The Digital Age
From enrollment to advancement, there’s no denying that the digital age has significantly impacted the way schools and universities can communicate effectively. Adding to this issue, the overall media landscape has dramatically changed for students and education marketers alike. Nowadays, it’s almost second nature for people to read something from the palm of their hand even when a printed version is sitting right in front of them.
Of course, print communications will never go away, but the role that it plays within your marketing toolkit has already noticeably changed. Unlike the days when students would patiently wait for pamphlets and brochures from their dream schools to arrive in their mailbox, today’s students are now taking the initiative to seek out the information they want, when and how they want it.
Nevertheless, universities still rely on older methods that aren’t as effective with a new generation of people who are used to getting personalized communications. Institutions across the nation are still slow to adopt technology in this fast tech world. With decreases in tuition revenue and a downward trend in alumni participating in giving, schools must reconsider how they execute their communications plans.
“Students are still applying to college, but the way they find them, research them, and choose one to attend has changed. Instead of waiting for answers to come to them, they’re seeking information out themselves. Prospective applicants and students are turning to the internet for information regularly and predictably—it’s your job to be their answer.”
4 Reasons to Go Digital
Let your audiences engage how they want, when they want
Nowadays, students and alumni are used to being able to access the information they want, however they want. Unlike the past, the research and selection process for prospective students is on-demand and self-directed. Give them a chance to direct their college journey and explore, interact, and converse with their preferred content to their preferences.
A necessity for the mobile age
We are now living in the reality of a mobile-first world. Mobile-friendliness is no longer an option but a necessity. According to the Global Web Index, the typical digital consumer owns an average of 3.23 devices, and for Gen Zers, it’s up to 5. Fifty-five percent of them are on their smartphones for 5+ hours a day, and some universities have even begun catering to their browsing habits with mobile-friendly college applications.
Visually tell your school’s story
There’s a reason why digital storytelling is all the rage these days. Most university marketing can sound remarkably similar, so it’s essential to make your brand stand out. It’s no secret that stories and visuals are scientifically proven to be more memorable and engaging. Using visuals to tell your school’s story more authentically can be a huge draw in the age of social media.
Use data to make informed decisions
The increasingly competitive admissions landscape means universities can no longer afford to lose out on any of their leads and prospects to their competitors. Digital content gives universities the power to perform closed-loop reporting, as the numbers can be used to further optimize content that is more likely to move leads down the admissions pipeline. This allows progressive institutions to measure, target, and engage like never before.