Higher education recruitment and student engagement have undergone a massive shift over the past few years. Coupled with that, the way we market to and engage with prospective students continues to evolve. Digital platforms are constantly changing and so are their capabilities and reach. Along with this, legal and social considerations work to keep up with these new capabilities and consumer expectations. The pace and complexity of all this change are dizzying and unrelenting. It is no wonder that even sophisticated and large organizations turn to outside partners for help. A partner like a higher education marketing agency.
A marketing agency has the potential to save you both money and time while also increasing visibility and engagement. Leaving you to focus on areas of strength and mission-critical importance. Utilizing a marketing agency explicitly dedicated to higher education, however, has the potential to be a true game-changer. Let’s break down why working with a higher education marketing agency is so important.
Speaking the Language of Higher Education
Higher education marketing agencies not only speak your language, they understand the education landscape and its many challenges. They will also know all of the challenges and opportunities facing you at every turn. This knowledge is invaluable in placing your institution at the forefront of higher education. It will also serve in helping set it apart from the mass of other seemingly similar options. Because of this, your awareness grows and the quality of your inquiries and engagement also increases dramatically, yielding more enrollments and graduates.
Benchmarking Your Performance
Today’s marketing strategy requires a data-driven approach that integrates messaging across many platforms. A practical and modern approach requires targeted marketing, brand building, and personalized prospective student engagement. Partnering with an agency that understands the landscape of higher ed allows you to communicate what truly sets you apart. They have the access to and knowledge of relevant market information positioned to benchmark your specific performance against industry trends. Their specialty is utilizing this data and shifting your approach wherever and whenever necessary.
Extensive knowledge of the higher education sector, existing relationships with multiple institutions, and a long history of performance marketing data across years and platforms, means marketing performance is benchmarked against other leading institutions. Going a step further, top agencies are able to integrate seamlessly with your existing platforms, allowing for a free exchange of marketing and performance data. This provides valuable insights to both the school and the marketing team, leading to marketing efforts optimized to enrollment and beyond.
Hitting the Ground Running
A general marketing agency may have to spend significant time at the front end of your partnership researching and understanding the nuances of higher education. This research time will not end there though, as more time will be spent staying informed of all the varying factors involved in changing compliance requirements, accreditation considerations, and student behavior. On the other hand, a higher education-focused marketing agency lives and breathes in the higher ed ecosystem, allowing them to spend more time creating solutions and optimizing your performance. Because they understand higher education, they will quickly determine what makes you unique and will be the ultimate sounding board and collaborator. And, they can do so from day one.
An Agency Focused on Meaningful Performance
Website traffic and conversions mean little if they do not impact future students’ overall enrollment and retention. Understanding your KPIs – the numbers that truly matter and drive registration – allows you to track your performance and compare it to your peers. Things like brand recognition, engagement, and conversions are all important, but a top-quality higher ed marketing team will measure and optimize to the most important KPIs – student enrollment and persistence.
Experienced higher ed agencies have teams dedicated to keeping your web content, image, brand, and voice cohesive and tailored to your target audience. Traffic and conversions are great – but you want the right kind of traffic and high intent conversions. These results come from marketing experts that know and understand the nuances of your audience.
Choose A Marketing Agency Wisely
Hiring a marketing agency is not a decision to be taken lightly. The commitment is real! You are selecting a long-term, strategic partner, so making the right choice will save you time and, potentially, headaches. No matter their specialty, every marketing agency will require some input, direction, and collaboration from your existing team. But a higher education agency will already come equipped with an invaluable base of knowledge, tools, and ideas. They will know what it takes to elevate any campaign to another level of successful awareness, engagement, and enrollment.
At the end of the day, numbers and performance matter. When choosing an agency to collaborate with, consider their strengths and track record with your type of institution. Do they have experience with your scope of programs and enrollments, and have they had proven success?
Some Things to Consider
Here are some less obvious considerations that can mean the difference between average performance and a standout strategic partnership resulting in long-term growth at scale:
- Depth of Service. There are certain limitations to collaborating with a digital marketer that focuses exclusively on paid search and social. A full-service agency will consider every available marketing channel and platform, redirecting your limited resources to those actually delivering results.
- Mission Alignment. Research your prospective marketing agency’s mission and ensure it aligns with your values and goals on every level. Talk to colleagues at existing partners to ensure they truly are a mission-driven organization. This is more likely to produce positive collaboration and open communication between you and your new team members.
- Commitment to Higher Ed. Consider the agency’s impact on, and positive contribution to, the higher education ecosystem. Truly dedicated higher ed marketers should actively engage in giving back to the larger higher ed community through research, thought-leadership and their actions. Do they support the associations focused on your segment of higher ed and actively contribute through thought-leadership and active participation? The best partners understand that a better higher education system benefits all schools and the community at large.
The Right Higher Education Support
The agency you choose to take you forward in your vision will have a massive impact on how quickly, efficiently, and reliably your institution will begin to see returns on your initial investment. It will also hugely influence how you grow over time.
EducationDynamics is a full-service marketing agency passionate about elevating our partner schools’ success and social impact through data-driven marketing. Our focus is on engaging high-quality students who enroll and persist in completing their education. Our custom mix of platforms and strategies we implement will yield the best results for your individual goals in fastest most efficient way possible. Because of our extensive experience, we have the ability to focus on the small details that ultimately drive the best results in a way you won’t find in other agencies. Ready to learn how EDDY helps higher education institutions grow enrollments and retention? Start a conversation today