4 Tips for Personalizing Your Higher Education Marketing Strategy to Increase Enrollment

A proactive, engaging higher education marketing strategy can increase enrollment and improve a school’s brand image. A personalized approach allows you to target specific potential students based on their personalities, demographics, and other details. Admissions professionals at colleges and universities face immense pressure to convert potential students into matriculating customers, and these strategies for personalizing your higher education marketing can help boost enrollment.

1. Track How Users Engage With Content

student using laptop

If you know how users behave when faced with content on your website, you can target them with personalized communication later.

Personalized higher education marketing starts with content. It’s your most powerful asset as you start to collect and analyze user data. The Content Marketing Institute recommends sending emails with snippets of content, then tracking how users interact with it.

For instance, if you send an email with links to five pieces of content, you can derive conclusions about a user based on which links he or she clicks. You can then discern his or her interests and model future communications based on that data.

Related: Learn how Inbound marketing can empower Higher Ed marketers to attract the right people, convert prospective students, close applicants and delight alumni.

2. Create Student Personas

Businesses in other industries often create buyer personas based on individual customers. They write in-depth summaries about each persona, citing that individual’s motivations, desires, barriers to entry, and other data. In higher education marketing, student personas can serve the same purpose.

Related: Our free, customizable persona template will let you easily organize your research to create your very own personas. With this template you can create well-formatted personas that you can share with your entire company.

For example, one of your student personas might describe a potential student who depends on financial aid to pursue higher education and who wants to receive a well-rounded education that prepares him or her for lucrative and diverse income potential. Another might profile a student who has known his or her career objectives since nursery school and who considers university statistics when comparing potential options.

After you create student personas, use them to target specific individuals. You can engage with those people on social media, through email, and across other channels to increase enrollment.

3. Consider Your Target Audience’s Educational Goals

graduating student

Potential students have specific needs and desires that should inform your higher education marketing strategy.

Marketing to potential university and college students demands special considerations that other businesses might not need to take into account. For instance, some students have no idea what they want to do with their lives, so they plan to use their time at college to explore different options. Others have a specific educational and career plan, and are therefore more discerning in their decisions.
You can create actionable, in-depth content that targets students with all types of educational goals. Using links, emails, and other marketing strategies to reach those individuals will help you gauge their interest and serve up content that addresses their specific concerns and desires.

4. Spend Time With Your Audience

If you don’t understand how college students make decisions, you can’t effectively market to them. Spend time getting to know potential students. How do they spend their time? What technology do they prefer? How do they consume content?

Collect this data, then apply it to your personalized higher education marketing efforts. You’ll see a drastic improvement in enrollment numbers because you care about what your target audience needs.

To learn more about creating an effective higher education marketing strategy, contact us today.