You would surely agree that it takes a long timespan, trust, and well-wishing testimonials to finally signup for a college. What does this mean for you, as a marketer who promotes Higher education lead generation and education courses? This means that you will need to compensate for the low conversion rates and high lead volumes. These become the most make or break factor for your business. And to whiz up the right numbers, here is a complete guide to Higher education lead generation.
Marketing any education course has its own complications and difficulties mainly when it comes to a country like India. Like most other factors, admissions regarding any educational courses are always a huge family deal. Many parents and students always dream of getting admissions from renowned educational institutions.
You can find every third parent praying to God constantly about the education of their child. Marketers understand all these aspects very well. Several Higher education lead generation companies in India are offering top-notch marketing services to well-known organizations.
The marketers are very well aware of the current market trends. They have chosen contemporary marketing strategies to increase awareness among the audience. But it is visible that only some are performing it sincerely. However, several Internet Marketing services are available where they can surely help you grow your business in every direction possible.
Know your student
Before they were graduates, they were students. To understand your successful graduates, you must learn about who they were as students. As such, the first step in building a fruitful lead generation campaign is analyzing who your successful students are. One great way to gain insight into your students’ character is to survey them. Keep it short and simple, but be sure that it includes the information you need.
Once you establish the info, cross reference the data with the students that have been the most successful. Do not forget that extracting the data on the students who have not been the most successful is also crucial. It may become apparent that specific channels are producing enrollments but not successful students.
Define your message
We have been seeing that someone is always around to sell something all the time. This is the reason that genuine things often miss out on this traffic of information. Schools are too often over-promoting their brand either online or offline to get enrollments. Rather than inundating them with the information, they are not looking for you must provide relevant and original content. This will help them to decide the best outcome and likely your school.
Wait for the students to see that you have an interest in this being a mutually good deal. They will feel comfortable in deciding that your school will suit them well. Promote the things that are positive about your school. And also let them know that you are not selling and understand that the student experience is essential too.
There are many more ways that could help you out in getting qualified Higher education lead generation. Let us learn about them more breifly.
Various search portals for course and colleges
These portals are a crucial source for Higher education lead generation to your organization. They are widely in use by all classes of people like students and parents. These portals come up with counseling support, educative articles, discussion portals most of which are generally free of cost. Surely these all will make you generate high-quality traffic and increase your ranking on search engines where students frequently visit.
These portals also render free listing services along with some marketing choices. These can be running campaigns, forwarding emails to students for a special category of students, etc. The portals you need to target depend upon the course that you offer for example MBA in foreign Universities.
Magazines and Competitive preparation websites
Websites and magazines are the best sources for the ones who are planning to prepare for different competitive exams. The visitors of the websites are serious regarding specific courses and these portals result in quality lead generation. These also render direct promoting options to your college. You can also run advertisement campaigns by using Google Ads. You can research several websites on the internet where you can just refer to get some more clarity.
Discussion forums related to trending education topics
Discussion forums like these unite all the students who are preparing for a specific exam at one place. This allows the students to interact efficiently with their fellow mates and learn from each other. These forums usually comprise
- Interviews with well-known experts
- News related to education and courses
- Other data to engage the students
- Interactive banners regarding trending courses
- Sponsored articles
- Sponsored usernames
They also offer several marketing choices to boost the aim of Higher education lead generation. Moreover, you can get more leads for free by setting up profiles on such platforms. By providing answers to the queries you can also attract students to your portal.
Career Magazines and portals
These magazines and portals contain content related to careers and tools that help to focus on career. They also render several advertising choices for effective Higher education lead generation. The content helps to choose the desiring course and perfect college that suits a student. These contents target both parents as well as the students.
It provides a one-halt solution for those students who are having diverse backgrounds. It is one of the Higher education lead generation sources and acts as a great revenue driver for your Institution. There are also complete details about those institutions that offer less mainstream courses.
Due to broad outreach, these platforms can be a good source of leads for colleges offering a bouquet of courses. These portals act as a single means to give you exposure to students from diverse backgrounds. Also, they create content even for students interested in niche fields. These are the must-try options for colleges offering less mainstream courses that do not have a dedicated self online space.
While campus portals platforms are good for exposure, they might not get you high-quality leads. This is because most people going through such sites may or may not be interested in pursuing higher education. Besides, you must give it a miss if their parents are the key decision-makers for your course. People reach such platforms after researching well.
Many coaching institutions let you advertise on their own website and also offer other advertisement options such as list slots. This era has a youth that runs towards coaching institutions. For a decade the coaching institutions have outnumbered the deemed educational institutions.
People can not afford luxury but eventually, they will prefer spending money on coaching institutions. The same fact revolves around. They will research coaching institutes lurking around to compare and find the best. Your advertisements on the coaching institute’s website will help you get better reach over the audience. The results will benefit you with a significant Return on Investment.
Promoting through search engines can help you stand out using the appropriate keywords. It can satisfy your long term goals because of other investments made by you. You must provide reliable content to the users that can cover every minute detail of your work and services. This will surely grab the attention of customers and help to build trust among them.
Social Media Marketing and advertising
Social media undoubtedly always has a very large user base and a lot of information about various activities and interests. They can offer economical and immensely targeted solutions to your business. You can market your business on several social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Also, you can market your business efficiently on LinkedIn where you can find a wide variety of quality audiences.
Advertising on search engines
Search engines offer many advertising options to businesses such as advertisements on the search results page, partner websites, etc. They come with tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you find the keywords or search terms your prospects use. Besides, they also have access to immense data about their users and their browsing patterns. This helps them to offer highly focused targeting options to make sure your advertisement reaches the right people on time.
Google is the most visited website in the country and across the world. It offers many advertising options through Google Adwords:
- Display Network: These advertisements appear on relevant websites, applications, etc. in Google’s partner network. These include everyone who signs up with Google AdSense to monetize their website or application. You can also choose specific sites you want to target, so long as they have enables AdSense.
- Search Engine Network: These advertisements appear on the top or the side of Google’s search results for particular keywords specified.
- Search with Google Display Select: These advertisements appear both in the search results as well as in its display network. However, you carefully target the display network chosen.
- TrueView Video advertisements: These video advertisements appear before or in the middle of a YouTube video and also display:
- Network videos
Yahoo and Bing are other search engines that see significantly lesser traffic than Google. Therefore, these are cheaper to put on search or display advertisements. These services operate upon a pay per click or view model. This means it charges only when your advertisement receives a click or view. The cost per click or view depends upon multiple factors such as industry, competition, etc.
Advertising on Social Networks
Popular social networks have a large user base and access a lot of data on their interests and activities. As such, they are able to offer inexpensive and highly targeted advertising solutions to businesses. Higher education marketers can advertise on the following social media platforms depending on the kind of course they offer.
Facebook advertisements are usually the cheapest and can help you a lot in Higher education lead generation. Since users from across all backgrounds are on Facebook, it is definitely a must-try for Higher education marketers worldwide. Facebook’s targeting options altogether are more useful and straightforward for education marketers. You can target multiple people who have sone specific courses, attended specific schools, or completed specific education levels.
Twitter does not provide a direct targeting option for education businesses. But, you can still use it to reach out to a large number of prospects. That too by targeting specific keywords or interests. You can also create your own tailored audience based on your custom email lists. Both Facebook and Twitter offer lead advertisements that make it all easier for you to deliver higher performing advertisements.
If you are marketing a course that could be useful for people with work experience LinkedIn will suit you. It can a great way to connect with relevant professionals. For example, let us say that you are searching for leads in the Executive MBA program. Then Software engineering professionals with 3+ years of experience can be a good audience for lead generation.
Being a photo-sharing website, Instagram is a favorite with people in creative fields, such as fashion, art, etc. If you are marketing courses in such fields, then you can run advertisements on Instagram. This will help you out in reaching out to your target audience with ease.
Tracking Social Networks
Quora and Reddit are two major platforms where prospects regularly post questions about various colleges and courses. You need to keep track of these media networks and answer helpfully whenever possible. For example, on Quora, you can appoint a spokesperson for your company. He will be responsible to answer all the questions related to your course/college as well as the associated exams.
Make sure that you do not pitch your institute in each post and also avoid using the same context everywhere. These are the obvious red flags for spam. You can also create a Quora topic about your institution to organize queries in a better way.
Higher education lead generation in the long run
Higher education lead generation without advertising is hard because of immense competition. But, it is possible if you plan your marketing strategies with the long run in mind.
Firstly, you need to create a professional, credible, informative, and conversion-optimized website. Initially, it will generate leads only through the traffic coming in from your advertisements on various websites. You can easily convert these hits into leads by enabling live chats, email subscription options, free consultation on signup, etc.
However, you establish your brand name your site will become an independent source of Higher education lead generation. More and more people search for your institute and land up on your website, organically, and not simply through advertisements.
Advertising with search engines can help you get the top slots for keywords that you want to target. But, that can not be a viable long term strategy because of the expenses involved. This is because ranking organically for search results will get you higher conversion rates. The people can easily distinguish between the advertisements and the actual results.
Ranking organically for the keywords that your prospects are searching for is a complex task. For this, you can :
- Experiment with the nature of the content, depending upon the budget and target audience.
- Write articles about the various financial options a student can consider sponsoring their higher education degree.
- Upload recorded sessions of a few of your classes on your website or YouTube channel. This gives your prospects, a clear idea of what an institution offers to its students. This can be immensely useful in the process of making valuable decisions.
- Invite career counselors to answer common queries either through a live chat or a webinar.
Apart from helping with your rankings, maintaining a website will increase your trustworthiness among students. Unlike your advertising efforts, your blogging endeavors will provide actual value to the prospects. Therefore, people will perceive it more favorably than the former.
You can use the social media platforms to engage with your prospects. You can:
- Share links to your blog posts and videos on them
- Run quizzes and giveaways based on informative topics
- Organize online events such as hashtag based QnA. For example, dedicating one day a week where you will answer all MBA queries hashtagged with your institution’s name.
You can sign up with online course providers like Coursera, Udemy, etc. to provide free/paid courses on various subjects. Providing free online courses will get you wider exposure in the audience. Paid courses on the other hand will help you generate additional revenue on your campaign.
However, whether you opt to offer free or paid courses, this can be an effective strategy if used wisely. For example, let us say that you provide a free basic marketing course for entry-level professionals. This can be your chance to build your credibility for your flagship Executive MBA program.
Strategies to boost up your enrollment
Today’s students rely on the web to discover, evaluate, and choose their college or university. They have high expectations about what they will find and seek an authentic, personalized experience before entering college. Glossy viewbooks and billboards have their value. But as you have probably realized there has been a monumental shift in how people search for the perfect school.
To make your Higher education lead generation plan a success you need to embrace the speed of change. You will need to find some ways to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s dive deeper into these crucial Higher education lead generation strategies.
Social media lead advertisements
You might already be using social media advertisements to drive your leads. They are an excellent way to target your customers and deliver customized content. But the question arises that how can you improve your conversions? Lead advertisements are the answer to this.
Let us say a prospective student seen a Facebook advertisement for your degree program. Without using lead advertisements you need to navigate them away from Facebook to fill up a form on a website. This will provide you with more information that may or may not be mobile-friendly. It does not sound like a big deal, but your customer might be a younger one on a smartphone. For him, it can be an unexpected hassle, especially if the form queries require a lot of information.
This is where lead advertisements come in. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now even LinkedIn offer lead advertisements. They make it easier for students to sign up for your offers directly within the social media platform. Plus, when a user clicks on a lead advertisement, it automatically fills in the relevant information previously provided. The use of an autofill form creates a seamless experience, which improves the conversion rates.
Creating the right mix of your contents
You know it well that your content will be the driver of all your Higher education lead generation efforts. Content marketing creates three times as many leads as traditional marketing strategies. But there is a ton of content noise on the internet. How can you rise up above all that competition?
Instead of focusing on the topic, start thinking about your demographic and what format would grab their attention. Something more interactive might align well with the young generation’s preferences for applications and games. For example, quizzes are very flaming these days. Have you ever thought about using them to generate Higher education lead generation? You could create a fun quiz about the campus culture. Or a quiz that matches their interests to your degree courses might do good. It would be easier to reuse the content you already have with you.
There exist many tools for creating online quizzes that work with a wider range of companies. You can embed these tools on your website or you can turn it into a Facebook advertisement using custom Frameworks. They seamlessly add new valuable leads to your email marketing software. Plus, when someone finishes a quiz, you can send them to your landing page. You can also glue some tracking scripts to them you might need.
Integrating chatbots to your website
A recent study brought out the fact that the digital messaging is the primary source of communication of Millennials. Yet for many institutions, phone calls and emails are still a primary source of contact with prospective students.
The majority of your target market consists of millennials who use smartphones. Chatbots offer a great opportunity to meet the experiences of such users. Building chatbots gives the institutions’ websites the same advantages as an eCommerce website. Prospective applicants can interact with them at any time. This will help them to get helpful and accurate information about the courses and programs. The system will guide them well during the application process.
With the chatbots growing rapidly in popularity, there are many apps entering the marketplace. In fact, there are some designed in a custom way specifically for universities. They offer templates for common student questions about enrollment and campus services to help you begin with. Jumping on the chatbot trend will give your institution a clear differentiator as the potential students consider you.
Segmenting and personalizing your email list
No one wants to feel like they are getting a form letter. And for a generation that grows up with increasingly sophisticated marketing, they have come to expect a bit of personalization. Generic or irrelevant email marketing could turn them off before they even take their first step on your campus.
You may already employ some level of segmentation. But for greater effectiveness, break up your list even more based on what they have done or what have not. Have they requested the information, but have not signed up for a tour? Have they created an online account to apply, but have not submitted the application? Create an email for this. Your messages should speak your cause as directly as possible to their current situation.
Certainly, this requires a certain level of technology. You will need a smart way to capture the right information and identify the triggers that send personalized emails. Marketing automation tools like Marketo and HubSpot are a great place to start with. They are the leaders in the industry and have experience in working with higher education clients.
Offering valuable content
Downloadable, high authority content gives your prospects useful information that will help them to make the decision to enroll. This is a great tactic for initiating your contact. You build trust when people appreciate and value what you offer for free of cost. The best leads often come up from these types of content. Here are some which you should consider:
Infographics help to display the facts and statistics in a visually appealing format. Readers are more likely to digest and retain the information through infographics. This makes it a great way to spark interest in your school. People often enjoy sharing these infographics on social media as well. This means that you can spread brand awareness and get great returns for your effort.
Newsletters give you the opportunity to deliver a piece of concise content. This content is full of information that your readers can not typically find together in one place. Ask prospects for their email addresses on your website and follow up with newsletters. When you cover a variety of topics that are relevant to your readers, they appreciate it well.
A webinar is a live meeting or lecture that takes place over the web. You can offer a live discussion, presentation, demonstration, or any kind of instructional session. Think about a common series of questions that new students have and create a webinar that clears their doubts.
Ebooks and downloadable content come with many benefits. Firstly, it fills a need for your prospects. They appreciate this information and because of that, they learn to trust your brand. It is also beneficial because you can ask for an email address in exchange for a download. Securing that email will allow you to continue reaching out to your new leads which you can do with newsletters.
With this content on your side, you can effectively turn prospective users into qualified leads.
Creating quality landing pages
A landing page is a page on your website that someone lands on after clicking a link from another page. Sometimes they consist of paid advertisements. This makes sure that the people who click the advertisements go to the appropriate spot on the website. A tailored landing page will ensure your leads go to the page of your website relevant to their needs. A landing page will ensure that the users do not get lost and quickly find the genuine information.
Enhancing social media advertising
You can use blogs, pictures, professors, and testimonials, to build awareness for your school, drive applications, campus visits, and more. Many social networks prioritize the content from a user’s friends and family vs content from anyone the user follows. This is why many organizations advertise on social media and you should as well. With social media advertisements you can create campaigns that use the following targeting features:
These campaigns can help your education facility to reach users with the most interest in your organization. You can advertise to users that visited your website. And also to the users that came to your campus during the tour day. Take advantage of social media and start using it to generate leads for your organizations.
The most crucial goal for any educational institution is increasing enrollment. Within the competitive marketplace, you need to have the most effective Higher education lead generation strategies. This will help you to attract qualified students and meet your enrollment goals each year.
You also need to decipher between students who are only browsing your website and those who have an actual interest. You can find this data from the analytics of your site. The right generation strategies will help you home in on the right prospects. This means you can get the most value out of your strategies.
Before digital marketing you could not target your prospective students based on what they need. Instead, you had to use a handful of campaigns to attract new students based on vague criteria. Today, however you can separate the leads and target them differently based on the analytics data. This will provide you with a better Return on Investment of the time and resources.