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4 educational marketing strategies for colleges

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

May 12, 2023

How to differentiate your higher education institution from the competition? Year after year, this question permeates among professionals in the educational area and when we talk about marketing strategies, this is no different.

At times, we have the feeling that we are obsolete in the way content is delivered and in many cases, the growing number of competitors makes differentiation challenges ever greater. Have you ever seen this situation?

Faced with this new reality (especially in the post-pandemic period, where so much has changed), educational marketing are faced with the need to bet on differentials to achieve or maintain a prominent position in the sector.

Teaching excellence remains important, but it is not enough by itself. In a world where thousands of contents are available to students, it is necessary to become a reference, both in online and offline media.

From this perspective, more than ever, your institution's marketing must be strategic and well structured so that it can yield great results.

What will you see in this post? 

If you want to learn more about educational marketing and what really matters when capturing leads and students, stay with us!

What is educational marketing?

Educational marketing is the set of strategies focused on attracting, retaining and retaining students. The term is used when we talk about marketing actions aimed at the educational sector. The actions are "the same", what changes are the nuances of the sector and the objectives of each educational marketing.

A point worth mentioning when we talk about educational marketing is that it must attract not only future students, but also the parents of students who, at first, may be the main responsible and influencers for choosing a particular institution for their children.

Educational marketing focuses on investing in the relationship with these potential students and their parents, from school until the moment they choose to attend a university. We can say that it is the main link between the student at school and the future student of higher education.

As an educational marketer, your aim should be to communicate your brand in a way that generates connection with these audiences and that clearly brings to the public the purpose of your institution.

In this scenario, there are some practices that you can use to direct your strategies, shall we know some of them?

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Do a SWOT analysis

The good old SWOT analysis cannot be left out of your marketing strategy. In Portuguese, SWOT means Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats. And it aims to help your institution to know the strong points and those in which you can improve.

SWOT is a strong ally in the quest to understand how internal and external factors impact the institution's activities.

Strengths would be the high points that bring recognition to the college and are under your control. Opportunities are external factors, over which you have little influence, but which meet your goals.

Weaknesses are the internal aspects that demand the need for improvement or improvement. Finally, the threats, which consist of elements that can be harmful to your business, such as the arrival of a new competitor.

This methodology is more effective whenever there is a specific problem to be solved and must be supported by careful data collection.

It is worth highlighting here that the SWOT matrix is ​​an analysis that has existed since the beginning of marketing and continues to be used today given the amount of rich information it offers.

In the educational scenario, this analysis allows you to work predictively on weak points, as they are already known.

Say what the audience needs to hear

A very common mistake among educational institutions (and even companies from other segments) is saying what they want to say and not what the audience wants to know or hear.

The secret of communicating is to say what needs to be said in a way that connects with the audience by saying what they want to hear. It's ok to communicate the value of registration, courses and forms of entry.

The secret is not "in what" but in "how", in the way of saying what needs to be said. You can simply communicate the information or you can create a storytelling that touches on his pains and needs, to generate identification.

Understand your tone of voice and adapt your communication to the tone that communicates with her. Remember: communication is FOR the persona, it's from the inside out, it's not just about what you want to talk about but about connection, about what needs to be said. 

Home with the student, even if it is not the entrance exam season

Maintaining a dialogue with the potential lead is a good way to captivate him. The point is that this conversation should take place throughout the year, not just during the entrance exam season.

This nutrition communication takes place mainly through the production of relevant content that, far beyond self-promotion, must be supported by useful information, such as tips for facing the challenges of university life. Remember that one of the essential bases of inbound marketing it's relevant content.

Finally, it is worth remembering how vast the target audience of educational marketing is. It is not limited only to students already enrolled. It is important to understand and capture the desires of adolescents who are attending high school and those who have already completed a degree, but who want to enroll in a new course.

Consequently, they begin to empathize with the college at different stages and the chances of enrolling increase when you have a good strategy to be present at each stage and for each audience.

Use the possibilities offered by the virtual environment

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that the possibilities of communication were enhanced with the popularization of the internet and the growth of the digital market. Know how to take proper advantage of these tools.

as part of your marketing strategy, keep an active blog, produce e-books or videos, invest in quality content on social networks whose themes are aligned with the needs and desires of your personas, preferably helping them to solve a problem for fulfilling a dream.

Remember the 20% rule: for every ten publications, it is recommended that only two have a more incisive promotional tone (bottom of the funnel).

If you work in higher education institutions and already benefit from the educational marketing for colleges, share your experience with us in the comments of this post.

Check out this post: the 10 Whys of Having a Blog in Your Marketing Strategy!

Blog in Your Marketing Strategy

Happy reading and until next time!

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Technologies we use

The world changes all the time and technology is no different! Here at Mkt4Edu, technology is in our DNA, we work with many different softwares to make the whole process of automation and artificial intelligence work more efficiently and achieve more results.

Here, new softwares are tested all the time. Modern tools and new functionalities are tested all the time, there were already more than 200 tests so you can have the best result in your institution.

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