Want to expand your business’ reach? Education marketing can help. You can increase demand for your products, services, or institutions by promoting online education. Data speaks for itself: By 2026, the global eLearning industry will reach 457.8 billion.
How can you create your first marketing campaign for education? How much time and money will you invest? What are the benefits of investing?
What is education marketing, and how does it work?
Education marketing is a practice that involves promoting educational institutions, programs, services, and products to potential students. This increases student enrollment.
Let’s look at an example. One community college in the area is looking to increase enrollments for its vocational training programs, with an emphasis on healthcare. They do this by creating targeted ads, social media postings, and testimonials of past students who have found rewarding careers.
They also host virtual open days and webinars to interact with potential students and answer questions, highlighting the demand for healthcare professionals.
Note that education marketing and marketing based on education are often confused. This latter marketing strategy is used to educate customers about a certain topic rather than pushing them toward a purchase.
Why Education Marketing is Important
Both the online and offline education sectors are extremely competitive. In Today’s saturated marketplace, education marketing is essential to make your brand stand out.
This boosts brand recognition.
Successful marketing campaigns can lead to an educational institution having a strong, recognizable brand. These brands are also strongly associated with certain qualities, attributes, and values.
A heartwarming video of welcome, such as one from Stanford, could be an example.
It allows you to reach a wider audience.
Education marketing can help these institutions reach a wider and more diverse audience. This includes international students, nontraditional learners, and remote learners.
Nontraditional learners, for example, often need information on how to fit the institution’s program into their busy schedules and career goals. Marketing effectively helps to convey this information and shows that the institution is aware of and supports its educational journey.
Invite well-known speakers to encourage students to enroll at the institution. Steve Jobs’ motivational speech, co-founder of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios.
In 2005, at Stanford University’s 114th Commencement, he gave a speech encouraging graduates to follow their dreams and find the opportunity in setbacks in life.
This allows teachers to understand the needs of students.
Marketing education is not just about students, their parents, or the institutions themselves. Other stakeholders, such as educators, are also involved.
Katie Stoddard is a former teacher turned education marketing specialist. She sees the role of marketing in the education ecosystem as crucial.
“In an environment where many decisions about instructional materials and professional development are based on past relationships, marketing allows educators to discover other tools and solutions that can meet their learners’ needs,” Stoddard explains.
Stoddard founded Ed2Market and is its managing director. She says that marketing is a way for small businesses to compete against the big players in the industry.
She says, “And more importantly, this is the beginning of a cycle that will bring the best products and services to classrooms around the world.”
It helps student families get involved.
Marketing for education should include all the information students and their families may need. It should show them what options they have, what to expect, and why they should attend a particular academic institution.
It is easy for students and their families to access information through testimonials, videos, or virtual tours. This applies to all levels of learning, from elementary school to university to online academies.
RNL’s report shows that parents prefer to receive important information by email. According to the same statement, parents are willing to receive emails from universities as long as they include certain information.
Education Marketing Strategy
Six fundamental steps for building an effective marketing strategy in education.
We’ve provided real-life examples of successful campaigns for each step.
Understand your target audience.
First, define your audience. Decide who will receive your educational offer. This does not only refer to prospective students.
Remember their families, too. Most often, parents or relatives have the final word on their education choices.
Understand the expectations and goals of both parties and ensure that your educational offer is right for them.
Pro Tip: Conduct anonymous reviews and surveys to gather feedback about your target audience. What are their values, what influences their decisions, and what do they expect from institutions?
Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to find common ground and offer programs and courses that meet their requirements.
Articulate your unique selling points.
Showcase your best features, like academic excellence, unique programs or facilities, faculty with experience, and special facilities. Recognize your faculty’s qualifications and expertise.
Mention any faculty members who have won awards, grants, or recognition. If your school has modern laboratories or facilities that offer exceptional learning opportunities, make sure to highlight them.
Oregon State University has used concrete information in the following example to grab visitors’ attention. The copy is focused on science and research.
Statistical evidence reinforces a positive image.
Connect with your audience through social media.
Your target audience, the millennials and Generation Z members of your audience, are very interested in social media.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are among the most popular social networks. Each has its unique characteristics.
Stick to just 2-3 platforms on social media where your audience spends the most time. Be consistent across all of your social media platforms.
Central Michigan University shared an emotional Video on TikTok, showing the graduation ceremony. The brother of one of the graduates surprised her by coming to congratulate his sister.
Roll out an email marketing campaign.
Emails related to education have an open rate of 35.42 %. This shows that email marketing, in the old-fashioned way, is still effective.
Create a quarterly or monthly newsletter to communicate the most important activities of your institution. Each email should include a clear, compelling call to action (CTA), like “Enroll Now,” Learn More,” or Register Today.
Use automation tools to send targeted emails based on recipient actions. Examples include welcome sequences and nurturing campaigns.
Send follow-up emails, give tips and tricks, and engage candidates through the conversion or enrollment process.
Use HubSpot’s FREE tracking tool to receive notifications when someone opens your email and keep track of their interactions.
Invest in digital advertisement.
Digital advertising can help you reach out to international students and local students interested in taking online classes or studying abroad.
Digital advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads offer precise targeting options.
Create advertising campaigns that target based on geographic, demographical, or interest-based targeting. Try out different ad formats such as video, social media, search ads, or display ads.
In the image below, you can see several examples of search ads. The ads include both the title of the program and CTAs that encourage you to learn more.