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Same message. Same time. Greater awareness.


 

Mary Lane
Effective higher ed admission and marketing strategies require alignment in terms of geography, measurable goals and timing.

Younger generation prospective college students are viewed skeptically for their idiosyncrasies and viral trends, and they are often classified as lacking the ability to make “real world” decisions.
 
However, the reality is that these prospective students have become incredibly savvy in their institutional research and hold ever-increasing power in the admission process.
 
For colleges across the country, this means that creating an effective enrollment strategy is as complex as it has ever been. The sheer volume of information and choices available to students can render your admission and marketing initiatives ineffective if they are not strategically timed and flawless in their continuity.
 
Having a wealth of options at their fingertips, prospective students will mentally file away every interaction with your institution, both those experienced in-person as well as through marketing initiatives. They use any inconsistencies, such as conflicting messaging or gaps in exposure to your brand, as a means to whittle down the overload of information to a more digestible list of choices.
 
Within this complex, always-on environment, many institutions struggle in particular at the awareness-generation level. How is it possible to get on the radar of prospective students and become a true contender for their consideration?
 
For example, your institution is looking to grow its brand awareness in a few particular regions of the country. However, those markets might be saturated with competitors with similar academic and campus life offerings as well as a more robust budget for mass-level advertising.
 
It’s a daunting task to begin the battle to cut through the noise, options, and information of your competitive market and become known to your goal audience. Your marketing and admission strategies need to be buttoned up in their cohesiveness in order to make an impact and move your prospective students to the next level of the enrollment funnel.
 

Not sure where to begin? Get started with these steps to launch an aligned and effective admission and marketing awareness strategy:

  1. Select your geographic area(s) of interest. Paid advertising costs can rack up quickly if you aren’t strategic in crafting your audience. To make the most impact, define which geographic markets are of the utmost importance for growth within the overall enrollment strategy.
     
  2. Clearly define your goals for that geographic region and the associated population. You need to answer the questions: in what stage of the enrollment funnel are they currently in and what message and/or call to action is best-fit for them to receive?
     
  3. Outline your admission team’s schedule of in-person visits, such as high school visits and college fairs. Layer this into your marketing calendar, highlighting the dates associated with the geographic regions of importance. Viewing both the admission and marketing initiatives side by side is necessary to understand the frequency of touchpoints a prospective student could experience with your institution.
     
  4. Develop your geo-targeted digital marketing strategy of paid social media and search to buffer in-person visit dates. This will run relevant content to your audience both before and after the admission visits.
An immediate upside to building in time to align your admission and marketing strategies?
 
You will be presenting a cohesive brand message that is disseminated in a clear and connected manner. Under this aligned strategy, prospective students receive the same messaging in person during a visit with your admission team as they are through paid marketing efforts.
 
Aligning the timing and messaging of these touchpoints will reinforce and deepen your institution’s brand positioning because it is consistently represented across your efforts. You are also capitalizing on top-of-mind relevancy by closing the gap of time between in-person conversations and exposure to ad placements.
 
These awareness-generating efforts will help a very observant audience of prospective students become aware of your institution and potentially earn you a place on their list of higher intent among a sea of intense higher education competition.
 

Need support strategizing, executing, and optimizing social media and search advertising to support your enrollment goals? Contact Fuseideas to explore your options!


About Us

Fuseideas is a full-service marketing agency that implements a strategic blend of technology, media, creativity and experiences to help brands connect with human beings, and ultimately compete and win market share in a rapidly-evolving digital world and chaotic cultural landscape.
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