Over the past few years, a growing number of clients have approached Stamats asking for assistance refreshing and strengthening their brand marketing messages and improving the effectiveness of their student recruitment messaging. These two challenges converge for the types of information and messages used to promote academic programs.
Based on scores of competitor reviews, some institutions clearly stand out in program promotion. And there’s a formula to their success. Here are six steps to enhance program marketing on your website.
- Use program descriptions to reinforce your brand message: Too often, program descriptions simply repeat dry catalog copy. But forward-thinking schools are using program descriptions to prove their brand marketing messages. For example, if you position your institution as a leader in experiential learning, promote this point by showing how, when, and where students gain hands-on experience.
- Translate positioning points into student-valued benefits: Asserting that your institution is a world leader in innovation, practice, and research is not enough. Use program descriptions to convey how you prepare students to be leaders, innovators, and researchers.
- Write to inspire: Words matter. Effective institutions infuse their program descriptions with inspiration and emotion—communicating what students will do; how they’ll grow; and how they’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to succeed. An increasing number of schools are also crafting future-directed messaging around themes of making a difference, tackling tomorrow’s challenges, and building a better world.
- Use real examples and share career outcome information: Today’s students respond to authentic messaging and real results. Give audiences a glimpse into your school through student profiles, testimonials, and success stories.
Likewise, share actual career outcome information such as top employers, starting salaries, job titles, and graduate school acceptance rates. Many graduate programs also showcase information on promotions, salary increases, and new job offers that currently enrolled students receive.
- Share practical program information: Particularly for adult students, it’s crucial to demonstrate that the program they’re interested in is doable. Provide at-a-glance information that includes:
- Number of required credits
- Degree completion time
- How, when, and where courses are delivered
- Length of term, number of courses per term, and course times
- Semester-by-semester curriculum outline (full-time and part-time)
- Tuition and fees
- Financial aid, scholarships, and other funding options
- Application deadlines and program start dates
- Provide downloadable program brochures: Finally, program descriptions should have clear calls to action that make it easy to schedule a visit or apply; include contact information to personalize the process.
Implementing these recommendations will not only empower prospective students to make informed decisions, but it will also help them envision life on your campus, and spur them to act. If you’d like to explore Stamats’ academic program marketing, content development, or student recruitment services, please call Sara Henton (319) 861-5072.
Author: Jim Reilly