How to Use Instagram for Your Higher Education Marketing

As of September 2016, Instagram has more than 400 million users. This social media platform allows individuals and businesses to post photographs and other graphics with accompanying captions. If you’re looking for an effective social network platform for education marketing, Instagram offers an intriguing option.

Embrace Visual Marketing

Group of college students with laptop computer

People respond favorably to images — often moreso than text — because of the instant emotional connection

An image can create an immediate emotional connection with the viewer. That’s part of what makes Instagram so powerful. Users communicate in photographs and graphics as well as with words, which makes each connection more special.

If you’re going to launch an Instagram marketing campaign, you have to embrace the visual medium. You might be used to text-based content marketing, but if you shift part of your efforts to photography and illustrations, you have to remember that they’re separate from written content.

Add Text For More Impact

Each image should feature at least a few lines of text that tell a story about the image. You want viewers to immediately understand what the image should convey.

Hashtags are the fuel behind Instagram’s momentum. Without hashtags, potential students cannot easily find your content, which means you lose valuable brand visibility potential.

People can search or click on hashtags to find related content. If you create hashtags that relate specifically to your school (or even to a specific college or program within your school), you’ll gain traffic and recognition from your audience.

Invite Current Students and Alumni to Participate

Instagram encourages connections between users. You can comment on other people’s images and they can comment on yours. If you start conversations with current students and alumni as well as prospective students, you’ll gain considerable traction in your education marketing campaign.

Pay attention to students’ Instagram conversations with each other. Learn how they talk to and relate with each other. This will inform your own strategy, whether you’re trying to boost enrollment numbers or attempting to improve school spirit.

Share Students’ Stories

Your students’ success stories become your school’s success stories. Some of the best education marketing campaigns start with individual stories: a star athlete’s rise to the top of the heap; a recent graduate’s incredible early-career success; an alumna’s industry-changing invention. Highlighting these stories through visual media on Instagram can ramp up excitement about your school and engage prospective students.

You can also tell students’ stories in groups. Invite prospects to submit photos of themselves holding their acceptance letters, for instance. Create a collage or a series of posts that calls out each of these students and their academic achievements.

Stick to a Consistent Publishing Schedule

Just like a blog, a Facebook or a Twitter account, Instagram requires constant attention. Not only must you post consistently, but you must also engage with other users to increase your reach.

An Instagram presence can give your education marketing efforts new life. If you’re interested in taking your next campaign to the next level, contact us today to discuss strategy.
Digital Marketing Grader