It was possible to thrive with word of mouth as the best advertisement strategy before. However, the competition and marketing opportunities are growing, and you need to adapt to the new reality if you want to survive in it.
It is especially true when you think about how many online schools and courses are out there. The global eLearning market was worth $215 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13% until 2030.
There are many powerful and easy-to-use tools and channels that are geared towards promoting your online education products. With just a little effort, you will be able to attract more students and top-performing staff.
So let’s explore what educational marketing is and how it differs from other marketing branches. You’ll also find top education marketing tips and tools that can help you automate the process and make it as effective as ever.
What is education marketing?
Education marketing is about advertising educational institutions and programs. It turns an eLearning business into a brand and strives to make it more visible and valuable. Education marketing also helps uncover clients’ needs, pain points, and expectations to deliver high-quality services.
Education marketing assists in developing brand awareness for schools, higher education establishments, online schools and courses, and educational apps.
It is quite different from other marketing branches, as it requires you to convey a lot more information about your product than you normally do. In this scenario, your product is your school, learning platform, staff, curriculum, modern solutions, student life, etc.
Educational marketing also covers a huge range of online and offline communication channels, and it targets a wide audience of students.
Why do you need education marketing?
Educational marketing is not just a necessity forged by the need to survive in the competitive environment — it actually offers a lot of other benefits.
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Create demand for your products
Some people do not know they need or can improve their skills, and others just need that last push to finally take a course. With education marketing, you can target both of these categories and find customers you might have never engaged with otherwise.
Share your knowledge
It is unlikely that prospective students will read academic documents to learn about your scientific achievements and discoveries — that is where your blog kicks in. If you publish your findings on your blog or social media, students will likely become more interested in your courses. They will think of you as a thought leader, and it is a way to prove your expertise in your field.
Compete with big schools
Popular online schools and well-established programs have a long-standing online reputation — even their names attract students. They do not need much marketing, as everyone knows about them.
However, you can have the upper hand in the digital world and compete on the same level using the right advertising and market targeting strategies. By showcasing your expertise on social media, you can quickly reach a large audience and position yourself as an industry expert, attracting more people to your eLearning product.
Tips for an effective education marketing strategy
Education marketing can be tricky. There has to be the right amount of professionalism, fun, and innovation. Here are some tips to help you maintain this balance and reach your enrollment goals faster.
Develop a modern website
Launching a user-friendly website that meets learners’ needs is a critical task, and many well-known schools and universities struggle to get it done. As a result, their websites are slow and poorly laid out, looking old-fashioned or suspicious.Therefore, make sure to follow the latest design trends, create a straightforward navigation system, and update your website if necessary. It is also essential to have a mobile site version in place.
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Create a landing page, online store, or bio link page for Instagram and promote it by sending the link to your subscribers through email, SMS, or chatbot messages — on a single platform.
Brown University’s website is a great example of a well-designed online representation that helps potential learners discover more about the educational programs offered.
Leverage digital advertising correctly
Strong social media campaigns and digital marketing are your primary tools to promote any eLearning product. By running paid targeted campaigns, you can get the attention of a cold audience and then be able to convert them by setting up retargeting campaigns.
Always aim to maintain communication with all of your audience segments at various sales funnel stages to ensure your advertising campaigns’ success.
Use the power of social media
Social media helps online course creators gain trust. Potential students will be able to evaluate instructors’ experience and previous students’ testimonials.
You can also find a brand ambassador, for example, students who are ready to create content about your eLearning product on their personal pages or take over your official accounts to share their daily routines. This type of content is especially popular on TikTok.
Monitor your online reviews
Online reviews and user-generated content are crucial at least because your future students will ask your current and former students about their experience. You cannot gain their trust based on those reviews on your own website alone.
Your work here consists of three parts:
- Encourage students to leave feedback on platforms like Niche, GradReports, GetEducated (for online schools), etc. You can go for Google reviews as well.
- Address negative feedback. Try not to be overly defensive, but thank them for the feedback, say that you are sorry for their bad experience, promise to do something to fix the issue, and contact someone who can look into it.
- Make sure to showcase your students’ testimonials on your website as social proof.
Here’s a great example of positive reviews showcased on an online course website:
Personalize your educational material
Your course can target different audience segments, for example, people who want to learn a new skill and those who wish to broaden their knowledge about a particular topic. Consider delivering your learning materials to these groups differently.
Here is how you can personalize your educational materials for different target audiences:
- provide newbies with the opportunity to work on real-world cases they can mention in their portfolio;
- provide official certifications for students so that they can have proof of the new skills they obtained.
By adjusting your eLearning product to the specific needs of each target group, you can offer a seamless learning experience and deliver better services.
Take care of SEO
Articles are surprisingly essential for educational websites since most students check the blogs of online schools before signing up for their courses. However, in the digital world, almost any text you post needs to be SEO-friendly. If you want your educational platform to come up first in the search results, you have to work on your website’s SEO.
For starters, you will need to analyze how your target audience googles things and adapt to them. See what words they are using or whether they type in questions or just keywords and incorporate these keywords in your text.
However, it does not stop here. SEO is also about mobile and speed optimization, metadata, and backlinks.
Here’s an example of a course name containing the keyword “start a dropshipping business.” Such well-optimized titles can help your course rank high on SERP.
Do not forget about email marketing
Emails are a cost-effective and widely-used marketing tool. You can promote your eLearning business by emailing details about your course, inviting students to online events and live streams, student reviews, etc.
You can segment your audience, automate and schedule emails, add personalization elements, and design emails for different devices for better results of your email marketing efforts.
However, do not try to fit all the information about your eLearning product in one email. Try to create short digests with relevant or recent articles or add brochures to your attached documents. At the same time, make sure to create bright and memorable emails by adding photos or interactive elements like polls, quizzes, etc.
Deakin University is rocking it:
Top tools for successful educational marketing
In order to successfully execute your educational marketing strategy, you need to leverage the power of modern technologies. Here are some of the tools that can help you raise awareness about your eLearning product and take your most active students on this journey:
- Landing page builders can help you nicely structure all the information about your course to convert your website visitors into course participants.
- Email automation tools can help you set up email marketing campaigns with various flows for people at different stages of their user journey.
- CRM systems can help you automate all processes related to customer communication and sales.
- Video editing software can help you create video content you can publish on your website or social media channels.
- Content and social media planners allow you to be consistent with your social media content and communication with potential learners.
There are lots of tools available on the market, both free and paid. If you don’t have time to browse through all the options, make sure to check SendPulse’s features. There are high-quality tools that can help you take your educational marketing game to the next level.
Considering the variety of online schools and their target audiences, education marketing is definitely not something where you will be able to take a load off. One thing is pretty clear though: it will enable you to keep your eLearning products in the public’s eye and establish a long-standing reputation.
In case you are looking for a high-quality tool to create online courses, check out SendPulse’s online course builder. With its help, you will be able to create outstanding eLearning products of various formats.