Education is highly competitive and with the Government having announced a funding cut of ï¿½950m for British Universities over the next 3 years, it will only get tougher. 15-24 year olds make up 16% of the total PC-based Internet population in the UK but that figure leaps to 25% for mobile access.
As teenagers spend more time online and using smart mobile devices, education faces the challenges of finding new ways to grab attention and build engagement. In recognition of this, British Council now offers an e-marketing workshop to help education marketers understand how students select education products online (next course in London in November 2010).
How can higher education brands increase engagement with their customers? How can colleges win the persuasion battle and convince students that there is the right blend of skills and support to help them excel? How can they tap into the lucrative overseas student market?
iProspect research shows that 62% of searchers click on links within the first page of results. It's logical that to be front of mind, you have to be highly visible on SERPs; rely on your marketing efforts, not on the propensity of searchers to sift through pages of results because we all have attention deficit issues online.
A few ideas:
Concentrate on your brand, location, departments and individual courses. In the last 12 months, in the UK alone there were approximately 390,000 searches for "psychology university" and 320,000 searches for "psychology courses".
Traffic from social networks to brand websites is increasing. 99% of Generation Y users (aged 18-24) have a profile on a social networking site, though Twitter adoption in the under 24s is a slower burn. Higher education will benefit from the fact that social media is international - the key networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare enable local content to be dispersed to a global audience.
Here are some ideas worth exploring:
Retargeting enables you to serve targeted online adverts to people who have visited your website when they browse elsewhere, using advertising networks and their media partners.
For example, Acme College has a new visit from a potential student who searched for "engineering degree" in Google. The student visits the engineering department landing page, then leaves and continues the web session on another website. Acme then serves adverts promoting its engineering courses via 3rd party websites to the same student to keep their message front of mind.
Evidence from the retail market suggests that 42.9% consumers who see retargeted adverts then return to the original website.
There are some interesting articles available online for further reading. Check out the following: