Top 10 Higher Education Marketing Strategies For College Students

Angelina Robinson

Higher Education Marketing Strategies

In today’s competitive higher education market, colleges and universities must use effective marketing strategies to attract and engage prospective students. 

With many choices available, institutions need to highlight their unique strengths, academic programs, and campus experiences through various marketing channels and techniques. 

In this post we have have explained top 10 higher education marketing strategies for college students, including social media marketing, content creation, influencer partnerships, and alumni engagement. Implementing these strategies can help institutions increase visibility, build a strong brand, and connect meaningfully with their target audience.

Key Questions for Your Higher Education Marketing Plan

Once you have a good grasp of current trends in higher education, you can create a marketing plan for your institution. Get input from various departments on campus and review your website to ensure your messaging and branding align with your new strategy.

Consider these questions:

  • Who is our target audience? Who are our personas?
  • What are our key performance indicators (KPIs) for engagement?
  • What is the most crucial element of our marketing plan? What should prospective students know about our college or university?
  • What sets us apart from other higher education institutions?

By addressing these questions, you’ll be well on your way to developing a strong, effective marketing strategy that highlights your school’s unique strengths and appeals to prospective students.

Top 10 Higher Education Marketing Strategies For College Students

Here are 10 higher education marketing strategies for colleges or universities, each explained in detail with examples:

1. Social Media Marketing

Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to reach prospective students. Share engaging content about campus life, academic programs, student achievements, and events. Post student testimonials, virtual campus tours, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Collaborate with student ambassadors or popular content creators to promote your institution.

Example: The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has an active Instagram presence, showcasing vibrant campus scenes, student activities, and academic highlights through visually appealing posts and stories.

2. Content Marketing

Develop a content marketing strategy to provide valuable information to prospective students. 

Create a blog or resource center on your website with insights into academic programs, campus life, admission tips, and student success stories. Produce videos, podcasts, and webinars addressing common questions and concerns.

Example: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a comprehensive admissions blog that provides insights into the application process, student experiences, and campus life, helping prospective students make informed decisions.

Must Read: 149+ Best Marketing Project Topics for PG Students [2024]

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

One of the best strategies for higher education marketing is optimizing your website and content for keywords that potential students might search for. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Keyword Research: Find out what terms and phrases prospective students are using.
  2. Optimization: Improve page titles, meta descriptions, and content with these keywords to boost your visibility in search engine results.
  3. On-Page SEO: Use tactics like internal linking and schema markup.
  4. Off-Page SEO: Gain external backlinks to enhance your site’s authority.

By doing this, you’ll improve your institution’s online presence and attract more students.

Example: Stanford University’s website is optimized for relevant keywords like “top universities,” “computer science programs,” and “Stanford admissions,” making it easier for prospective students to find the information they need.

4. Email Marketing

Build an email list of prospective students who have shown interest in your institution. Develop targeted email campaigns that provide information, updates, and reminders about application deadlines, campus events, and program offerings. 

Personalize emails to increase engagement and nurture leads through the admissions funnel.

Example: The University of Michigan sends personalized email newsletters to prospective students, highlighting relevant academic programs, campus life updates, and admission information tailored to their interests and location.

5. Virtual and Augmented Reality Experiences

Use virtual and augmented reality technologies to offer immersive campus experiences. 

Create 360-degree virtual campus tours, virtual reality presentations showcasing facilities and labs, and augmented reality experiences that bring your institution to life.

Example: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a virtual reality tour that allows prospective students to explore campus buildings, classrooms, and facilities using VR headsets, providing an immersive experience without physically visiting the campus.

6. Influencer Marketing

Collaborate with influential students, alumni, or subject matter experts to promote your institution. Engage individuals with a strong online presence to create authentic content, share their experiences, and showcase unique aspects of your institution.

Example: The University of Pennsylvania partners with influential alumni and successful entrepreneurs to share their stories and highlight the university’s role in shaping their careers, inspiring prospective students to consider Penn.

7. Targeted Advertising

Use targeted advertising platforms like Google Ads, social media advertising, and programmatic advertising to reach prospective students based on their interests, demographics, and online behavior. 

Develop compelling ad campaigns highlighting your institution’s unique selling points and drive traffic to your website or landing pages.

Example: The University of Southern California (USC) runs targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, showcasing their academic programs, campus life, and successful alumni stories to reach prospective students interested in those areas.

Must Read: Top 199+ Marketing Research Topics for College Students

8. Events and Webinars

Host virtual and in-person events like open houses, campus tours, information sessions, and webinars to engage with prospective students and their families. 

These events provide opportunities to showcase your institution, answer questions, and build personal connections.

Example: Harvard University hosts regular virtual information sessions and webinars for prospective students, featuring faculty members, current students, and admissions counselors who provide insights into academic programs, campus life, and the application process.

9. Student Ambassador Programs

Develop a student ambassador program that empowers current students to share their experiences and promote your institution. 

Train ambassadors to serve as brand advocates, participate in campus tours, attend college fairs, and create authentic content highlighting the student experience.

Example: Yale University’s student ambassador program involves current students sharing their personal stories, campus experiences, and academic journeys through blogs, videos, and social media platforms, providing a genuine perspective for prospective students.

10. Alumni Engagement

Leverage your alumni network to promote your institution and attract prospective students. 

Encourage alumni to share their success stories, participate in alumni events, and serve as mentors or guest speakers. Alumni can provide valuable insights into the long-term impact of your institution and inspire prospective students.

Example: The University of Chicago actively engages its alumni through events, networking opportunities, and storytelling initiatives, where successful alumni share their experiences and how their education contributed to their achievements, inspiring prospective students to apply.

By implementing these higher education marketing strategies, colleges and universities can effectively reach and engage prospective students, showcase their unique offerings, and build a strong brand reputation that resonates with their target audience.

Wrap Up 

This is the end of this post, where we cover top 10 higher education marketing strategies. The marketing strategies discussed in this guide provide colleges and universities with diverse ways to attract prospective students. 

Methods like using social media, creating engaging content, optimizing search engine visibility, and hosting virtual events can help institutions reach their target audience, highlight their programs, and build lasting relationships.

A well-rounded marketing approach that combines multiple tactics helps institutions stand out, attract top students, and create an engaged community. In the end, effective marketing goes beyond promotion; it inspires and empowers future learners to reach their academic goals.


How can we promote higher education?

To promote higher education, it’s essential to provide strong support services like academic advising, counseling, career guidance, and mentorship. These services help students handle the challenges of higher education and reach their academic and career goals more effectively.

What is educational marketing strategy?

Educational marketing is a content strategy that aims to teach your audience about a topic related to your industry and product. Instead of directly trying to sell, it helps move potential customers further along your sales funnel by providing valuable information.

About the author

Hey, it's Angelina Robinson! If you're confused by Excel, don't worry, I've got your back. I've spent years mastering it, and I want to help you make the most of it.

I got into Excel because I was fascinated by everything it can do. Now, I help people and companies use it better for their work.

So, my blogging story started when I met my friend Angelina Robinson. We hit it off and decided to team up. Now, in our 50s, we've made to share what we know with the world. My thing? Making tricky topics simple and exciting.

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