Inbound Marketing Success in Higher Education
If you want to reach your audience and turn more people into customers, or in the case of higher education, potential students into admitted students, inbound marketing comes in handy. Inbound marketing takes place online and draws in your audience, allowing you to engage with them and build relationships that will end in loyal customers. Traditional marketing initiatives no longer suffice in this fast-paced, busy, digital world.
But how does this apply to higher education? It’s quite simple. Inbound marketing can help your institution create awareness, educate prospects, generate potential students and nurture them to take an action. Here is your blueprint to get success in higher education marketing using inbound marketing.
Tips for Inbound Marketing in Higher Education
Start by creating a well thought-out inbound marketing strategy that will help you identify and set goals, and help with the creation of a tactical plan. This is the core of all inbound marketing-related activities because they will stem from the goals outlined in the strategy.
This is also where you identify the steps of the buyer’s journey, which is the active research process a potential student goes through leading up to making a final decision. It is important to understand where your audience is in the buyer’s journey as you begin working on different tactics. For example, you wouldn’t want to send an email to potential students titled “5 tips for college applications,” when they are further along in the process and have already decided where they are going to apply.
Identifying your audience goes hand in hand with the strategy part of the inbound marketing process. In order to attract and reach your target audience, it’s important to identify who they are. Do you want to reach juniors and seniors in high school or current college students? What about parents? The content you create and the marketing activities you choose to do will depend on who you’re trying to reach. Also consider where your audience spends the most time, as this will help you decipher which digital tactics to implement (for instance, should you be on Facebook or Twitter or both? Does your audience read blogs or emails more often?)
Once your strategy is established and your audience is clearly defined, you will begin the implementation phase, and you will need to ensure that you have a robust digital presence. This is where you will reach, nurture, convert and delight your target audience through the perfect combination of inbound marketing tactics. These tactics can include but are not limited to, email blasts, automated email workflows, blogging, social media, SEO, PPC, and more.
A major part of your digital presence is your website. Not only does your website help with brand awareness, but it is also the location where many of your inbound marketing activities will link and push traffic to. Always keep your website up-to-date and active, so potential and current students have a reason to keep coming back.
After you have implemented the inbound marketing activities that best suit your audience – blogging, emailing, social media, etc. – you still aren’t quite done. Consistent analysis and reporting will allow you to continually adjust your campaigns to achieve the best possible results. The level of insight you have with inbound marketing is great because it is all online. Take advantage of that and track data daily or weekly so there are no surprises or lost causes by the time the end of the month rolls around.
Are you ready to take this blueprint and apply it to your institution? Pyxl’s approach to inbound marketing for higher education focuses on a more personalized plan that helps drive results. We’d love to work with you – let us know how we can help!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022