It's been an illustrious year in college and university marketing—in an effort to trot out some of the most exciting developments in 2017, we're looking back at some of the best takeaways from the last 12 months.
Here are 10 things we learned about college marketing in 2017.
1. Blog like you mean it
Blogging isn't an exact science—but there are some careful steps you can take in your university blog to make it more user-friendly for your target consumers. What once was a press room for releases about your latest studies, research projects and the like is now a haven for your potential prospective students to find the authentic voice of the campus.
Read our full blog post 5 Ways to Enhance Your College or University Blog
2. Live video is a new necessity
It's no surprise that video on social media is the reigning champ, engagement- and performance-wise. So one way to capitalize on this trend in 2017 was to implement live video into your regular offerings on your most popular channels. We outlined some ways in which colleges and universities can effectively and efficiently round up some live video content for their users to offer new levels of real-time engagement.
Read our full blog post How to Make Live Video Work for Your College Marketing
3. It's all in the picture
Instagram played a big role in college and university marketing in 2017—and will continue to do so in the new year. With more than 500 million users, it's the staple platform that's most being neglected by higher education marketers. It's time to take your Instagram efforts to the next level and take advantage of a channel with continued growth potential and incredibly high engagement in your target Generation Z market.
Read our full blog post 5 Tips for Upping Your College or University's Instagram Game
4. Your campus culture affects enrollment
How you promote the culture that lives on your campus can be a major factor in Gen-Z decision-making come enrollment time. The best thing you can do is celebrate the natural culture that has developed among your students and depict it authentically (and often) in your marketing. Genuine representation of who you are as a student body can go a long way in building buy-in among your potential recruits.
Read our full blog post How Campus Culture Affects Perception of Your College or University
5. The viewbook can still matter
Though print materials are becoming less cost-effective with your target audiences, college marketers in 2017 have become aware that it's not about the viewbook itself—it's about the way in which you translate it across a variety of mediums. We took a look at several ways in which you can improve your college viewbook game effectively in your next go-around, from digitization to imagery selection.
Read our full blog post The Guide to Making Your College Viewbook Design Stellar
6. The more you know, the better you market
Data and information about your potential student recruits became more important than ever in 2017. Your prospects can be hard to nail down, particularly since they expect personalized messaging and a one-to-one touchpoint. Your marketing efforts need to be data-driven, based on real results and real metrics. It will ultimately make for a much more pleasant bottom line.
Read our full blog post How Your Data Improves Your Higher Education Marketing
7. There's a right and wrong way to college fair
Your team is used to hitting up college fairs left and right. But to accommodate the new generation of students to whom you're catering, it's important to have a solid plan of attack heading into an event such as this. To make it worth your while, do your homework ahead of time and capitalize on trends. There are a variety of ways, both conversationally and presentationally, that you can show off your best assets at a college fair.
Read our full blog post How University Marketers Can Make the Most of College Fairs
8. Taking the less obvious angle works
The unexpected is the way to engage this savviest of generations who is used to being permeated with marketing in every aspect of life. That's why guerrilla marketing was a key element of college and university marketing strategies in 2017. From non-standard messaging and style to interactive and engagement-worthy campaigns on social media and real-life, physical, on-campus marketing, guerrilla marketing is an aces way to amp up the volume on your campus excitement.
Read our full blog post Making Guerrilla Marketing Work for Your College or University
9. Your SEO isn't optimum
There's always more you can do to improve your website's SEO—if you have some ground to make up for in the search ranking department, your college or university website could probably use some SEO attention. We outlined some of the most likely ways your higher education presence could use some retooling at the most basic level.
Read our full blog post 5 SEO Mistakes Your College or University is Probably Making
10. User-generated content connects
One of the toughest uphill battles in college marketing is not having the humanpower to make all the necessary production happen. That's why the recent trend toward user-generated content is particularly useful to higher education marketers. You have countless contributors at your disposal—not only that, but they more than likely understand the distribution platforms (i.e., social media, mobile apps, etc.) and how Generation Z uses them better than anyone you have on staff.
Read our full blog post The Benefits of User-Generated Content in College Marketing