While the admission season is dawning upon us, the institutes are thrown into a frenzy of activities. Right from brushing up on the courses to trying to reach the students through various sources, there is a lot for institutes to focus on during this period.
In this flurry, there are pivotal things that can be overlooked while planning your marketing strategy. Here is a quick guide to things that you shouldn’t ignore while you are advertising for the courses that your institute offers.
1. Institute Certifications
This is one of the important points that not only students but the parents are also interested in. Certifications and assurances help the students know the quality of studies that you provide. Hoping
It is looked upon as a standard of comparison between different colleges. Projecting your certifications builds a relationship of trust with your potential students
Some of the coveted certifications in India are:
NAAC stands for National Assessment and Accreditation Council. As the name suggests NAAC is an organisation that assesses and accredits higher education institutes in India.
Accreditation by this council determines the quality in terms of education, infrastructure, research, training and learning. NAAC is one of the most coveted and major accreditation agency.
The full form of ISO is the International Standard Organization. The certification provided by this institute is internationally recognized. ISO certification helps to develop a quality management system.
To be eligible for this certification, institutes have to be compatible with the requirements laid down by the organization. While ensuring compatibility, it helps institutes function in an exceptional manner at the same time provide improved services.
CRISIL is an independent and rigorous heading system. It is a global analytics company and India’s leading rating agency. This rating helps an institution achieve a higher degree of academic excellence and establish the right profile with the students.
During the rating analysis, a significant amount of emphasis is placed on the institute’s track record. For many students, CRISIL Rating is a benchmark for understanding the quality of education that is imparted by an institution.
2. Alumni Testimonials
Alumni are an important part of any educational institute. They are effective role models for students. They help in providing credibility and justification not just to the course but to the entire institute.
The alumni are a resource for the institute. They are helpful in more ways than one. The testimonials by the alumni play a pivotal role not only in improving motivation but also in strengthening confidence in the college.
They act as mentors and have been known to be an influential medium not only among the future applicants but also among the university students. The successful senior alumni act as idols for their juniors.
Video testimonials of alumni help in marketing as the alumnus themselves help to reach a broader audience. Views and positive statements made by then through various media channels are very beneficial for an institution’s reputation.
Alumni are able to better connect with potential students. They have a better idea about what the new generation looks for in their ideal college. They also play an influential role in encouraging their family members and friends to consider the same college that they attended.
3. Achievements of your teachers and professors
Teachers and professors are the pillars and backbones of any educational institution. Due to the growing awareness, everyone recognizes the importance of qualified teachers.
A qualified educator plays a crucial role in the success of not only the students but also the college on the whole. They also lift the rate of student achievement as they are well equipped to impart high-quality teaching.
While marketing your institute keep in mind to throw some light upon the various achievements of your teaching faculty. Giving references to some of your highly qualified educators could work in your favor.
According to a study by International Student Survey in 2017, high-quality teaching is one of the most important factors for a student while choosing a college for higher studies. The same survey states that almost 70% of students strongly agree that having highly qualified teaching staff indicates that a university provided good quality teaching.
Keeping all this in mind, it becomes essential to advertise various achievements of your teaching staff. If any of your staff members have been on an acclaimed committee or have received recognition because of their work, you should not shy away from mentioning this during your marketing and even praising them for the same.
4. Post-course completion placement records
It is futile to deny that in the current economic climate employability is not important. Given the contemporary socio-economic scenario, it is important for graduates to feel secure about finding a good job after the completion of their course.
This is where your placement records play an important role. According to the director of marketing at a reputed college in the UK, a university’s ability to offer adequate placement opportunities has become an important factor in a student’s decision to apply to a certain university.
Your university should have a separate placement Cell in place. It should be based upon the sole motto of making students ‘industry-ready ‘.
While marketing your courses you should talk about the success of your placement Cell in providing jobs to young graduates. It is also important to mention the various activities of the committee which prepares the students for the future and provides them with necessary life-skills to handle the problems that may arise irrespective of which path they choose.
There is strong evidence which suggests that placement records are checked by students before applying to an institute. So make sure that these records are updated regularly and are easily available to students.
5. Industry Tie-ups
Over time, a university ‘s links with the relevant industries have become a crucial factor in helping students choose their future courses as well as colleges. In the current age, brand association has become important.
Arguably one of the main reasons that students choose to pursue higher studies is because of the preparation it provides for life in the economic world. Therefore, tie-ups with industries are viewed as a positive and progressive step by students.
According to Andrea Turley, the marketing director at Anglia Ruskin University (UK),
“Graduate employment opportunities are another key component of these partnerships which reflects a desire among students for practical experiences that add real value.”
The University has adopted a multifaceted approach of partnership which focuses on creating opportunities for students.
These kinds of the-ups are a win-win situation for both the institutes as well as the industries. By using the expertise of well-established industries to refine the curriculum, industries can make it more relevant and industry-ready. Besides placements, they also offer internships, volunteering experience and research opportunities which attracts future graduates.
On the other hand, through a tailored curriculum, industries can identify and train future employees. This helps them remain in the game and makes it easier to upgrade their workforce.
Therefore, it is critical for institutes to form industry tie-ups and to advertise these them while talking about institute courses. Students feel more confident about their future and are attracted to universities which provide them with a chance for a secure future.
6. Your Website and Social Media presence
In this age of digital media, everything is online. And if your marketing is not, then you may be losing out on the chance to connect to a huge portion of prospective students.
The student of today has grown up with social media. It has become a huge and important part of their lives. These students don’t just rely on descriptive brochures or repetitive emails to choose their colleges.
According to a Zinch & Inigral Survey, 72% of students passing out from 12th standard reported that they researched their prospective colleges on a social media site. In addition to this, the report also said that more than one-time states that social media helped them decide which college to choose.
Students turn to digital media while researching colleges mostly because it is convenient. It is possible for a student sitting hundreds of miles away to get information just by clicking a few buttons.
It helps them know about the institute, and it’s courses but also about its faculty and infrastructure. Therefore, it is imperative for institutes to have an active and robust social media presence.
Having a fully functional website benefits a college in many ways. It becomes easier to connect with future students and to communicate with them. You can also reach a broader audience with more engaging content.
It is a good idea to curate student content using blogs and hashtags. You can keep a forum through which students can ask their questions and leave their feedback.
A good web page helps win the confidence of a younger age group. It is possible for you to discuss all your unique points and show how you are different than others who are offering the same course.
Similarly, maintaining well-updated social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are important to capture the attention of prospective students. Your social media walls should aim to not only be informative but also interactive.
The top 5 Facebook pages of universities are
1. Boston College
The page stands out because it has content which engages not only its students but also the various departments of the college. By the clever use of tagging and hashtag, they are able to coordinate among themselves.
2. University of California, Berkley
The university encourages students to play an active role in keeping their social media platform relevant. Right from putting out hashtags to efficiently handling cross-promotion across all social media handles, the university has managed to amass a good fan following.
3. Michigan State University
The working strategy of this university’s page is to engage the audience. By making the content more relevant and engaging for the audience, they are successfully able to make their audience share the posts.
4. George Washington University
The university resonates with the audience through creative strategies. By putting out hashtags like #PictureGW, they encourage students to share snippets of campus life and at the same time inculcate pride for the University.
5. The University of Texas, Austin
What sets this page apart is their appropriate use of the “call-to-action” feature of Facebook. By using it judiciously, they have been able to keep in touch with not only prospective students but also anyone who is interested in the workings of the University like teachers and parents.
At the same time, you should also have some video content not only on your website but preferably also on your YouTube channel. Video content can capture a wider range of audience and helps to explain processes better as compared to written content.
Short, relevant videos can catch the attention of the students and make a mark on them. The YouTube channels of the following colleges rank in top 5.
Even though MIT has a similar page to other universities, what separates it from the rest is the proper segmenting of videos and promoting the right videos for the right crowd. They also make a conscious effort to maintain a high standard which ensures not only informative but also captivating videos.
2. The European Graduate School
Even though the school has adopted a minimalistic approach towards the visual aspect, it makes up for it by publishing enriching content delivered by industry experts. They have a range of videos on a multitude of subjects which adds to its credibility.
3. The University of Oxford
The unique approach adopted by this university which differentiates it from the rest is that they have a separate ‘How to Apply’ section on their channel. This helps them reach out to millennial and make the admission process simple and hassle-free.
4. University of Oregon
This university has adopted to show the cultural and student life of the university for marketing. They talk about the lesser known clubs and committees that students are attracted to. One such video feature the university a Capella group in action.
5. University of Virginia
Going a step farther, the university has a separate channel for their team sports. The college maintain a professional athletic club and proudly shows of their achievements through this channel.
It is important to consider various points in order to reach the right audience while advertising academic courses of an institution. Following these tips will definitely give you an edge in your advertising and help you in designing a strong and efficient marketing strategy.