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In higher education marketing, ensuring your budget spending has a high return on investment (ROI) is critical. If your team is shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars of marketing that seems to have little payoff, it’s time to change your strategy.

Read this guide for 12 tips on improving your marketing strategy and raising your college’s return on investment.

12 Simple Ways to Improve Your College’s Return on Investment

1. Understand Your Audience

Before starting any marketing campaign, you should understand who you’re speaking to. Instead of blasting the same message to whoever is willing to listen, colleges with the best ROI understand the need for a focused approach. There are too many potential stakeholders that colleges and universities need to market to, including current and future students, alumni, prospective educators, and more.

Plus, focusing on one audience at a time gives your marketing team more room to speak to personal experiences. Personalization is a great way to create an engaging and memorable journey, especially for potential students. By leveraging these tools, you can tailor experiences to each user based on their preferences, interests, and past behavior.

2. Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are powerful tools for connecting with prospective students, engaging current students, and increasing brand awareness. You can leverage platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn to reach new audiences while providing insights into what content resonates best.

Social media ads are also relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of advertising, which ultimately contributes to a higher marketing ROIand helps you reach many people for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.

3. Leverage the Power of Influencers

As you keep up with current trends, tap into the power of influencer-led content. Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular across higher education spaces. Typically, institutions can find two types of influencers to partner with: people who post about the university frequently but don’t necessarily have the largest following, and people with thousands of followers that occasionally post about the university.

To best capitalize off of influencer-to-student connection, institutions should pinpoint and compensate people who are easily accessible and show a vested interest in the university. Consider that 57% of students reported that conversations with student ambassadors were their most helpful resource when deciding where to apply for university.

By partnering with relevant influencers and having them promote your college or university, you can significantly increase your future earnings.

4. Utilize A/B Testing

A/B testing is an excellent way of optimizing your higher education marketing campaigns for maximum performance. By running multiple variations of your ads or website content and comparing their performance to previous campaigns, you can identify which elements are most effective at driving conversions.

This split testing method is perfect for testing many aspects of your marketing campaign, like:

  • Headlines
  • Calls to action
  • Fonts
  • Navigation links
  • Website and brochure layout, design, and copy
  • Social media post length, style, and emoji usage

5. Take Advantage of Retargeted Ads

Retargeting ads, also known as ‘‘remarketing,’’ allows you to target past website or mobile app visitors with tailored messages and encourage them to take further action, such as applying or enrolling. This strategy can be an effective way of increasing conversions while keeping costs low.

By creating targeted remarketing campaigns, you can also ensure potential students remember your college or university when considering multiple schools.

6. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an effective way of improving visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Taking a strategic approach to SEO can help you increase organic traffic and improve brand awareness.

Ensuring your website is optimized for search engines is essential to increasing your University’s marketing ROI. Optimizing your website ensures that potential students can find the information they need quickly and easily. Additionally, it will help to improve the overall user experience of your site, which can lead to more applications, donations, or other conversions.

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Learn how our graduation clips can help your marketing team.

7. Don’t Neglect Your Free Opportunities

Who said every aspect of your marketing strategy had to be digital? Don’t forget to leverage your free opportunities to market to future students and key stakeholders in person, like during career fairs and networking events or talks at high schools. Sometimes, the most effective way to motivate someone to enroll in your institution is with a warm smile and a pleasant attitude.

8. Perform Test Runs

Before fully committing to a new marketing campaign, perform test runs to ensure your messaging will resonate with a larger audience. Isolate a small target demographic to test your ideas and see the short-term results before delivering a full blast.

9. Closely Monitor Campaign Performance

Keeping a close eye on your campaign’s performance is crucial. By constantly monitoring and optimizing your campaigns at every step, you can ensure they’re consistently producing the best results. After all, you need to know what works and what doesn’t.

10. Focus on Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization should be an integral part of any higher education marketing strategy. By ensuring that your website and other digital content are optimized for mobile devices, you can ensure that potential students have a smooth, easy viewing experience. Mobile optimization can also increase your university’s ROI by improving the user experience and driving more traffic to your site.

11. Invest in Quality Analytics

Analytics tools are invaluable for understanding how visitors engage with your website or mobile app. You can gain insights into user behavior by leveraging industry-leading analytics tools like Google Analytics. They can help inform future marketing activities, and schools reporting the highest ROI for colleges benefit heavily from their improved (and accurate) marketing efforts.

12. Think Ahead

While you might have great plans for your current marketing strategy, think about how you will plan for next year and beyond. The last thing you want is for your successful strategy and high ROI to only last for a short while, so try to anticipate changes in marketing and advertising and be ready to adapt. With progressive-minded thinking, you can set your institution up for guaranteed success in the long run.

Let StageClip Help You Jumpstart Your University’s ROI Strategy

With our personalized graduation clips, your graduating students can commemorate their special day and relive their favorite moments as much as they want. They’ll feel empowered and proud of their experience at your university, and your team will benefit from an increased boost in metrics and reporting.

If you’re ready to share your school’s success and ROI with your teams and leadership, we’re here to help!

Contact Us