Opinion: Evolution of Education marketing trends over the years

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education marketing trends

As more students become a part of the digital ecosystem, marketing trends in the space evolve. SRV Media's Vinay Babani writes in detail about the new age educational marketing trends.

In today’s world, the Education Industry is heavily inclined towards the advancement of technology. From traditionally having advertisements on billboards and newspapers to having an active presence on social media and taking admissions through online application forms and conducting selection rounds via video calls, educational institutions have come a long way. 

At SRV Media, back in 2018-19 we mostly focused on the tactical execution of digital marketing ads wherein the goals were to generate leads or promote the programs in the right TG and then send out SMS or emails in lakhs for nurturing those leads. But now when we talk about 2021, tactical execution is not enough as information consumption trends of the students as well as parents have changed, Now we focus more on enhancing the creativity of the ad by using videos, reels, VR applications, building interactions through social media and nurturing via chatbots and advanced drip marketing. 

If we talk about 2015, our clients were heavily investing in traditional platforms like print, radio, and outdoor for promoting their entrance exams throughout the year by disseminating multiple full-page, half-page, and jacket ads in the newspapers. 70%-80% of their marketing spending was allocated to traditional marketing channels. 

Whereas if we look at their promotions in 2021, they have moved their 80%-90% marketing spends towards digital platforms, understanding that the TG now interacts more and better with handheld devices and the chances of conversion of students towards applying for their university is more via digital platforms influence. 

Also Read: Opinion: New challenges rise in the D2C marketing with diminishing Return on Ad Spends (ROAS)

While there are 100s of options available now to promote courses and programs online, selecting the right platform at the right time is the key to perfect promotions. Here’s a quick list of which platform/activity to use for what promotion:

  1. For brand & program awareness: Social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), YouTube, and Display advertising.
  2. For Lead generation: Search engine marketing & Social media.
  3. For nurturing: Web notifications, SMS, Emails, and Social media.
  4. For creating recall: Webinars, Podcasts & Content marketing.

While doing all of this, integrating Google Analytics into your online assets like website and landing pages is a must as it will provide a lot of rich and meaningful actionable insights. 

Some of the upcoming new educational marketing trends that will take the education sector by a storm are: 

  • Marketing to Gen-Z: Connect with Gen-Z in their preferred mode of communication like Instagram reels, memes, etc. As per statistics, Gen Z-ers are expected to account for 40% of consumers. This number will keep increasing, therefore the Gen-Z marketing will help you reach the right audience. 
  • Conversational Marketing: This upcoming buzzword is heading towards gaining a lot of popularity. According to a 2021 marketing report, 74% of millennials say their perception of a brand improves if the company responds to them on social media. As digital as everything has become in today’s world, every client needs to build a rapport with their consumers through one-on-one chat. 
  • Quick/short video marketing: As one knows, the attention span of human beings has reached 8 seconds. So, making short videos of 10-15 seconds enables brands to grab viewer’s attention, especially on social media where content is in abundance. Further, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content. 
  • Responsive Marketing: This involves planning forthcoming marketing campaigns around events that are expected to occur in the future, while also being attentive to current consumer needs and trends.  This will attract prospective clients’ attention instantly, bringing the university into the spotlight.

Higher education marketing is certainly in a completely different scenario today to what it was a decade or two ago but with the right mix of market research and strategy, educational institutes can place themselves amongst the top schools in the country. 

The piece has been authored by Vinay Babani, VP - Marketing , SRV Media, Pune.

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