You've probably got a pretty good handle on how your target market perceives your college or university brand. But with so many channels to stretch your brand across, is the way you speak consistent across the board? Higher education brands need a recognizable voice in their marketing.

Here are four reasons consistent brand voice is so critical for colleges and universities.

Be Recognized a Mile Away

If consumers know who you are as an institution and understand what you offer and why you're special, your brand will have more instant recognizability. This can be a powerful tool, because it engages potential student recruits with existing buy-in to what you're selling. If your interstate billboard and your latest social post sound like they're coming from completely different entities, your brand equity becomes nonexistent. Set yourself up with the ability to cut to the chase and skip initial introductions with your most avid followers.

Empower Team Members

When you have a consistent and powerful brand voice, it becomes easier to enable your team members to engage with and create content. Wishy-washy brands make it too easy for end users to notice when someone else is pitching in on content creation—a clear branding guide makes it exponentially easier to alleviate this problem across all marketing channels. (And empowering more members of your university marketing team to contribute spreads the workload.)

Avoid Reeking of "Try-Hard"

Let's face it—with Gen-Z, you're catering to a group of people who are savvy to your seemingly sly marketing tactics. If you reek of trying too hard, it can be picked up on more easily than ever before. So be exactly who you are as a college or university, and make it evident in how you talk to your potential students. If you pride yourself on a positive, community-based atmosphere, engage those warm fuzzies in your messaging. If you offer modern amenities and have a healthy sense of humor, run with it. Just don't try too hard to be something you're not—authenticity is critical to successful recruitment.

Engage the Long Game

Taking a potential student from mild interest to thoughtful application to intentional enrollment is quite the journey. So hunker down for the long haul in your college marketing. Students will have an incredible amount of touchpoints with your brand's marketing before they move into the freshman dormitories. So make sure this experience is consistent from initial contact to graduation day. Position yourself in the best and most accurate way you can, and stick to your battle stations—you don't want to become unrecognizable or questionable to a student lead before you've officially sealed the deal. Offer a user experience that's resonant and memorable—and keep it that way until the degree is in hand.

Higher Education Freshman Insights Infographic Download