Americans go crazy for colleges. 41% of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college in 2019. That number accounts for millions of students.
You need to engage in strong university marketing efforts in order to attract students to your school. Email marketing is a good start, but you need to go further.
How messages do you need to promote in your marketing content? What are some new ways you can reach potential students? How should you appeal to students who have some interest or connections in your school?
Answer these questions and you can attract thousands of America’s finest students to your university. Here are seven tips you can follow.
1. Invest in Social Justice
College students are always interested in social justice. Millennials and Generation Z students are no different.
Push social justice messages throughout your school marketing. Put a diverse image forward, describing the lives of BIPOC and LGBTQ students. Detail some of the efforts that on-campus groups have made to raise money for charity and sociopolitical awareness.
You should also describe efforts that college administrators have made to fight racial injustice. If your college is making reparations to the descendants of slaves, you should mention that initiative. Prospective students who feel that administrators care about their efforts will feel encouraged to go to a school.
2. Try Live Streaming
Live streaming is a very versatile means of college advertising. You can hold seminars for prospective students, during which they can ask questions about the college. You can run a virtual tour, showing off the campus.
If a professor agrees, you can live stream some of their classes. This gives applicants a taste of what academic life is like. You can stream meetings of popular clubs as well.
Push authenticity through your streaming. You don’t need to stage events or write word-for-word scripts for your audience. The more they feel a genuine connection to the campus, the more they will feel the urge to go.
3. Provide Some Statistics
Few people will go to a school that has low graduation rates. If you have good numbers, push them in your college advertising campaign.
Break them down into individual metrics. Give numbers for overall graduation rates, then speak about your individual departments. Track how your alumni are doing and describe how many award winners and successful businesspeople you have.
You can tweet or write a text with your statistics. But infographics are more effective. They let you make appealing visuals that show off graphs and big numbers without overwhelming the viewer.
4. Cater To Prospective Students
Once you have a student on the hook, lure them in. Give them the opportunity to sit in on a class. You can give them a catalog of classes, which shows off the range of your programs.
You should run tours so they can walk through campus with intelligent students. When they are done with the tour, they can talk to an admissions professional about their next steps. They can do an interview or submit a writing sample on the spot.
You can start an email list for prospective students and send them updates on how campus life is going. Try not to be too aggressive. Send one email a month or so with some information about your school.
5. Talk About Town and Gown
“Town and gown” refers to the connections between a college and the nearest residential community. If you have good ties to your town, hype them up.
Touch base with local business owners and interview them about their services. You can talk to the local mayor or elected officials, and they can talk about their work. This is especially helpful if you are pushing strong social justice messages.
If you don’t have strong ties, you should still feature something about your town in your college marketing campaign. Students want to know about the communities surrounding schools, and it’s okay to indulge their curiosity. But focus on something else.
6. Use Your Alumni Network
Many alumni are interested in what their alma mater is doing. Loop them on your marketing efforts. Some of your alumni may be marketers, and they may be willing to offer their services.
Alumni may know of some potential students. Let them be the first outreach to those people.
You can then get their contact information and target them. You can invest in independent school email marketing in order to target students who are not familiar with your school.
Ask some alumni to tell their stories of applying and coming to your school. Try to get people from different backgrounds, including students from various departments. Liberal arts colleges can attract science students, and technical colleges can draw in liberal arts students.
7. Show Off Your Campus
Photographs of the campus lie at the core of school marketing. Applicants to your school should be familiar with how your campus looks and what your dorm rooms are like.
Get a professional photographer to come in and walk through your grounds. Take photographs of common areas, dorm buildings, and other important places like libraries.
Develop a backlog of photographs that you can use for different campaigns. You can post pictures on your social media pages and on your websites. You can save a few exclusive photos for your email marketing efforts.
The Best University Marketing Tips
You have to commit to your university marketing efforts. Show your institution’s commitment to social justice, diversity, and representation.
Live stream tours and classes so prospective students have a sense of your university’s services. Provide appealing statistics, and run some initiatives for students with an interest in your school.
Discuss connections to your local community, and tap your alumni for support. When in doubt, display photographs of your beautiful grounds.
Colleges compete with each other for students. You can fight back with intelligent marketing efforts. Follow our coverage for more college marketing guides.