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4 Internet Marketing Strategies for Colleges to Attract Applicants

Internet marketing has proven to be the number one way colleges and universities reach new prospective students and applicants. Hundreds and thousands of potential applicants are researching educational institutions at any given moment. In order to stand out amongst the competition, you not only need to be online, but you need a fully integrated, multi-channel internet marketing strategy in order to attract people to your site and turn those visitors into paying students.

What do we mean by a fully-integrated multi-channel marketing strategy? Digital marketing is more than just running a campaign; it involves an entire system of different strategies working in conjecture to achieve a common goal. For example, it’s not enough to just have a well-designed website, you must have a marketing strategy to have your site seen. Once they find your site through your online marketing, you have to have a strategy in-place to turn those visitors into leads. From there, leads must be put through a funnel or drip-marketing campaign to turn those leads into tuition-paying students.

In today’s competitive climate, colleges cannot afford to ignore their digital presence. Studies have shown that Gen Z spends over 5 hours a day consuming online media. The days of glossy pamphlets and flyers are long behind us and as students become more sophisticated, educational institutions must adapt as well.

Online Marketing Services

Optimum7 has over a decade experience marketing for higher education institutions including:

  • Web Design / UX Optimization Is your site clean and easy to navigate? Are your
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Software Development

Top 4 Marketing Strategies for Colleges

When done correctly, digital marketing can increase enrollment, engage students (both prospective and existing), highlight your best programs, and be a resource for your students. In fact, your website can be your most valuable marketing asset.

1. Pay-per-click (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an online advertising strategy in which businesses display their ads on search engines, like google, or social media platforms, like facebook, and pay every time their ad is clicked.

Advertisers can target their ads based on the keywords a consumer searches for, or other factors such as their age or location.

There are a number of complex factors that going into running a PPC campaign. Between choosing the right bid strategy, audience targeting, A/B testing, ad copy and visual elements, PPC campaigns can be quite daunting for a small department to handle. Our strategists and creatives are standing by to help you formulate a PPC strategy that is comprehensive, engaging, and makes sense for your business.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful online marketing strategy to attract students. While conducting SEO, a number of on-site and off-site optimizations are made in an effort to increase a websites ranking on Google for relevant search terms. For example, if you are a 

Although it can be highly-profitable, SEO is a long-tail approach to marketing. It can take months for you to start seeing the benefits of SEO, but once you do, you will see a steady flow of qualified traffic visiting your site for years to come.

75% of online searches don’t go past the first page, making ranking on the 1st page highly profitable and highly competitiveWith more students than ever searching online for information, you’re going to want to have a strong presence on search engines for keywords that are relevant to your organization. However, it’s not easy to rank for broad keywords such as “Business Degree” or “Arts College” unless you are one of the big players in this space. For smaller universities, creating what’s known as a keyword universe that makes sense takes strategy and technical knowledge.

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3. Interactive Web Design

Having a good website for tech companies is imperative for today’s marketplace. Software companies need a professional, engaging, and user-friendly website that can attract potential customers and leads. Your website is the first interaction prospective students have with your institution. Having a responsive, well-designed website makes you look professional and builds trust in your audience.

According to market research, 91% of students report that a website is the first place they go when looking for information about an educational institution. Considering that over 90% of online first-impressions are design-related, your site needs to capture their attention and look clean and professional from the very start.

Is your site easy to navigate? Can students find the information they are looking for? Do you have calls to action set up on every page that puts your audience into a funnel? Is your site secure? Is it optimized for SEO? These are all crucial questions you need to be asking yourself when auditing your site. If you answered no for any of these, it may be time to contact an internet technology company for help.

4. Email Marketing

Email Marketing, also known as Drip Marketing, is on of the most affordable internet marketing strategies and easiest to set up.

The definition of Email Marketing is “the use of email to promote products or services.” For universities, Email Marketing is more about creating a relationship with a student, through email, in order to build rapport and increase the chances of them enrolling. Email Marketing for colleges and universities can also be a good way to engage current students and promote events and programs around your school.

The difficulty in Email Marketing lies in performing a campaign effectively, monitoring, and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Sending mass emails is simple, but writing effective email copy can be tricky and doing so regularly is labor intensive. When you want to add things like tracking codes, personalization, and A/B testing, the process becomes complicated and difficult to manage. When you take into account factors like GDPR regulations and collecting emails, you may consider bringing in outside help.

3 Reasons Why Colleges Need to Outsource Digital Marketing

Save Time

Between content creation, strategy, and development, marketing online for colleges and universities takes time that could be spent running your department. Regardless of the size of your institution, outsourcing your internet marketing efforts to Optimum7 frees up time across the board.

Save Money

Many people compare the cost of outsourcing digital marketing with having your own in-house specialist. The truth is, outsourcing your internet marketing provides much more bang for your buck. When you work with Optimum7, you have access to our full staff of marketers, content-creators, and developers.

Leverage Our Expertise

When you work with Optimum7, you are gaining an outside perspective from industry experts who’ve seen it all. We have worked with companies across all industries, including colleges and universities, with outstanding results. We have adapted to every major shift in online marketing and utilize the latest technologies and AI to your advantage.