Once upon a time, prospective students would start their research into a school by attending an open day and working from there. Now, thanks to the internet, that research begins before they even consider attending an open day. Every school needs to have a strong online presence and one of the biggest ways of boosting that is through education advertising.
You need to cover all bases when it comes to both organic and paid advertising for education. From the website’s visual design to having a solid social media presence, many education institutions have incorporated a holistic approach to marketing that covers a wide range of content. With these top education advertising ideas, you can grow your online presence today.
Running successful online search paid advertising campaigns
Creating a successful PPC campaign is essential for any educational institution looking to increase enrolments and its online presence. With a platform like Google Ads, you can target a specific target audience of prospective students and/or their parents. We have a few tips for targeting more specific audiences for your PPC education advertising campaign.
Follow relevant Google Trends
If you’re ever stuck on what students and parents are searching for, Google Trends is an essential tool for education advertising. This browser-based tool lets you input a search query and find out how many people search for that particular query.
Using Google Trends can help you find data on the best keywords to use for your ad copy as well as the negative keywords you can tag when setting up a Google Ads campaign. Outside of paid advertising, it’s always a good idea to be on top of what’s trending in the industry so get checking Google Trends today.
Test your ad copy
You can spend a long time on your ad copy and not get the conversions you really want. For education advertising it can be tricky, you may want to highlight that you have ‘no application fee’ or that you want students to ‘join a strong learning community. Whatever angle you want to sell your institution on, you need to test it out first. Run an ad for a couple of weeks to see how it performs and if you don’t get the engagement you want it’s always with trying out ad copy that focuses on another aspect of your institution. Prospective students are interested in a variety of things so test to find out what your local area respond most to.
Not all of your advertising needs to be done online. Printed media is still a great way to get your school or college’s brand out there. Local newspapers are still a great place to get the attention of prospective students’ parents. While billboards and posters on trains and buses are great to get the attention of the students themselves as they are more likely to be getting public transport.
Another benefit of printed media is a lot of the advertising copy and images you use for online advertising can be transferred to offline advertising media. When you’re coming up with education advertising ideas, check your budget to see if you can include a printed media campaign to boost your institute’s local recognition.
Utilise social media
Social media allows you to be a little more conversational in the way you approach your ad copy. Advertising on social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn means your ads show up in your target audience’s news feed, among the posts of their friends and family.
In this context, you need to balance the professional language that builds trust in your institution and the more informal language that audiences expect on these platforms. If you were putting together a social media ad campaign for open day events then consider these elements in your copy:
- A rhetorical question like ‘Want to join students who begin their careers sooner?’ is direct and almost conversational.
- Complement it with a statistic like your exam pass rate to build that trust and authenticity.
Social media affords you the opportunity to communicate in a slightly less informational way than you do on your website. Take advantage of this to connect more with students and parents.
Build your community of students online
Another great way to utilise social media in your education marketing is to foster your community of students through each platform. It’s great to build communities on social media for course groups and after school clubs, not just for advertising purposes but thankfully it does have that knock-on effect.
When these communities host events like a sports competition or movie night for a film club, this can all be photographed and documented on social media. Your school’s page will be a point of research for many prospective students and showing you have a vibrant community will be a big draw in getting them to enrol.
Boost well-performing social media posts
There are always events going on for every school or college. From drama productions to sporting events and science fairs, there’s a lot to be posting about on social media. A lot of times a post gets a lot of attention and really demonstrates what makes your school great so why not turn that post into an ad?
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram offer the option to turn any regular post into an advertisement. By doing this you can significantly increase the reach of the post and find a wider audience. Boosting or promoting a post will cost you money so be sure that you choose a post that’s already successful in terms of traffic.
Make sure your website is user friendly
For any kind of online marketing you do, your website will always be where you want to be guiding your audience. Your website is the central nervous system of all your online marketing efforts and should serve as the most comprehensive representation of your school’s core message. With this in mind, you need to make sure that the user experience is as easy to navigate and understand as possible.
You can make sure that the experience is seamless by ensuring your site is mobile friendly. Recent statistics suggest that 70% of web traffic comes from mobile phones so everybody needs to get on the mobile-friendly bandwagon.
Many students will be visiting your website on their mobile phones which makes mobile-friendly websites a top priority for education advertising. Many website builders will give you the option to design a mobile-friendly version of your site, you want to make sure no images stretch too far off the mobile screen and your website copy is a good size for anyone to read. Google has a handy Mobile-Friendly Test page to make sure any page on your website is optimised for mobile devices.
There are tons of education advertising ideas out there since it’s the prime place to promote a school or college. As new platforms to advertise crop up there will always be new ideas coming through the pipeline so be sure to keep your strategies current and your core messages strong.
Author Bio: James Sayers has a passion for writing on media such as music, film and video games. He works at Tillison Consulting as an SEO Campaign Manager working on blog content and SEO improvements for clients.