May 8, 2019

Why Brand Awareness Is Important in Higher Ed Marketing

marketing, higher education, Advertising, enrollment, student recruitment

- 3 min read -

Why Brand Awareness is Important in Higher Ed Marketing

Why Brand Awareness is Important in Higher Ed Marketing

When it comes to higher education marketing, strategies have changed drastically over the years. The rise of social media and the increase in options for higher education have created a competitive element to student advertising that cannot be ignored.

Developing strategies to increase brand awareness can set your institution up for success, leading to ROI and increased matriculation.

Brand Awareness: What Can It Do For You?

Brand awareness, or the public perception of your higher education institution, directly affects application and enrollment numbers. Ensuring that your institution’s brand is well-known and widely recognized is vital to a healthy student advertising plan.

Institutions must make a conscious effort to build brand awareness in order to reach potential students, build a widespread reputation, and attract more recruits.

Read on to find out the benefits brand awareness can have for your marketing strategy.

"Stand Out." and a crowd of university graduates

Setting Your Institution Apart From the Crowd

The higher education market is saturated, and with tuition rates rising steadily, prospective students are more carefully considering where to invest their money and time. The decision-making process for recruits is more complex than ever before.

Without strategies for promoting brand visibility, your school remains just one option in a sea of choices.

Creating a brand statement that showcases your institution’s message and unique characteristics helps set you apart from the crowd and gives prospective students more reason to choose you.

Focus on what specific benefits your institution can offer and what makes you the best fit.

"Expand your reach." and man standing by bush with eyes closed

Expanding Your Marketing Reach

Many faculty members will tell you that branding is unnecessary and inappropriate in the world of education. This could not be further from the truth. When it comes to student recruitment, brand visibility can help attract a wider pool of students.

The top 5 ways that Gen Zs research colleges are online college resources (such as College Board), school websites, teacher and counselor influence, parental/familial influence, and peer opinions.

With that knowledge, marketers must realize that relying purely on reputation is not enough; if you want your institution to be part of influential conversations, promoting your brand is vital.

Brand awareness spreads your message to a wider base and expands your marketing reach.

"Community is crucial." and students reading at a table outdoors

Establishing a Sense of Community

A great brand is about more than images or logos; it’s about culture, community, and a brand promise. Reflect on the values and promises that your institution creates. These are the concepts you want prospective students to associate with your brand.

Gen Zs value personalization and engagement. They are not just looking for an education; they are looking for a community, a place to grow, and a world of engagement.

Establishing a strong brand story that highlights the community interaction and the underlying values your school offers will resonate with Gen Z and spark brand awareness and recognition.

Blog_CC Change Perceptions 2 (3)

Creating ROI On Marketing Spending

Student advertising is a costly business. The amount spent on marketing by colleges and universities has doubled since 2001, with a median price tag of $800,000.

But that increase isn’t wasted; it comes with a high ROI. Lipman Hearne found that when universities invested heavily in marketing strategies by investing more than 6% of the total annual budget towards recruitment marketing, enrollment numbers and alumni donations both increased.

Experts such as Ben Didier, Senior Director of Higher Education at Hanover Research, agree that strategic marketing strategies and increased brand awareness can secure high ROI and lead to increased applications and enrollment.

 

 

Didier notes that “Higher education leaders are increasingly categorizing marketing expenditures as investments with measurable, anticipated returns.  They are pivoting towards a more centralized, integrated brand strategy, where ongoing market research and monitoring play a critical role in optimizing the allocation of finite institutional resources.”

Utilize Smart Strategies to Promote Brand Awareness

Brand awareness will benefit your institution through increased ROI, stronger brand and name recognition, spreading values, and reaching a variety of prospective students.

Make brand awareness a priority for your institution; utilize online resources, social media, and influencer campaigns to share your brand story and ensure that your school’s name and message are remembered.

Need help promoting your brand and reaching students? Contact us and find out how we can help.

P.S. Follow us on LinkedIn for tips, tricks, and industry updates.

We collected insights from 1,700 high school students on their media preferences for higher ed advertising. Access Report.

Tagged: marketing, higher education, Advertising, enrollment, student recruitment