4. Be Discoverable
Your school may have a great web presence, but aside from Googling your school’s name, can people find your website? For example, if you have a great agricultural program, does your school show up through search terms like “agricultural research school on the East Coast?” Conduct keyword research and structure your on- and offsite efforts so your school is easy to find online. If you want to increase student engagement without waiting for your search engine rankings to naturally increase, then you should also consider spending money on paid search.
5. Give Free Classes
Giving course content away for free is a great way to grow your school’s brand, both online and off. Top universities, including MIT and Stanford, post free academic courses online. Not only does this establish your school as a trendsetter, it gives prospective students – and the world – a glimpse of your top quality curriculum and professors. And when your online fans decide they want to go back to school and get their advanced degrees, your school will be top of mind.
6. Retarget with Ads
There’s a good chance that if they don’t already have an existing connection, prospects may not connect with your school on their first visit to your website. Retargeting customized ads through other websites that people visit – not associated with your own – keeps your brand relevant to them. Once you have someone’s attention online, whether it be a prospective student or alumni, following them on the web with retargeted ads can easily convert them into an applicant or donor.
7. Integrate Online and Offline Efforts
Yes, students are glued to their smartphones and laptops more than ever, but that doesn’t mean they don’t see posters at the student union or pick up free t-shirts at student activity fairs. It’s important to utilize your offline marketing efforts to push your audience to connect with your school’s online presence.
As you grow your online brand, pay close attention to both your school’s online and social analytics. These metrics will show you how users are engaging with your school, ultimately providing the insights you need to improve your online presence and reach your overall marketing goals.
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