Fecha: 27 julio, 2023

The 3 best marketing strategies for educational institutions this 2018

As they say «new year, new challenges»; and as a marketing or sales team of an educational institution, this is pure truth. Each new cycle we must reach a certain number of prospects, to meet our goal of enrolled. But you can not expect better results doing the same, do you? … That’s why today I’ll share some trends in marketing strategies for educational institutions, which I’m sure will help you.

1. Personalization: what they want, when they want it

«Personalization», a word that we hear more and more and that, in my opinion, has been misunderstood. Customize your strategy is not about putting the name of the person to the mail template you always send, but to create experiences that provide value according to the interests that the prospect has shown, according to the actions you have taken. It’s about creating those little «WOW» moments and making them think «how did you know what I wanted?» or «I was just looking for information for this!» or something like «The page is literally talking to ME!» … yes, maybe it could seem a little «creepy» at times, but it’s more magical than creepy, believe me;) … and yes, yes you can achieve this degree of personalization TODAY. 

As an educational institution, we are responsible for creating personal relationships with those who approach us. Education represents an important point in the life of many people, because it is where they begin to discover themselves and where they form the best friendships of their lives; and it seems that today most of these institutions strive to sound generic and boring; always with messages like «your future begins with us». Just think, if you were 15 or 18 years old, would you like to hear this? … no! Are you telling me that my life is worth nothing and will not be anything until I’m with you? ..

It is VERY important that you put yourself in the shoes of your students and parents. Messages as in the example above, may sound a little more to parents, but it is aimed at students … You must know very well who you are talking to, what their language, what they are living, what their concerns are , wishes, aspirations. In a few words you must know your Buyer Personas perfectly. 

Believe me, only then can you create multichannel messages and strategies that make sense and generate results in leads, opportunities and inscriptions.

And speaking of multi-channels, think very carefully which ones you will use. I know that it is extremely common to resort to leaflets, spectacular, radio and fairs; and I do not tell you that it’s wrong, only that you have to know how to take advantage of them. Remember that you can not be generic, you must excel by providing valuable information for the stage of your prospects.

I know that Facebook is also one of the most used media by educational institutions, and it makes a lot of sense, since it is one of the cheapest means of acquiring leads. But you must be careful how you are acquiring them, as this can affect your conversion rate from lead to enrollee.

In addition to this, it is important that you do not close to these channels. Each time there are more platforms with a significant penetration in the population, such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, to name a few … imagine everything you could do!

And finally, related to the previous point, according to a study conducted by HubSpot in 2017,  71% of respondents have found much more value in inbound strategies (attraction marketing, and mainly digital), as it tries to be in the place and right time, which translates into more leads, lower acquisition cost and higher ROI (Return on Investment).

2. Videos: real experiences 

In Mexico, the Internet has a 63% penetration in the population of 6 years and older, being the ages more interesting and active those between 12 to 34 years, and access mainly from their cell phones (this according to the study of AMIPCI in 2017).  Within this, about 78% of the content on the internet is video, expecting this 2018 to reach 84%. And 90% of the most shared videos appeal to emotions.

This becomes very interesting information for educational institutions, because they already have a great advantage since they create content constantly! The problem is that they do not always realize it, and when they do, they do not always know how to take advantage of it.

You can share material such as internal events, awards, improvised testimonials from your own students, quick views of what your students are experiencing in their exchanges around the world, etc. There are many things that you can show the world, and that are of interest to both students and their parents.

A good way to do this is through videos, because they have shown greater engagement than other media. This is because the generations we seek now are highly connected to the virtual world and love the immediate, the simple and easy, and the ephemeral.

Here are some ways you can create video content:

  • «Stories» of instagram, for example, por ejemplo, have proven to be a perfect mean of not overwhelming the public, hooking it with more personal and emotional material and converting it. According to data, one third of the stories most viewed in this medium are companies and institutions
  • By the other hand, Live Stream; which is another way to have a more personal connection with your audience (both your internal and external community). Of course the most popular are the Facebook Live. Here the important thing is to interact with your audience while the video happens to have better results. According to HubSpot, users spend 3 times more time watching these videos, and have more comments and more shares.
  • Finally, we have the traditional short videos, which once again agree with HubSpot, are the most shared. The important thing is that you manage to capture your attention between the first 3 to 5 seconds and should not last more than 40 seconds (ideally, about 10 seconds).

It is VERY important that when generating your videos, it is optimized to be seen on mobile or tablets, since at least 50% of the reproductions are from these media. Likewise, think very well what you are going to share in this format, because the public (millennials) is very demanding and critical. That’s why in point one I told you that you must be very clear about your Buyer Persona.

 

3. Technology for educational institutions

Embrace technology and make it your ally. Remember that it’s here to stay, so you better take advantage of it. Do not see it as the enemy that will steal your work, on the contrary, it can help you to make your work much more effective and enjoyable.

Automate internal processes

Have you heard about marketing automation? It is a tool, which I like to describe as «very magical», that helps you perform certain actions without you having to intervene. As for example follow-ups! .. this tedious task in which you must remind people that you still exist, and you must discover the degree of interest of them to be able to move to more interesting stages such as negotiations, you can automate them! Sure, you do not lose 100% of them, they are still more effective if added to this automation you also call them, but in the end you save a lot of work and avoid mistakes like forgetting to send certain information or call at a certain time when they they asked for it; as well as, if you use it intelligently, it can help you qualify your prospects and determine which are worth calling and which are not yet.

Take advantage of technology

A technology that has been listening a lot recently and that is expected to become a BOOM this 2018, are the chatbots. When a person writes to you through the chat of your page or a social network, what they expect is an immediate response, and if this does not happen, their experience can be very sad and soon forget about you. This is what chatbots are for! to help you create favorable experiences (and save yourself a lot of work).

For example, we started experimenting with a chatbot for one of our clients that receives hundreds of messages on their Facebook per day. It turns out that this also helps you to get people to subscribe and you can send interesting messages, at the same time, to all those who subscribed. In your case it could be to inform them of a course, an Open House, or a promotion.

 

In conclusion…

Summarized in points, it would be the following:

  1. Perfectly determine your buyer people and create «Wow» experiences.
  2. Create relevant and valuable content for them, especially in video, as it has greater engagement and ROI
  3. Embrace technology and take advantage of it to create closer relationships with your audience, save resources, and reduce your costs of acquiring prospects and students.

 

Remember that your obligation as an educational institution is to create personal relationships. An excellent way to start changing your strategies is to ask yourself: what would I like to see if it were them?

And finally, remember to have KPI (Kee Performance Indicators) from every strategy, at the end of the year it doen’t matter how great are your ideas, instead if you reach your goal and what is your ROI. 

¡Come on! The world is even crazier, but that does not have to be a disadvantage. Here I leave you a little help, is an Ebook about «Introductin to Inbound Marketing for High Schools», that talks about generation strategies, marketing automatization, among many things, I know it will help you a lot, just click below to download it:

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