Inbound marketing helps universities get discovered online and make authentic connections with prospective students without resorting to outdated, interruptive, self-promotional sales tactics.
Inbound is based on the simple (and proven) premise that personalized messaging, tailored to the aspirations, interests, and concerns of your audiences will build rapport, a shared sense of values, and the trust needed to inspire inquiry.
Universities use customised inbound marketing strategies to reach and recruit students both locally and overseas. Leveraging a combination of SEO, social publishing, customised content, targeted email nurturing, and analytics, educational institutions improve their visibility in search results, engage with target audiences in meaningful and persuasive ways, and drive traffic back to their websites.
Here’s a snapshot of the inbound marketing process, which combines highly personalised content with data-driven analysis for continuously improved results.
Key Inbound Tools & Tactics
Why Should Universities Invest in Inbound Marketing for Student Recruitment?
More than ever before, students (and parents) are turning to search engines to explore and compare universities. Their goal is to single out institutions that understand their particular wants and needs, and can help them achieve their goals. What exactly are they looking for online?
They want to find high quality blog posts that match their interests and offer relevant advice. They want to see inspiring video interviews with grads who conquered similar challenges and pursued similar goals. They want a window onto your campus culture, educational approach, and values. And they want all this before setting foot on your campus or even speaking with an admissions officer.
Research shows just how important your online presence is to prospective students:
Nearly 70% research your social media – 75% say it influences their enrollment decision.
Using inbound marketing, universities can ensure just the right content gets in front of their target audiences, at just the right time. This is what drives engagement, sparks quality inquiries, and helps nurture new leads into enrolled students.
How Does ECN Help Universities Launch Effective Inbound Marketing Campaigns?
Effective inbound marketing means getting personal; learning what makes your prospective students tick, and how that aligns with your university’s core values, programs, and overall educational approach.
ECN works closely with universities to ensure each inbound campaign is customised for target audiences and for search engines. Our mission is to work as your partner, elevating your university brand while generating a steady stream of quality inquiries.
Our Inbound Marketing Implementation Process follows these steps:
- 1. Define and develop student personas and key messaging using market intelligence, surveys, and feedback from admissions and recruitment personnel.
- 2. Generate a list of priority SEO keywords based on personas, recruitment goals, and competitive analyses.
- 3. Present a content development and distribution strategy that includes:
- A monthly content publishing calendar (blog posts, infographics, motion graphics, student success stories, press releases, etc.)
- The creation of custom content by our experienced team of writers and designers (submitted for your input and approval, in advance of publishing)
- A schedule for sharing content via your social media channels (includes settingup/optimising new channels as needed)
- 4. Track and analyse your organic traffic, engagement, and conversions using Google Analytics (includes a monthly report for total transparency)
- 5. Identify and implement processes to continuously improve your results (such as email lead conversion campaigns, HubSpot workflow setup, CRM technology and automation software, etc.)
Don’t rely on outdated and expensive sales techniques to meet your enrollment goals. Invest in high quality, personalised engagement that builds your brand while attracting the audiences that matter most to your university.
Ready to get started with inbound marketing, or scale up your existing campaign? Get the ball rolling by submitting an online inquiry.