In 1982, the University of Chicago became the first American school to offer correspondence courses. This allowed students from all over the country to earn a degree completely over the mail. Consequently, distance learning revolutionised the way people sought out education.
Online programmes have become the next and natural evolution of the correspondence course. Countless universities, colleges and educational institutions now offer fully online degrees, programmes and courses. Distance learning courses offer potential students accessibility, flexibility and affordability. But before the first lesson can take place, schools need to reach and connect with prospects.
If your college, university or educational institution is offering online courses, then we have four steps that will boost your programme’s enrolment.
Target the right audience
Marketing anything, from online courses to can of beans or travel experiences, boils down to one thing – you have to know your audience. Who is your ideal student? That is the first question to ask when outlining a marketing strategy for your school’s programmes
Creating a student persona will help you figure that out. With the insights from a student persona, you will know what your audience values, what motivates them to take action, the challenges they may be facing, and more. Using this information, you can tailor your content and marketing to resonate with your ideal students.
Showcase the value of your course
Again, the right messaging is not just about highlighting what makes your course great. It is about what makes it perfect for your specific audience. Let us say your online course is tailored towards a non-traditional student seeking a career change. Perhaps they are the head of their household, working a full-time job to provide for their family.
To this audience, the fact that they can take your course online is key. That is because they will be able to study on their schedule. Affordability could also be a key-value to highlight in your messaging, as online learning might be a considerable investment for your target students. Finally, the vision of a better future for them and for their family might be the key decision-maker and is something worth highlighting in your marketing.
Share success stories
Online courses come with an inherent promise – what students will gain by completing the curriculum. One way to showcase how your course will deliver on that promise is to share success stories from previous students.
Publishing real, honest testimonials shared by past students can tip the scales in your favour during your prospects’ decision-making process. Plus, reviews and success stories can provide an institution-wide effect, adding value and credibility to your school’s brand. Furthermore, if your course is brand new and no students have graduated yet, you can still take advantage of this approach. You can feature stories and testimonials for your institution as a whole or for other courses you offer.
Lastly, you do not want to lose potential students to a cumbersome enrolment process. Once learners have landed on your school’s website, or better yet, your course’s landing page, they should see clear calls to action on what comes next.
How can they apply? Is enrolment instant or must they wait for a response? Can the entire process be handled online? How long does it take? These are all questions your potential students may be asking themselves. Be sure your website has the answers they need.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post on how to market your online courses to boost enrolment. At faethe.marketing we have been helping schools to successfully increase enrolment in both online and traditional courses. So if you are looking to recruit more students for your programmes with minimal cost and effort, feel free to reach out to us.