Generally speaking, all schools can use inbound marketing to attract more students. However, higher education can especially benefit because each university or college has something different to offer, whether it is location, degrees, or extracurricular activities. Students will be searching for a school that can provide them with different factors that are important to them personally. Because of this, higher education can really target their audience and attract more students through inbound marketing.
In today’s world, everything is digital. Prospective students will do most of their research on schools they are considering online. The first stop will be the school website. The website is the main way to engage prospective students before they are ready to talk to someone or apply. Make sure your website is easy to use - people should be able to find what they’re looking for without having to dig for it. This can be done through two ways.
1) Blogging. This is an important part of all inbound strategies, but higher education can tailor it in a way to engage prospective students and keep them coming back. For example, blog posts can be about frequently asked questions, a typical day in the life of a student, or faculty members discussing various degree programs. The amount of content higher education can write about are limitless. Not only will blog posts provide students with the information they are looking for, but it will also give them an idea of the culture of the university or college. This will help them decide if it is a good fit.
In addition to this, blogging frequently can also increase SEO. Prospective students are already searching for what you are writing about, so the more keywords your blogs include, the higher up they will appear on Google searches.
2) CTAs. Calls to Action go hand in hand with blogging. Whether they are on the side of every page or at the bottom of a blog, CTAs should be clear and offer the prospective student an option to further engage with the school before committing to apply. For example, a CTA on the bottom of a blog written about the school’s accounting program could be to download a career guide in relation to that program. Not only would the prospective student be getting valuable information about the degree offered, but the school is also able to grow their database. Going further, the school can nurture this lead by sending this student other relevant information about the program.
In relation to CTAs, it is important to segment the prospective students that give you their information. A student who is giving their email to receive information on financial aid doesn’t want the same information as a student wanting to know more about the business program. Only send students content that is relevant to what they are interested in.
As mentioned above, prospective students today do all their research online. They are well informed and technologically savvy, and marketing to them should be as well. Inbound strategies makes this possible by being able to track your efforts, such as blogging and CTAs, and see how well they are pulling.