As someone who is working in the higher education marketing field, you understand the value of remaining at the forefront of your industry. After all, knowing and understanding the complex factors impacting higher ed can help your institution meet its goals. Here are higher education marketing trends for 2023.
Flexible learning options: Share a story that is value-driven
More and more prospective students and their families are questioning the value of a traditional four-year degree. That is why it is time for higher ed marketers to tell a different story. To reach students today, you need to emphasise flexible learning options that lead to tangible outcomes.
User testing can provide you with valuable insights to help you make adjustments and ensure prospects can find the flexible options they are looking for. This can be as simple as asking current students to find specific pieces of information about your varied programmes and assessing how long it takes them to find the answers.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Move beyond the performative
Today’s prospective students genuinely care about whether or not your institution offers a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) learning environment. What you say on your website should match what your students and employees experience daily at your institution. Because if it does not, prospects will quickly figure that out.
It is also crucial for marketers to think about DE&I in terms of website accessibility. Making sure your website meets your users’ varied physical and cognitive needs is a crucial part of being welcoming and inclusive.
Trauma-informed design: Take into consideration students’ lived experiences
The trend of trauma-informed design is spreading across numerous businesses and sectors. The basic premise is that the way a website looks, feels, and functions can have a profound impact on the emotional state of its users.
- Some of the key elements of trauma-informed design include:
- Using respectful and non-triggering language
- Sharing information that is unpleasant or upsetting while displaying empathy
- Distributing content warnings to help visitors avoid content they may find problematic
- Avoiding jargon and vague terms to help non-traumatised users to disassociate from difficult issues
Increased funding challenges: Improve your website’s effectiveness by making data-driven decisions
It is no secret that some higher ed institutions have had difficulty in meeting enrolment goals in recent years. As a result, many marketers are feeling pressured to use their websites to attract more right-fit students and lead them through the decision funnel.
But, despite the pressure of increased funding challenges, many marketers still do not make website decisions based on quantitative and qualitative insights. In order to make a difference for your institution, it is crucial to:
- Recognise any potential new areas where your website could have an enrolment impact
- Make changes to your website’s content strategy, design, and information architecture
- Use Google Analytics, data visualisation tools, and qualitative insights from user testing to see what is working and what is not
Turbulent geopolitical landscape: Being transparent in addressing student concerns
Now more than ever, politics and education are intertwined. And it is becoming more and more important to address key social issues in order to connect with prospective students and persuade them to enrol at your institution. Prospects are paying attention to what is happening in the world and want to hear how your institution will address the issues that matter most to them.
This could mean:
- Sharing how your institution supports students’ reproductive rights
- Proactively demonstrating a commitment to diverse and inclusive hiring and admission practices
- Making a sincere effort to lower the amount of debt your students graduate with
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post on higher education trends for your 2023 marketing strategy. At faethe.marketing we have been helping schools get more students at lower prices. So if you are looking to recruit more students for your programmes with minimal cost and effort, feel free to reach out to us.