Educational marketing is critical for private schools, local colleges, and larger universities. While one of the primary goals of marketing for educational institutions is to increase brand awareness and get students to enroll in their programs, it is also important to think beyond the recruitment period. Digital marketing companies contribute significantly to student retention efforts by developing strategies that extend beyond the initial enrollment period and highlight the benefits of continuing to attend your institution’s educational programs.

Understanding Student Retention

Student retention rates are based on how many students continue to attend a specific college or university. While student retention rates took a dip during the pandemic, things are looking up for educational programs that continue to foster strong relationships with current enrollees.

A recent study found that around 67.2% of students who entered a program in the fall of 2021 returned by the fall of the following year. While this number may look good, it’s better when it is higher for educational institutions that hope to get the highest ROI on their marketing efforts. Retaining more students simply means that the funds put towards recruitment go further, but there are a few common challenges to watch out for in the changing educational landscape.

Today, educational institutions must stay on the cutting edge of technology to continue to attract students who are relying on digital information to make important decisions. This is where working with a digital marketing agency helps your higher education institution continue to meet its students where they are most likely to be receptive to information about upcoming programs, classes, and events that influence their decision to stay enrolled.

Sign for student related services on campus | Student Enrollment retintionTaking a Look At the Evolving Education Landscape

The education industry has often relied on alumni loyalty to help retain students. In the past, many families simply expected their children to follow in their footsteps. Or, fewer schools in an area meant that some students stayed in programs simply due to a lack of options.

The constantly evolving education landscape has led to students being able to enroll in programs throughout the world. Online learning opportunities have opened up the option for students to choose and stay in educational programs that might have once been impossible. Staying competitive in a growing educational market is critical for maintaining a strong student body that fosters a desire to finish your institution’s programs.

Developing Marketing Strategies for Student Retention

Marketing strategies for student retention need to serve as a direct line of targeted communication to students and their families. Digital marketing agencies use a variety of methods to reach students including using social media posts, emails, and other high-tech ways to keep current enrollees informed and engaged of upcoming events and learning opportunities.

Our digital marketing agency also utilizes personalized messages and content that reaches the interests of your school’s current students. Creating strategies that leverage technology to meet students’ needs is also at the heart of every marketing plan we develop.

Analyzing Current Case Studies of Success Stories

Identifying the challenges that today’s students face is an essential part of a strong student retention marketing plan. Harvard University’s current focus on supporting first-generation students through the provision of guidance from alumni and staff members that begins before admission and continues throughout a student’s entire educational program targets 15% of its population that would otherwise be at risk of leaving the school after the first year.

In another case study, Wiley University Services and Utica University formed a partnership that aided student retention by using several important strategies. Using behavioral analytics, admissions representatives learned the communication styles of students who had questions about their programs allowing them to adjust their strategies to meet their needs. Learning to identify student concerns early and provide effective solutions to resolve them helped to increase retention rates by 10% over a three-year period.

Measuring the Impact of Marketing On Student Retention

Data is power when it comes to educational marketing. Digital marketing agencies look at several data points to determine how well new campaigns and strategies work to improve student retention. For instance, they’ll look at the churn rate, which is the number of students who leave your educational entity to attend a different program at another institution.

On top of retention rates, a digital marketing company may also look deeper for KPIs that might be overlooked otherwise. For instance, our team can dig into website analytics to find out when and how students are accessing information about the services your institution offers to current students. Conversion rates also provide insight into how well a marketing strategy leads to direct action from students.

Overcoming Common Education Marketing Challenges and Pitfalls

One of the biggest marketing challenges that educational institutions currently face is getting students excited about continuing to stay in an academic program. After the initial excitement of the admissions period is over, it’s common for student interest to lag. Students who feel unsupported are also more likely to leave an educational program before they graduate. Making sure to anticipate student needs is one way to overcome these pitfalls, and digital marketing agencies conduct research that allows them to implement strategies that are designed to conquer challenges that impact student retention.

Anticipating Future Trends In Educational Marketing

Emerging technologies are changing student expectations, and your educational institution needs to be available to help students at any hour of the day or night. Using AI, chatbots and other forms of technology makes it possible to meet every student’s needs, even when the primary support staff might be away from their desks for the evening.

Using ethical marketing practices is also important as more students and their families are increasing their awareness of how educational programs operate. Building trust should always be at the heart of every educational marketing campaign.

Marketing campaigns are important at every point along the educational pathway, and our digital marketing agency can drive your program’s student retention rates higher. When you choose to consult with our digital marketing team, we’re able to delve deep into what your program’s current students need to succeed and develop a plan that gets them excited to continue to enroll in each new term’s programs.

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