What are the best online marketing practices for an education institution? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I am a Brand Strategist and a Social Marketer for several Indian Colleges. I personally believe that your online and offline strategy both need to come from the same think tank or atleast both the teams need to be on the same page. The best campaigns are the one’s that are genuine, human and personal.
10 Ways to Market Your College (both offline and online must dos)
Have a good website
A good educational or any website for that matter is one which can deliver all the information its audience is looking for in a simple and crisp manner with minimum number of clicks. Know what your audience wants to know and provide the information. Nothing fancy here. Good visuals will make it more appealing and great engaging videos will work in your favor.
Having a more detailed website, if possible, would be great with dept. pages and sub pages of professors, teachers with their blogs and expertise.
Be active on all the pages and set the tone for each channel (FB, Twitter, Insta)
Just opening an account on each page and posting mindlessly never helps. Social Media posts need to be thought of and crafted well in advance (most of the times) one needs to set the tone for each page and adhere to it.
- Facebook: Communication Method to be used: Story like. You can compare a good facebook account to a block buster soap opera. Use this to let people know who you are in a personal way.
- Twitter: Best twitter accounts are both witty and informative. Use this platform to highlight news in education and developments on campus.
- Instagram: This is an extremely casual platform and any attempt of direct advertisement through this platform brings negativity to the brand. Use this to visually show the fun, less important side of the institution: the campus, the canteen, the favorite chaiwala of students.
- Google+: Though posts can be similar to that on Facebook a lot more geo tagging should be done on this platform.
- Snapchat: These will become on of the leading platform in the coming year to connect with perspective students. It is young, private and cool. So keeping the tone casual is important.
Even though the audience you wish to attract on all platforms are the same yet the tone and the story needs to be different.
Make a Recruitment Video
I am not talking about the uninspired videos we keep seeing that most colleges churn out: showcasing the campus and some happy students with a background music. The video needs to generate excitement. Here is a list of some of the best and the worst recruitment videos by colleges.
Focus on Internal Branding
If your faculty, staff and management start relating to your mission and vision then all marketing activities become easier and each person becomes an ambassador. This is not the easiest thing to achieve and can turn into a white elephant if not executed correctly. Below is a link to a blog I wrote on how one can introduce this in an educational institution.
Focus on faculty/Alumni/Student Advocacy
Training and educating faculty to start writing blogs and being active on social media can do wonders as it will increase your reach by upto 561%! where did i get that number? Well, it is just to make an impact but employee advocacy makes your brand more human.
Below is a link to my detailed write up on this topic.
Include Student clubs and organizations in your effort: Include the photography club, debate club, green (ecology) club to come up with post topics and have your marketing team review/add/ edit it before posting it up on your official handle.
The best part about an educational institution is generating content is far easier as their are plenty of creative at their disposal.
Be part of Edtech
Stay in touch with startups and companies in the edtech field. Even if you do not use their products encouraging them will help you generate business from these startup at a later date. Websites which deal with students should be on your radar. Campus Diaries, MTV, The Dormshop , Getmyuni – Discover Top Colleges in India and others. They can become a good source of leads.
Run campaigns to promote your best courses and professors. Video snippets/interview/podcasts of professors, alumni, recruiters and students should be used. Chalk down the posts for an entire month and work on the topics. Have specific days for specific posts. Monday: He is more than thermodynamics! (posts looking at the life of popular professors) Tuesday: Guess Who? (clues about a support staff, teacher etc)
Such post increase engagement from current students and helps your page be on the top of a lot of peoples news feed. Hence you reach out to perspective students who otherwise would have been out of your reach.