 67% of university research is carried out, not on laptops or computers, but on mobile phones. Thus, you need to make sure that your website is compatible with the phone. Also, you can use this information to create a more personalized student-site relationship, by notifying them about everything via text or email, just like how Amherst College does.
- Know where to find customers: social media websites have gained astronomical proportions of popularity amongst teenagers. Thus, any industry interested in grabbing their attention will have to go and reach out on these platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and snapchat. Research about where your target audience spends most of its time online, and focus on marketing on those sites, like the University of New Jersey. You might require the help of companies that deal with digital marketing services.
- Content is key: Having brilliant graphics and a well-developed website won’t help much if your site is unable to provide information to the students. You need to ensure that it is as informative and simple as possible and it is convenient and easy for others to gain knowledge from it. Refrain from putting up too much information. Relevant material from blogs, articles, videos and eBooks, will help to attract people. Providing quality content that is reliable, will help drive traffic to your site, and will allow your website ranking to improve, which will lead to even more popularity for your page. You can also make and maintain a proper blog about your institution, which has content from your faculty, students, and alumni. It has been proven to attract students and is being used to boost popularity for the websites of various universities and colleges like Bennington College and University of California.
- Integrate technology: Sure, having a good and efficient website is good, but what if you could make it better, more interesting, more relevant in the rapidly changing digital worlds? Having laid the groundwork, you can just keep updating your platform with ideas like a virtual tour of your university, showing student life, the facilities and the studies, etc. This has proven to be a popular addition and is being used by a lot of universities like the University of Texas and the University of Florida.
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