3 Ways Consistent Marketing Can Save Your Graduate Program
Do you feel like you are constantly paying for digital marketing and garnering little results? Most programs are unsatisfied with their Return On Investment (ROI), but when they try to fix it, they don’t know where to start. What most programs don’t know is that it’s likely your marketing plan that’s to blame. But it isn’t the plan itself that’s the problem, it’s that you’re not following it consistently. The majority of marketing plans fail due to inconsistent posting, overextending platform use, and reactionary responses.
Stick to a Consistent Marketing Plan
At the beginning of each academic year (before the start of the semester) your team should create a marketing plan. The plan should be consistent and utilize a marketing and social media calendar. You should know what and when to post no later than a month in advance. Try to stay consistent. This is key. Marketing efforts consisting of events, networking, newsletters, speaking engagements, and deadlines are considered targeted marketing and create a sense of immediacy that attracts leads and creates conversions. This doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to market them. As soon as an event is scheduled you should include it in your marketing plan.
Don’t Overextend Your Platform Use
Another trap most graduate programs fall into is overextending their platform use. Efforts pay-off when you use a level of constraint. It’s easy to want to post on all of the social media platforms. This heightens awareness, right? More platforms, more leads! If your marketing department cannot handle this workload or if you don’t have the content to support the plan this may end up hurting your program. Try to stick to one platform at a time and work your way up. Consider your audience personas and choose the platforms that best suit your prospective students. Also, remember these widely accepted rules:
Facebook = Awareness
LinkedIn = Connections
Twitter = Spreads the Word
Instagram = Is Hardly Ever For Over 25-Year-Olds
Don’t Fall into the Trap of Knee-Jerk Posting
The three pitfalls that can lead to reactionary posting are:
- There are so many new inquiries, you no longer feel the need to market. A few weeks or months later, there is not a single prospective student in sight.
- You are not receiving the ROI that you expected, so you utilize a knee-jerk response by randomly posting everywhere. Here, you lose the consistency that we spoke about before, and this leaves your audience confused or bombarded.
- You didn’t plan accordingly for an upcoming event or deadline. At the last minute you post anywhere and everywhere to increase exposure.
Reactionary posting leads to marketing plans that are never executed. At the beginning of the year, you spent a great deal of time and effort formulating the perfect marketing plan. Why abandon it now?
Inconsistent marketing can confuse and frustrate your audience. It may leave them feeling unsettled and as a result they may find your program untrustworthy. A thoroughly planned and consistently executed marketing plan will result in more leads, more conversions, and more students.