It’s 2020 and we are becoming digital-savvy than ever! Owing to the digital revolution, we have become accustomed to the digital realm. From work-from-home to online shopping to food ordering, everything is possible via digital means. The digital revolution has also brought a paradigm shift in the education sector. From admissions to learning, everything is possible by deploying online resources and digital tools.
The students have also become proactive, conscious, and aware. Nowadays, the students carry out online research to shortlist the colleges. They even prefer online modes for submission of application for admissions. In such a scenario, it has become the need of the hour for universities and educational institutes to be well-equipped and to adapt to the changing demands of students. An institute should be digitally-updated to attract students. This is where digital marketing steps in.
By virtue of leveraging digital marketing, educational institutes can reach the right students and convert them to successful admissions. However, digital marketing is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous process of making the educational institute visible to the prospective students. It involves strategizing, re-strategizing and modifying digital marketing efforts to align with the ongoing trends. Hence, every college/university should keep abreast of ongoing digital marketing trends to sustain amidst cutthroat competition.
To understand the significance of digital marketing and to learn about the latest digital marketing trends in the education sector, we interacted with Mr. Hrishikesh Deshmukh, the founder of a Pune-based digital marketing company, TTDigitals. He shared some digital marketing insights that can be beneficial for educational institutions. The key findings are compiled in this post.
Without further ado, let’s now have a look at 10 digital marketing trends in the education sector that are ruling 2020:
1. Professional and informational website
In this digital realm, a website serves as the virtual point of contact. Just as students visit the institute’s campus to get a glimpse of campus life, amenities and facilities; students can assess its website to understand more about the college and its offerings. Hence, the website of a college should be professionally designed and it should be filled with all relevant information.
The website should educate and inform the students about various available amenities and facilities. There should be sufficient details (related to admission procedure, fee structure, amenities & facilities, courses) on the website to influence the decision of the students. This will simplify the admission procedure for students.
2. Presence in social media platforms
The generation Z which includes students, is tech-savvy and social media geek. They are mostly active in social platforms and most of their decisions are made after getting influenced by social media. In such a scenario, an educational institute can tap social media marketing to connect with students and to drive admissions.
An institute should have a presence across major social media platforms. The colleges should regularly release posts via their social handles for promotions. The posts can be related to anything from their courses, activities taking place in the college, achievements of students and initiatives taken by the college for its students. A regularly updated social profile of a college will act as a testament to its authenticity and influence students’ decisions.
3. Webinars by different industry experts
The modern-day students are curious learners. They wish to gain information from all verticals and platforms. So, colleges can even attract students by hosting webinars whereby experts are brought on board to educate the students. Through webinars, colleges can educate the students along with advertising themsselves. A large number of institutes drive a large number of admissions by leveraging free webinars.
4. Presence in authentic educational websites
As stated earlier, students carry out online research to choose a suitable college for admission. They usually visit the institute’s website to know more about it. In addition to that, students also look for reviews about the colleges before shortlisting them. In such a scenario, the university/college should have an online presence in reputed websites like CollegeDunia and Shiksha that are regularly scrolled by prospective students. Hence, those institutes that are featured in these platforms, witness a good number of admissions.
5. Google search/ Search Engine Optimization
Google is undoubtedly the most-used search engine. Just like others, students carry out Google search during the process of selection of suitable universities/colleges for admissions. So, it is pivotal for the colleges to feature in the search engine results pages. This is where SEO comes into play. Those institutes that are indexed by Google and feature in SERPs are able to catch students’ attention. These institutes are able to connect with prospective students who are looking for a specific course. Hence, such institutes witness a large number of admissions through Google search.
6. Email marketing
Even today, emails have not lost their significance. All professional communications including marketing still happen via email. Institutes can also leverage email marketing to send a promotional email to the target audience (here students). The email can serve as a prospectus and educate as well as inform students of courses, amenities, faculty, campus and amenities of the university.
7. PR for colleges
PR activity is one of the significant marketing strategies. It facilitates enhancing online presence and in reputation management. Just like other businesses, institutes can also leverage PR to drive traffic to their official website. The universities can look for guest posts, outreach, and article submission in reputed third-party websites. This will enhance the credibility of institutes, which in turn will drive more admissions.
8. Educational blogs
The blogs serve two purposes- it acts as a piece of information for the students, while it serves as a marketing tool for the university. Blogs aim at educating and enlightening readers. The institutes that blog regularly, connect better with the students. They enhance the credibility and online presence of the institute. When blogs show up in SERP, they drive traffic to the college’s website thereby enhancing the chances of admissions.
9. Personal Assistant/Admission Bot
Many times, students are driven to the institute’s website via different digital marketing tactics. However, they do not convert to admission as they do not get relevant information from institutes’ websites. Furthermore, they don’t find it comfortable to interact with the customer support team. In such a scenario, admission bot can do wonders. Institutes can integrate admission bot (personal AI assistant) in the website that interacts with the students and answers most of the questions related to admissions. Hence, they increase the admission process and enhance the overall conversion rate.
10. Live Streaming
Live streaming is all the rage. It can be leveraged by institutes to simplify, speed, and improve their admission process and catch the attention of prospective students. An institute can host a session whereby it can address several questions of prospective students related to admissions, fee structure, amenities and courses. The institutes can also seek help from faculty members and alumni to take sessions and influence students’ decisions.
So, these are the top ten digital marketing trends for the education sector. Every institute should follow these trends to attract prospective students.
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