Marketing Automation in Higher Education
Marketing Automation in Higher Education
Technology has always been used in education in one way or another, but it has had an especially significant impact on education in the recent past. In fact, EdTech is an entire industry of its own that focuses on providing the best education with the help of technology.
Most higher education institutions have almost completely switched to digital which is why marketing is also done primarily online. Moreover, marketing automation in higher education is even more efficient and useful to universities and colleges. Here’s how marketing automation is used in higher education without further ado.
Carefully Plan Out and Execute Your Marketing Strategy
First and foremost, the most important aspect of automated marketing campaigns is that they are carefully planned out and executed. You don’t need to intervene at any point while they are in progress as long as you considered different factors and planned the campaign in a way that will make it go as smoothly as possible.
For example, you can completely automate your email marketing. Send notification emails to students automatically by scheduling them beforehand. Likewise, you can automate the publication of content on your institution’s website or social media profiles.
Such content can help you generate more traffic on your website while also informing or educating students about important topics (e.g. how to prepare documents for a visa for foreign students). Social media content, on the other hand, can be useful for growing the university’s online following and shaping a specific image to attract more potential students.
Reduce the Risk of Potential Errors and Mistakes
When your marketing campaign is completely automated, there is a reduced risk of potential errors and mistakes. This is simply because you won’t be intervening too much with the marketing when a campaign is in progress. The human factor that could lead to mistakes (e.g. accidentally publishing the wrong content) is simply absent when everything is automated.
That being said, the benefit of reduced risks is only true when your marketing is properly planned, set up, and automated. This is precisely why you need to do a lot of research before you finalize your marketing strategy and start setting it up. Always make sure that you know what you are doing with your marketing and why you believe everything will work the way you want it to work.
In case you launch your automated marketing campaign and problems arise, you can always intervene to correct the mistakes in the process. It will be relatively easy to do damage control because you will already know how you have set up your entire campaign and what exactly needs to be adjusted.
Increase Personalization for Every Student
Personalization is critical when it comes to communicating and interacting with students through marketing in the short term and in the long run. This goes both for potential students and current students. This is precisely why automation is so useful – it can help you increase personalization for every student.
Automated marketing campaigns can be set up in a way that will make the content offered to specific students according to their own needs, interests, preferences, priorities, etc. The best part is that you won’t have to do all the personalization manually because specific tools and programs can help you automate the process of personalization itself.
For example, you can let your current students choose what kinds of emails they are interested in. Some students will only want to get important notifications (e.g. about grades being released) while others will also want to receive email newsletters and all kinds of other emails that you send out regularly. In an automated email marketing campaign, sending the right emails to the right students is easy.
Save Time to Manage Other Aspects of Communication with Students
Marketing is not the only way universities and colleges communicate and interact with students. There are other things that should be considered, but marketing can take too much time. Luckily, by automating your marketing campaigns, you will have more time on these other aspects of communication.
For instance, content creation for your website. While it is a part of marketing to some extent, you can’t actually automate it. You will need time to create your web content yourself or hire experienced writers from the writing service Trust My Paper to create the content for you.
On the other hand, there is your support team that can’t handle all student requests on its own. Using automation for marketing will allow you to focus on providing proper support to every student that needs it. Whether it’s about sending in their application or changing their courses or something else, every student needs to be assisted properly which requires time.
Nurture Students to Make Them More Receptive Over Time
Marketing is important for educational institutions in the short term to attract potential students during the application season. But in the long run, marketing is also necessary because it helps you nurture students to make them more receptive over time. It’s about building a bond (particularly with your current students) that will last for a long time and will pay off someday.
Imagine that you have a particularly high-achieving student who participates in different competitions and wins prizes. They are already improving the image of your college or university, and once they graduate, you can proudly call them your alumnus. However, this doesn’t mean that this is the point where you should cut contact with them. Your relationship with the student isn’t over just yet.
Instead, continue sending them emails with relevant information (e.g. news in the industry related to their degree). There will come a point where you may want to ask them for some feedback on the program they completed at your institution and their further experiences. They will be more likely to give you such feedback if they feel a bond with your institution that you built over time.
Keep Students Interested and Engaged in the Long Run
Speaking of the long-term benefits of automated marketing, you can keep students interested and engaged with its help. You don’t need to treat each student separately and set up marketing aimed at them manually as long as you know how to use automation to benefit you and work for you (not against you).
When your current students are constantly interacting with you in some way, they will be more likely to enjoy their overall experience studying at your college or university. This student life experience is not just about studying and partying – it can be so much more if you try to make it bigger and better.
Students who are satisfied with their experiences with your educational institution will be more likely to recommend it to others. This word-of-mouth marketing will further benefit your institution raising its authority and giving you more exposure. Essentially, it works the same way as marketing does for any business.
Decrease Costs and Grow Budgets for Other Needs
Automation is critical for marketing because it helps you reduce time, but it can also help you decrease costs and, in turn, grow the budget for other needs. This is particularly important for smaller universities and colleges that don’t have big budgets to spend in the first place, so every cent they have counts.
For example, if you automate your email marketing campaigns, you will only need one or two people to manage them. You don’t need to have a big team managing your email marketing operations manually. Automatically sending emails is the best way to ensure that the intended recipients get them and that you send them all on time at a regular frequency.
When you have fewer employees responsible for marketing, you will need to pay fewer people. The money you would have otherwise spent on marketing can be used for other purposes ranging from support to payment processing. It’s all about how you allocate your budget but reducing expenses here and there by using automation can truly be a savior for many colleges and universities.
More Accurate Reporting and Understand Students Better
By automating your marketing, you can also get more accurate reporting and understand students better. Accurate reporting is essential for marketing because it gives you more accurate information about your target audience. And when you have more accurate insights, you can set up more effective, efficient, and impactful marketing campaigns.
Likewise, with the help of more accurate reporting, you can get to know and understand students better. This goes both for potential students (e.g. those checking and engaging with your posts on social media who aren’t studying at your institution yet) and your current students who want to see relevant content and information from you.
For example, if you know that many of your students are struggling with their academics, you can create posts for your social media and blog where you explain how to write the best essays, think critically, and so on. You can then check how this kind of content performed and whether you should create similar content in the future. You can also ask your audience about it directly, but the metrics you see (e.g. likes, comments) will also be useful.
Find the Best Time to Contact and Engage with Students
When it comes to marketing, it’s not just the quality of materials and content that matter – it is also the time when and the place where you publish the said content. If you publish your content at the right time, you will have more chances of reaching your target audience (e.g. prospective students) and engaging with it.
This can also be applied to your current students. For example, the time to send an email might be less obvious than you think. If you send it on the weekend, the students will still see it most probably on Monday. Not everyone checks their inbox during the weekend. The same can be said about the time of the day when you send the email. If students are having classes, they won’t be able to check their inbox and respond immediately.
These details matter way more than you may think even though they are applied to the context of higher education in this case. That being said, while the timing of your marketing is definitely important for your current students, it is arguably even more important for potential students. By automating your marketing, you will get more insights and be able to set up campaigns in a smarter way with better timing.
Improve Marketing Over Time with Less Effort
Last but not least, automating your marketing can help you improve your marketing as a whole over time with less effort. This is rather the result of a variety of factors than just a single thing. Some things that could affect the quality and success of your marketing campaigns include:
- How well you know your target audience and how well you personalize your marketing for each potential and current student respectively.
- When you publish your content and on which platforms.
- What kind of bond you are able to form with your audience and how you use this bond at different points in your relationship with your audience.
- Whether there are any errors and mistakes happening during your marketing campaigns and how you deal with them.
Because you already have everything set up and automated, changing your marketing strategy to make it better will be relatively easy. You will need to change only specific aspects of your marketing instead of having to plan out everything from scratch and then execute it all correctly. It will reduce the amount of time and effort you have to put in to make your marketing campaigns better (more effective, efficient, and impactful).
All in all, automating your marketing can help your college or university significantly improve the impact of your marketing strategy while reducing its costs. Make sure to plan everything correctly before launching your marketing campaigns in an automated mode.