How to Incorporate Student Data into Your Higher Education Marketing Strategy

studentsFinding new and creative ways to market your college or university can be challenging, especially if you’re working within a rather restrictive budget. The good news is, there is a valuable resource already available to you that won’t cost much, if anything, to leverage. We’re talking about tapping into your existing students as well as alumni and incorporating their data into your marketing strategy. Here’s how.

Analyze Student Data – First and foremost, you must gather as much pertinent information as possible about who your students are and, more importantly, why they’re attracted to your higher education institution as well as the specific program they’ve chosen. This can be obtained by going through admissions documents and transcripts.

Develop Student Personas – Once you’ve gathered information about which students are attracted to which programs, you can then hone your marketing efforts in each of these areas to better reach future prospects. For example, if your analysis reveals that your Masters in Psychology program may draw in female students aged 25-30 while your program on Computer Information Systems attracts more male students between the ages of 35-55, you’ll want to tailor your marketing approach to the needs and wants of each of those groups.

Determine the Best Approach – With student personas in hand, you can then focus your efforts on developing the appropriate tone and value proposition for each segment of your target audience. The marketing strategy for each program should properly match the ideal student that would be attracted to that program, based on demographics and other details you uncovered through your analysis.

Leverage Existing Students and Alumni – Your marketing pitch for each program can be made much more dynamic and engaging by including pictures, quotes, testimonials and video clips from those who are either currently enrolled or have previously graduated. Your prospects may derive more value and place trust in the input of other students over the marketing content produced by the school itself.

Share Content via Social Channels – There are a number of effective ways to launch and promote your higher education marketing plan, but one of the most powerful is social media. Once you’ve got your material (i.e. like the content surrounding current and former students), make sure you’re getting it out there via all of your school’s social networks. This could potentially reach hundreds of thousands of prospects in mere seconds and it’s completely free.

In the competitive landscape of higher education, finding new ways to reach more potential students is essential to ongoing and future success. Leveraging the student data that you have on hand to develop, create and disseminate quality content can help you achieve this goal for your institution.

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