2019 Trends for Higher Education Marketing

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Imagine if colleges and universities marketed their programs the same way today as they did 25 years ago. Students would have to depend on books and magazines to learn about higher institutions. Weird, right?

As technology changes, universities have to adjust how they market their programs and services. Most higher institutions have an online presence that includes a website, social media pages, videos, interactive campus tours, and more.

Curious to know what’s in store for 2019? Hopefully you are, because once again, things are changing. Below are the key trends for higher education marketing in 2019.

Personal voice assistants are changing how students search for information.

More than half of households have voice assistants in their homes. As convenient as these devices are, they only recite information from the first search result. As more people use this technology, information on the second, third, and fourth results won’t get any visibility. To benefit from this technology, your website must rank exceptionally well in the search engines.

Lectures are being repurposed as marketing material.

Live-stream your professors’ best lectures to give prospective students an idea of your program’s quality. Millions of people can watch a live stream at one time, so this is an effective way to market your school to a wide audience. You can also use live-streaming for other campus events and immerse viewers in your environment.

High-profile endorsements are promoting their alma maters.

If you’ve ever seen community college commercials on TV, a common strategy is to interview graduates who have benefitted from their program. This is effective because it shows that real people are changing their lives by enrolling at your higher institution.

Do you have any famous alumni who have benefitted from your program? If not, consider students who overcame odds and turned their life around during their time at your school. Or, work with successful alumni who have gone on to build businesses, develop new products, etc. With rising tuition costs, students need to see that their investment will lead to tangible results.

Video advertisements are more effective than written advertisements.

People tend to learn better from images than words. Videos are immersive, which is helpful when students can’t be there to experience the school. Thanks to smartphone technology, all that is needed to create a video ad is a good camera, a microphone, and a strong internet connection. Advertise your video on your website, YouTube, and other third-party websites.

Higher education websites are becoming more mobile-friendly.

Fifty-seven percent of online traffic comes from mobile devices. Universities must ensure that their websites deliver a flawless mobile experience, otherwise visitors may leave for a different website. Here are a few quick tips to consider for your own site:

  • Choose a responsive web design

  • Include large buttons

  • Stick to standard fonts

  • Compress images and CSS

  • Turn on autocorrect forms

  • Don’t use Flash

It’s 2019, and these are some of the best ways that you can fine tune your higher education marketing strategy for the best results. Fortunately, most of these trends allow you to utilize things you already have, allowing you to do more with less.

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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