The trend of today is to be inclusive. Yes, maybe it is true that everyone should have access to education and that you don't turn someone away that is qualified, but if you try to 'market' to everyone - you will get lost in a sea of the masses. Unless of course you have a billion dollars to target your advertising to 'everyone' and do it better than all those schools also targeting 'everyone'. If you don't have a billion dollars, don't waste your money on 'everyone' marketing.
So how do you start finding a group of prospective students that you can afford to market to and have reasonable expectations of conversion?
Step 1: You need to know what makes you unique.
What is different about your school? Don't say good education, good professors, fun experience as those are what every school will say (even if it's not true - if you don't believe me, just go sit through the presentations at the Ontario Universities' Fair in September and you'll see that all schools claim to have just that). So...
Experience is key. Departments First. Social Burn out. We need to pass the torch. This presentation was presented at the annual marketing conference I run for our staff and faculty at Queen's as a intro to where we are in the world of higher ed marketing and what I have learned so far. So much more to learn.
Advertising is one thing. Content Marketing is another. And when you're trying to reach an 18 year old market, that are smart, savvy and on their way to being highly educated - they are very skeptical of advertising. And they also have short attention spans.
So, what can we do about it? Listen. And respond - quickly. Be relevant.
Listen - not to staff, administrators, faculty, but to the students themselves.
Do an influencer analysis of several students - the ones that you target. (1 hour)
First figure out who 10 of your top AND average influencers are. Look for people that are active with you and have INFLUENCE – followers, favourites, klout.
For us, for example, we scoured our UGC community page for the incoming class on Facebook (Facebook 2019). And came up with a few profiles that ‘represent’ the class.
When "Elizabeth" posted anything, she got lots of comments, likes, etc. She has a large number of friends and when her demo info was overlaid she represents one of our...