Since the world’s first web page went live almost 30 years ago, the internet has grown and expanded to influence almost all areas of our lives. In particular, social media platforms have come to change how we communicate and stay in touch with friends and family and have completely transformed the online world from a largely passive one to one that provides active experiences.
As we move more and more of our lives online and spend an increasing amount of time on the internet, the power of the web to influence our decisions should not be underestimated. The traditional world of promotions and advertising has been turned upside down by online marketing and it’s now estimated around 81% of all consumer journeys start with a search. That figure gets even higher when looking at prospective undergraduates and a recent study found 84% of prospective students use the web and social media platforms to research their choice of university.
With the web being so influential in the decision-making process, if you find the world of new media a confusing place, it might be worth looking to work with an established marketing company. To increase online enrollment in colleges, a growing number of colleges are outsourcing their social marketing and other online promotion campaigns to dedicated marketing firms that specialize in promoting education. Today’s younger generation is the most internet-savvy in history and finding original and engaging ways to market colleges and courses can prove challenging for many establishments.
Insights offered by the web and social sites
Today we consume and generate more media online than ever and, if you do a little research, you will likely find a glut of comments and posts published by your alumni and existing students. While you clearly can’t control what your former and current students post, having a good handle on these posts can give you valuable insight into areas where your establishment is doing well – as well aspects that could be improved.
A generation that relies on social platforms
Today’s younger generation has grown up with social media and uses it for everything from staying in touch with friends and family to researching products and, of course, which establishment to choose for study. While there is a huge range of social platforms to choose from when looking to promote your college or university, by the far the most popular when it came to researching education have been found to be YouTube and Facebook.
YouTube, the world’s second-biggest search engine
While most people view YouTube purely as a streaming video platform, actually it holds the distinction of also being the world’s second most popular search engine – narrowly behind Google search itself (both owned by parent company Alphabet).
Moreover, video content has by far the highest engagement rate of any online media and producing immersive video material will go a long way to promoting your establishment on the web. Also, with the power of social sites, a good video is far more likely to be shared amongst your target demographic.
User-generated Facebook content is central to the decision-making process
By reading the comments of existing students, prospective learners can effectively bypass your marketing efforts and gain a real-world, word-of-mouth impression of your college – making it vitally important that you act upon any negative feedback you find online and reach out to those posting the material. If you engage positively in this way, you will be far more likely to change opinions and promote more positive content being posted online.