3 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing for Graduate Recruitment

In recent years, universities and colleges have turned increasingly to digital marketing channels to attract prospective graduate students. As more traditional methods prove less effective in reaching this increasingly picky group of students, institutions recognize the need to adapt and embrace the power of online platforms.

Just like the rest of us, prospective graduate students spend more time online than ever. More than 75 percent of potential graduate students are going directly online … where, if identified, they are 24 times more likely to apply. Understanding their behavior patterns and preferences is imperative to devising effective digital marketing strategies.

Here are three things graduate enrollment teams can do right now to improve their digital marketing.

No. 1 – Up Your Social Media Game

Social Media Icons

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube provide unparalleled opportunities to engage with this audience, offering targeted advertising options and robust analytics to track campaign performance.

Social media advertising can be one of your most potent tools for reaching and engaging prospective graduate students. With sophisticated targeting options, institutions can tailor their ads based on demographics, location, interests, and educational background. Crafting compelling ad content and leveraging visually appealing creative enables universities to effectively showcase their unique value propositions and academic offerings to a highly targeted audience.

No. 2 – Be More ‘Discoverable’ Online

Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your graduate programs are discoverable online.

Search Engine Optimization

By optimizing website content, implementing relevant keywords, and enhancing site architecture, you can improve your university’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Moreover, creating informative and authoritative content such as blog posts, articles, and guides boosts SEO, establishes credibility and fosters trust among your prospective graduate students.

No. 3 – Create Highly Relevant Content

Content marketing is a potent means of nurturing relationships with prospective graduate students throughout their decision-making journey. This means crafting compelling and informative content tailored to their interests and aspirations. From blog posts to webinars to virtual events, you can leverage diverse content formats to engage with your target prospects and drive enrollment.

Embracing Data-Driven Insights 

The landscape of graduate student recruitment is undergoing a significant transformation. In the past, universities relied on traditional methods like brochures and campus tours to attract potential students. However, today’s tech-savvy generation of graduate students demands a more personalized and data-driven approach.

Leveraging data analytics can help universities better understand their ideal graduate student profile, including demographics, academic backgrounds, career aspirations, and online behavior. This information can be used to tailor marketing messages and outreach strategies, ensuring they resonate with the most relevant candidates.

For instance, analyzing website traffic can reveal which program pages receive the most attention. This can inform the creation of targeted content that addresses specific program features and benefits. Additionally, social media analytics can pinpoint which platforms prospective students frequent and what content they engage with. This allows universities to tailor their social media presence and content strategy to maximize engagement with potential enrollees.

The expanded role of digital marketing in graduate enrollment is undeniable. By embracing social media advertising, search engine optimization and content marketing strategies, institutions can effectively reach and engage prospective graduate students in today’s competitive landscape.

By Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Senior Enrollment Strategist,Capture Higher Ed