The relevance of digital marketing for higher education

by James Gurd on 31 August 2010
Education is highly competitive and with the Government having announced a funding cut of £950m 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. Furthermore, there's an import mature student market that needs to be considered. Are mature students more or less likely to research their options in more detail before making a decision? Either way they will need information to help them make a decision.  Choosing your education path is a pivotal moment in the your life and certainly shapes your future. Digital marketing enables direct communication and consistent dialogue to influence people throughout their buying cycle.  Interactive online technology such as LiveChat can be used in conjunction with marketing campaigns to ensure students get the information they need when they need it. How can higher education brands increase engagement with their customers? We think there is a persuasion battle to be won for higher education. Students (and indeed their parents) need to be persuaded that the place they choose offers them the best solution for their unique needs. Not all students have identical demands; not all are driven purely by academic achievement, extra-curricular strength can be equally persuasive. Engagement is key and digital marketing provides multiple options for increasing communication and discussion. Dominating search results is important Only 8% of users go past the 3rd page of search results and 68% change the term if they don’t find what they want on the first page. It is logical, therefore, that higher education marketers need to master site optimisation and ensure that their webpages are prominent for relevant keyphrase searches. In the UK this inevitable will focus on Google given its continued market dominance, though due attention to Bing is also required. It’s a social thing In the words of MGMT, the youth are starting to change. Traffic from social networks to brand websites is increasing and social media is international. That’s a boon for universities and colleges with an international prospectus and a lucrative overseas market. Surely social media gives such establishments the opportunity to connect with potential customers and influence their decision-making? Our Webcredible article on digital marketing for higher education is coming out tomorrow so come back to read more on this. In the article we look at how higher education can embrace digital media to influence their customers and attract the right people to their courses.

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