Why Should Universities Be Considering An Always-On Marketing Strategy?

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With the increased presence of almost every major brand on social media, the prospective students of today have grown used to being able to interact with them on demand. Whether they are engaging with tweets, watching a Snapchat story, or taking part in Instagram Q&As, this generation enjoys feeling like they are a part of a broader relationship than merely that of a business and its customer.

Relationships, Not Campaigns

It stands to reason then that prospective students are going to feel exactly the same way regarding their universities.

In order for a university to build strong relationships with this audience, they are going to need to be active and present whenever a prospective student wishes to engage. The days where a university could be silent for most of the year, and then suddenly unleash a barrage of advertisement during traditional recruitment timeframes such as open days, UCAS deadlines or clearing are gone.

By employing this always-on strategy for recruitment marketing, a university will find that it is better meeting the expectations of their audience. Eventually, they will begin to seamlessly create relationships, rather than merely campaigns.

Standing Out From the Crowd 

Your university is the red gummy bear if that wasn’t already clear.

I’m not encouraging this strategy simply for the sake of pleasing potential students. At the same time, it’s also vitally important to take into consideration the constantly rising state of competition that exists in the higher education landscape. Breaking through the torrents of clutter, and not simply relying on being the loudest university, will stand an institution in good stead.

It’s all about being creative, original, and finding your own unique voice. Constructing a strong brand identity is something that not enough universities truly engage with to the extent that they should.

Consider not only when you engage with prospective students, but also how. Are you going to turn your Twitter into a light-hearted hub of causal engagement? Perhaps you will employ student influencers or personalities to frequently run Instagram live streams or Q&As?

There are numerous avenues that a university could explore to allow continuous engagement. The aim of the game is to ensure that no matter what point of time a student enters into the recruitment funnel, they are able to build a meaningful connection with your university.

Spread Your Focus

Juggling all your platforms at once isn’t easy work.

By employing an always-on strategy, universities benefit from the ability to spread their budget, and engagement, across the year. Rushing to introduce your brand, build rapport, and trying to convert all of that into successful recruitment within the space of a few months doesn’t always make sense.

Instead, establishing brand awareness and affinity over the course of more time, and not simply in the build-up to critical recruitment moments, will increase your overall reach with prospective students. Not only this, but we have seen this pay off in substantially lower conversion costs.

We love hearing from anyone who shares our passion for higher education marketing. If you would like to chat or have any questions about this blog (or any others!) please feel free to give us a call.

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