By Nigel Assam
In today’s hyper competitive educational marketplace, colleges and universities face a daunting task when it comes to increasing student enrollment.
Admissions and marketing teams must first successfully attract a highly targeted applicant pool, keep them engaged throughout the buying cycle, and then ultimately turn these potential students into actual applicants.
Central to this mission is the ability of the marketing teams to successfully articulate the school’s value proposition. What is the core brand promise that the institution is offering students? Once this has been articulated, then an effective messaging and branding strategy can be created.
Perhaps the greatest resource in the quest to grow a wider admissions funnel exists within the current student body. Who else has a better understanding of the value that your institution has to offer than your students. Are you using their insights about what attracted them to your school? Why did they choose to attend your institution as opposed to others?
Once you have collected the key data from your current student body, then the difficult part begins. What specific marketing channels will you use to convey your unique selling proposition or USP to your targeted audiences? The best approach is an integrated mix of traditional, social media and digital marketing.
While prospective college students today spend a great deal of time in the social media/digital universe, let us not forget that each institution also has to successfully engage their parents. To that end, traditional media can still play an important role in reaching parents, who most often will be helping to pay for their children’s education.
Nigel Assam is a Baltimore based Marketing Specialist
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