It's a problem that many businesses increasingly find. They begin to advertise their service or product on a media space and for a while, it proves to be a good investment. Every pound spent results in more sales and hopefully profit but slowly as more competitors turn to the same media space the effectiveness of the media wanes as each business begins to look like a 'me too' and the return on investment starts to dwindle. This is a common problem for Colleges and Universities. In particular, Colleges are faced with the double conundrum of a competitive media landscape combined with hyper-local targeting. So what are some possible solutions? Creativity combined with the non-traditional medium. If you build a clever, creative message it will get attention. If you combine the message with fresh, hyper-local targeting tools then it will not only get attention but also be highly effective. Ok, so we know the theory but what are some practical examples? Well here are 5 areas of focus for great College or University Marketing campaigns:
LSU Instagram Campaign
1. Social- A recent EVG survey found that 87.2% of 16-20-year-olds used Facebook as part of their college search. Facebook is picture perfect for local advertising. Why? Because their advertising campaign creation tools allow you to target the individuals you are looking for. Do you need to find, 16-20-year-old boys who are interested in Computer Science and live within five miles of your college? facebook lets you do that. So if your target is social, Go and engage with your audience with real, valuable content about students at your school. Don't tell the story of your College and why you are the best, no one cares about your establishment, they only care about what you can do for them. So put your marketing in their shoes and tell stories of students who are similar to your audience and whom they can immediately relate to. Want some examples? Well here are 50 (yes 50!)
2. Focus on the end game- Students become students because they want to align their education with their ultimate career and now even more so they want a career aligned with their passions so help make the connection between the ultimate destination and the starting steps of their journey. Use your plethora of alumni to demonstrate how through your college you can become what you love. Search your database of ex-students for interesting examples of career choice. Games Designers, rocket scientists, and Rock Stars are the obvious choices but what about delving deeper and finding the Nurse who went on to save a patient's life or the Engineer now working in the alternative energy industry. Appeal to your audience's emotions hopes and desires and then ask your current students to help you craft the delivery of your message. A beautiful video that tells those stories directed, edited and ultimately shared by them is far more authentic than a poster slapped on the back of a bus.
3. Touch me- Prospective students are bombarded with messages from all channels, outdoor, radio, TV, Facebook, Youtube, print, cinema and most of these are ignored or simply not seen. Have you considered putting your college assets in the actual hands of your future alumni? Instead of faculty tours Experiential marketing gives you the opportunity to bring your college to the audience. Why not ask your Computer Science and media departments to create a virtual tour of your college and film what actually goes on inside the lectures, student unions, and libraries? Virtual Reality equipment for both filming and headsets for viewing are becoming increasingly less expensive and more user-friendly so make a film and then take the headsets into schools and shopping malls to entertain and educate at the same time...
4. Street Art in Advertising- Colleges and Universities are turning to non-traditional mediums to deliver their recruitment message. Whether it's graffiti murals created by students, 3d Street Art pictures painted in local city centres or the use of Clean or Rain Advertising sprayed outside the local cinema. Street Advertising Services are both creative, local and engaging. Check out Street Advertising Services for more great examples: