When colleges see a drop in student enrollment, they often enter panic mode. Higher institutions exist because of students, so a steady drop in enrollment could spell trouble down the road. Not to mention, a smaller applicant pool sometimes leads to less qualified students and less competition, two things that do not help colleges evolve.

If you’re like any other college out there, two of your most important objectives are to get more students and increase student engagement. As important as this is, you don’t want to exhaust everything you have chasing after these goals. You must know how to work smarter, not harder.

To help you make the best use of your time and resources, here are higher education marketing trends that are worth implementing into your strategy.

Leverage Social Influencers

Some of your best marketing tools are right under your nose. Prospective students like hearing from current students because their feedback is relatable and genuine. There are many ways to ask students on campus to share their experiences, but we’ll share two of our favorites.

First, you can ask tech-savvy students to take over a social media account for the day, something called a “takeover”. Second, you can create content that is relevant to your audience and ask social influencers to promote it. Because this content is not coming directly from your school, it tends to be well-received by prospects.

Share Stories through Video Marketing

People love watching videos. They’re fun, engaging and emotionally entertaining. In fact, many people who watch video content don’t even realize they’re watching ads!

To get students thinking about your school, create a video that tells a relevant and relatable story. Some of the most powerful stories come from students who beat all odds and found success at your university. Use real people to make your stories more powerful.

Encourage User-Generated Content

Remember when word-of-mouth recommendations were enough to get brands noticed? The same idea still exists today, though in a different form. Encouraging people to create content around your higher institution is like asking them to put in a good word for you.

There are a few ways to encourage user-generated content:

  • Create a hashtag that students can use when posting content to social media

  • Ask for reviews on social media or sites like Niche.com

  • Request specific content from students

  • Create a student ambassador program

  • Ask students to host a live Q&A on social media

  • Engage alumni – ask them to share where they are today

Some of your best resources for higher education marketing are sitting right next to you. Use these assets to promote your school, engage more students and increase applicants. The above methods will create deeper and more meaningful connections with the people who matter most.