Marketing for Colleges in 2014 – Part 2

Following on from Part 1 where we looked at Youtube, Blogging, QR Codes, Flickr and your On-line Visibility here are the next five marketing suggestions.


Facebook IconTo many, Social Media is Facebook, the number one social-networking site in the world. A fact that is not lost on savvy college marketers. Having students register themselves on their Facebook pages as current, or former students of your college, raises its profile amongst all their contacts and encourages them to follow in the footsteps of their friends.

Given how wildly the social media field can change even in a year or two though, it’s essential that a college constantly re-evaluates, not just what it does with its marketing, but where it does it and, if necessary, follows its migrating student base wherever they may go.

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Open Days and Campus Visits

StudentsThe Open Day has long been a standard for institutions to drum up interest for themselves, opening their door to prospective students and offering a chance to experience, in part, campus life and get their questions answered. With the cost of education spiralling, many students are looking with renewed interest to local institutes, especially ones that they can visit easily and in person.

Open days give students the opportunity to visit with the security of friends and family to find out more about whether or not your college is a good fit for them personally. Furthermore, many colleges and institutions are increasingly offering the option to arrange a campus visit online, making it even more convenient for potential students to visit the campus in person.

The Best Advocates for Students: Other Students

It’s the same in all industries. People want to know what other people like them thought of using a service or product, and your college is no different. While the admissions office of a college might be able to give all sorts of wonderful reasons to a prospective student about why to enrol, the people most students really want to talk to are other students, especially those currently studying at that institution.

Potential students will find it much easier to identify with current students than the college administration. After all, they are of similar ages and in similar situations – it’s easier for them to envisage themselves in your school if they can identify with someone else doing the same. That’s why using current students in your marketing efforts is crucial, because they’re the best ones to make the case to your future potential students.

The Worst News Is No News

Newspaper_150Whatever you do, your students will be talking about you on-line and their voices will be influencing the way the world at large perceives you. That is why it is so important to make use of social tools, such as with Google Alerts, so that you can be informed when somebody mentions you. This way, you can join the discussion on-line, whether to offer affirmation in a positive manner, or to provide correction in the case of misrepresentation and misunderstanding.

This is also why it is important to keep an active presence on-line. Join forums that are active in discussing educational matters in the area you operate in. If you aren’t part of the discussion, then you have no way to shape it, and in the worst case, you potentially give your detractors an open platform on which to speak against you without correction.

Reigning in Fliers and Prospectuses

Printing out full colour catalogue, like prospectuses, is increasingly expensive and arguably ineffective in the face of so many alternative ways to convey key information about your college and the courses that you offer. For years, colleges and institutions have been mailing these manuals, produced at no small expense, to students who usually wouldn’t follow up on them.

In the face of strained budgets, it’s only sensible that many colleges are reigning in their extravagant spending on under-appreciated physical materials in favour of various digital options. One option, for example, is to ensure that your college appears on college directory sites, such as Cappex or Zinch, and is well represented, as these are places students go to for information.

And considering the proliferation of tablets, smartphones and laptop computers, a digital version of a prospectus is frequently as good, if not better, and more convenient, for the would be student.

Part 3 will be published on Monday, make sure to check back.