Instagram stories. Facebook live. Personal voice assistants.
Higher education marketing trends have advanced dramatically within the last few years – even the last few months. While the days of pamphlets sent through the mail are fading, the reign of mobile marketing is rising.
It is imperative that education website design and marketing schedules stay current to really make an impact. And we mean, current. Trends are changing frequently with the rapid development of social media applications and continued innovation within that sector. But does that mean tried and true digital marketing methods are going out of style? Not just yet.
We’ve compiled six of the top higher education marketing trends making waves in 2019 and why you should start applying them now:
While the old-school method of “snail” mailing advertisements through the post office may be fading away, email marketing hits the mark. Newsletters, event invites, and other information alerts keep your school at the top of prospective students’ minds. It also keeps them coming back to and engaging with your website. Furthermore, email marketing helps you understand your prospective students with tangible, real-time results that provide crucial demographic info.
Social proof – another term for validation – is nothing new. But the way that social proof is being sent and received in 2019 is on a whole new playing field. The more authentic the message, the better it is received. Temporary content like Instagram stories and unfiltered content like Facebook Live have shown positive returns, with social influencers playing a big role. These influencers don’t necessarily have to be famous or a local celebrity. A student with a moderate following can have the power to reach and impact your target audience better than a paid sports star. The reason why leads us into the next two trends.
YouTube decidedly has staying power, but IGTV is slowing making its way into the field. Video content is extremely effective because it impacts the audience on an emotional level within a short amount of time. Without a barrage of text, the emotional impact reaches fruition more quickly. Video campaigns are easy to spread as well, translating across multiple platforms to reach people wherever they are, be it on their computers, tablets or phones.
With the rise of on-the-go cellphone and tablet usage, education website design has to cater to mobile devices in order to stay relevant. Mobile marketing focuses on accessibility, with websites that are easy to read and interact. Ideally, these websites will have clean layouts, large text, and obvious buttons that attract visitors and keep them on the page longer.
It is also important to make sure potential students are seeing your ads while they are on the go. Social media platforms are excellent conduits to reach these potential students as they are navigating life on the move. LinkedIn has noticed the positive influence it has on higher education ads run on their site. This is most likely due to the type of people that are already frequenting the LinkedIn app. Relevant ads such as these follow and attract serious prospective students as they begin their search.
The latest higher education marketing trend brings us back to a familiar subject: SEO ranking.
“OK Google. Hey Siri. Alexa.”
Regardless of provider preference, the rise of the personal assistance is steadily growing. Any higher education sector serious about attracting visitors is well-aware of the focus that should be on their SEO and ranking. Modern education website design draws on the science of content ranking to land your school at the top of every Personal Voices Assistant’s response.
So, what do all these higher education marketing trends have in common? They are all rooted in authenticity. High search rankings, social proof, a professional and responsive education website design all build trust within curious students and professionals. As the higher education field grows and expands, students have more choices, more access to information, and more questions. Your authenticity helps them make the right choice.