The Covid-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions to adapt quickly -, potentially for good - and what the next 12 months will look like for colleges and universities is uncertain. While Covid-19 has had a significant impact on operations, budgets and project timelines, the strategic need for new technology and creative advertising to boost your enrollment is becoming more important.

Whether you’re looking to attract more students, or engage your current ones, here are our must-do approaches for capturing prospective students during Covid-19:

Establishing your brand’s values through creative

Articulating your brand and the benefits of studying with you are key to convert leads into enrollments. As with any organization, each institution has to define its set of values. In order to distinguish your brand from others in such a highly competitive landscape, you need to dig deep to understand what separates you from the competition. With a little help from creative branding, you will be able to craft a story that is unique, compelling, and authentic to your educational experience.

A shift towards online learning

There has been a shift in students’ behaviors and attitudes toward college and the college experience in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As more students are opting for online courses, more questions arise about what the college experience is really worth. So make sure you have a strong online offering and highlight this in your communications with prospective students.

Using the right social channels 

Social media is an evolving landscape, and since there are so many social platforms out there, you have a multitude of options for interacting with and reaching out to students. Define your target audience and create personas based on what stage students are in the enrollment funnel, what content they’ve historically engaged with, and what content they need so that you can choose the right platform for each type of student. 

Make space for innovation

One of the most necessary - and difficult - things to do in a crisis is taking time to focus on innovation. Adopting innovative, specialist software such as Akero allows you to accurately pinpoint conversion rates at every stage of the enrollment funnel while solving the problem for publishers and clients working remotely.

Open the door for collaboration

By partnering with an education-specialist marketing agency, colleges and universities can gain an edge through data-driven, trend-led insights. Strategic collaborations like these can open the door to deeper conversations on how to maximize your marketing efforts. In these unprecedented times, you need to take a bold approach to ensure a successful student recruitment process.

Adapt your message with sensitivity 

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented levels of compassion and understanding. Sharing good news stories about how your institution is helping during anxious times highlights values of honesty and authenticity and helps students feel more connected to your institution. And clear language is also key to effective communication. Students are much more receptive when the tone of voice in your messaging is clear and sincere.

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but one thing seems obvious: Whether you call it the ‘new normal’ or the ‘next normal’, we are on our way to a future that will be different from what we expected even six months ago. If you want to improve your marketing efforts in this constantly changing time, get in touch.

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Kevin Hsu

Marketing Executive