May 16, 2013 debbie.m

Developing Your College Website as an Effective Marketing Tool

Just a couple of decades ago, marketing academic programs and recruiting students consisted of traditional methods of paid advertising, along with campus visits. Previously, for coverage, college recruiters relied on:

  • Paid ads in the industry publications
  • Ads in other print and electronic media
  • Campus visits

These tactics are still very powerful for college recruiters and officials to market their academic programs. However, the media landscape has changed substantially. Students are turning to search engines and social networks to gather information. There is a fundamental shift in the way people gather and digest information. People are searching, discussing, and recommending online. With this in mind, colleges need to understand and leverage this huge online opportunity to reach out to prospective students and their families. To tap this opportunity, they need to have a strong web presence in the form of their websites.

Traditional marketing and recruitment, when properly complemented with online efforts, can help you start, build, and maintain relationships with prospective students and their parents. Today, seeing huge potential online, educational institutions are already jumping on the bandwagon with the help of new web technology. These institutions are putting effort into turning their website into an effective marketing tool, used to entice new students to their institutions. This is more about convincing than enticing, though! With a university’s website live, students can very conveniently scope out what the university has got to offer, and how it differentiates itself from other universities. This helps raising awareness among prospective students and their families. Remember, differentiating yourself from others is the key to success. This can be achieved by providing good user experience in terms of:

  • Attractive design
  • Smoother user interactivity
  • Informative content
  • Overall ease of use

In the future, marketing your college and recruiting new students  is going to evolve into a more sophisticated process. Augmented with online efforts, traditional recruitment practices will continue. To make the complete process a success, you need to assess how your website strategy accommodates your overall marketing goals, and then develop a website that will accomplish that.

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