2020 was a very strange year for everyone and events certainly changed the way we view and use marketing. With the pandemic increasing online activity, consumer behaviour has transformed and will likely affect marketing strategies even after. Here are a few of the current marketing trends for 2021 that schools and colleges should weave into their overall marketing plan in order to respond to customer activity and increase enrolment.
In 2020 virtual events and open days were born out of restrictions and necessity. But in 2021 and beyond it is predicted that virtual events will be here to stay, even when life can go back to normal. By hosting virtual open days for your school or college you open up the possibility for an entirely new audience to invest in your place of education. With lower cost in attending virtual events this increases the chances that ticket holders will attend the events. It is an easy and simple way for prospective students to attend an event and participate. Through providing the virtual event with an excellent program, speakers and discussions time and time again virtual events see a greater return on investment. Virtual events and open days should definitely be integrated into all school and college marketing plans in 2021 and beyond.
Culling Social Media Channels:
It is always important for schools and colleges to maintain social media channels so that prospective students have direct access to content. Social media is a great way to have direct communication with your audience, answering frequently asked questions. In 2021 though we will start to see the trend of businesses culling their social media channels, reducing the number of accounts they have to focus their attention. There are so many different types of social media that creating one for every single site would make your content less polished and branding unfocused. Completing a social media audit will help to identify which channels are best for your school or college. This trend in marketing has been predicted as something that will “not only be popular but necessary”.
When choosing a school parents and students can find the process stressful and hard work. It is difficult to come through lots of online information about your local schools, reading articles and curriculum. That is why where possible it is a great idea to use video as an easy way for prospective students to learn more about your school or college. In this digital era audiences want easy access at quick speed with minimal effort. Which means long text-based articles breaking down everything there is to know about your school or college is starting to become old fashioned. Whilst it is still good to have comprehensive information for parents to read, getting parents excited about your school or college will be more successful with the use of videos. Putting out engaging video content has a huge impact on the way audiences interact with 72% of businesses seeing a direct improvement to their conversion rate through video content.
Search Engine Optimisation:
When starting research on local schools and colleges more and more prospective students and parents begin with using search engines. That is why it is very important, now more than ever, to pay close attention to your school or colleges website ranking. The amount of traffic your website receives affects your search engine ranking, which is how far up or down the list your website is when your audiences searches online. This makes search engine optimisation (SEO) one of the most important trends for schools and colleges this year. With increased online activity, even more parents will begin their searches for schools using the internet rather than in person, with 93% beginning their searches online. Ensuring that you website uses high ranking keywords, engaging meta descriptions and high-quality content are three excellent ways to improve your school or college website ranking. Increasing online traffic to your website should be a main goal for all schools and colleges in 2021.
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