Grow Traffic to Your Higher Ed Content With a Personalized Marketing Strategy

August 1st, 2022 by Jeanne Lobman

Key Insights

  • Just like other businesses, higher education institutions need to use marketing tools and strategies to broaden awareness of their brand and attract new students.
  • Education marketing can help a higher education institution to present relevant, personalized information to prospective students, which in turn spurs their interest in enrollment.
  • When you use data to better understand prospective students and provide them with tailor-made content, they will be more likely to engage with you directly on the content you produce.

When prospective students look for new schools online, they often focus their searches on programs and institutions that will help them achieve their educational and professional goals. The higher education market is extremely competitive, so it can be challenging for prospects to navigate their options and find the right program.

With a personalized marketing strategy, your higher education institution can more effectively promote your program offerings, highlight what sets you apart from the competition, and attract more students.

Student at university holding textbooks

What Is Education Marketing?

Like businesses, higher education institutions need to use marketing tools and strategies to broaden awareness of their brand and reach new students. In addition to traditional marketing techniques, schools also use digital marketing to increase traffic to their websites, giving prospective students valuable information about their programs and benefits. Education marketing efforts on the web often include search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, content creation, and outreach using social media and email.

Benefits of Education Marketing

Brand recognition

Education marketing helps schools increase awareness of their brand, which can be especially useful for attracting new students. The more visible, compelling, and reputable a school’s brand is online— and out in the world — the more that students will be interested in attending.

Lead generation

One of the primary goals of any marketing strategy is lead generation, gathering contact information from potential consumers. Education marketing can help a school to present relevant, personalized information to prospective students, encouraging them to provide information via website form submissions, content downloads, or calls to the school. This allows the school to identify and develop a list of prospective students to engage with throughout the marketing funnel.

What Is a Personalized Marketing Strategy?

To stand out from competitors, businesses have started to ramp up their marketing efforts by using personalized marketing strategies. Personalized marketing uses data collected from consumers to deliver brand messages tailored to individual prospects. When educational institutions use personalized marketing strategies, they get the chance to know more about prospective students—their interests, browsing behaviors, and search terms, for example—and can then market their brand to them more effectively.

This attention to detail is paying off for brands across the globe. According to SmartHQ, 72% of consumers claim that they respond to marketing messages that are exclusively crafted to their choices.

Benefits of Using a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Education Marketing Content

Gain a better understanding of prospective students

When an educational institution uses a personalized marketing strategy, they learn more about their prospective students’ interests, habits, and desires. This crucial information helps higher education marketers develop smarter marketing strategies and create student-centric journeys through the marketing funnel, giving schools an advantage over competitors when it comes to enticing and recruiting new students. It can also help schools tailor their program offerings and incentives to better match what incoming generations of new students look for in their higher education options.

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential consumers in order to nurture them through the student’s journey. When schools use data to better understand prospective students, they can more effectively market to them as they transition from interested prospects to enrolled students.

Prospective student engagement

When you use data to better understand prospective students and provide them with tailor-made, personalized content, they will be more likely to engage with the content you produce. Targeting users with relevant content leads to a 73% higher conversion rate, according to Aberdeen. Increased engagement is a good sign that prospects are interested and can be nurtured toward a final decision.

Prospective student social sharing

If your content is useful and engaging, it’s also more likely that prospective students will share it using social media and word-of-mouth. This is a great way to increase awareness of your brand and have your content distributed organically to other prospective students, even those who may not yet be in your personalized marketing strategy.

Prospective student retention

A personalized marketing strategy enables you to build closer relationships with prospective students. This helps to retain them from their initial interest in your institution to the moment they decide to enroll.

Professor giving lecture in a college lecture hall

Basics of Implementing a Personalized Marketing Strategies for Higher Education Institutions

Student personas

Student personas are semi-fictional profiles that mimic the demographic information, goals, and challenges of real prospective students you’re trying to reach and recruit. Personas are a great way to refine your messaging across all marketing tactics, improve your content strategy, and increase applications.

Remarketing through digital ads based on actions and/or funnel stage

Remarketing tailors digital ads to prospective students who have already shown interest by visiting pages on a school’s website or interacting with other brand content. This form of re-engagement is useful for nurturing prospects through the marketing funnel and keeping them interested in your brand.

Program-specific email nurture

Having data about your prospective students’ interests enables you to send them program-specific emails. These are far more engaging than generalized emails, and they give students valuable information about programs they’re interested in, which helps to nurture them as they consider enrollment.

Action-driven email nurture

Emails can also encourage recipients to take action that furthers their engagement with your brand. For example, effective action-driven emails may include a clickable link to a new blog post or video, an invitation to sign up for an event, or an opportunity to start a conversation with a student advisor.

Appropriate calls to action

Calls to action in emails and other communications should always be appropriate for the intended recipient. A call to action for a prospective student who is earlier along in the marketing funnel might ask them to request more information about a program, while a call to action for a prospect who’s in later stages of the marketing funnel might ask them to begin filling out an application.

The Education Marketing Experts at Search Influence

A personalized marketing strategy enables your educational institution to reach and engage prospective students. Our team of experts at Search Influence will help you to develop a strong marketing strategy and provide you with the digital marketing tools you’ll need to broaden your audience, including SEO, analytics and lead tracking, and content marketing.

To learn more about the services we offer, fill out our online contact form.



Lecture Hall