Marketing Insights

Marketing Strategies to Increase Student Enrollment

Here are marketing strategies to reach the students whose needs will be fulfilled with your university offerings.

With community college and postsecondary enrollment on the decline since the beginning of the pandemic, institutions of higher learning are struggling to meet student enrollment targets and budget goals. The pandemic is affecting nearly every aspect of university life, from admissions for enrollment. 

However, universities also have a unique set of marketing tools available to increase student enrollment, ranging from improved social media engagement to SEO and paid lead generation. There has never been a better time to reach and engage a new generation of students and present them with your university’s unique value proposition. 

Here are marketing strategies to reach the students whose needs will be fulfilled with your university offerings:  

Explain Your Unique Value Proposition

Crafting a clear, compelling, unique university offering that resonates with target prospective students is the first step. What does your school offer that is unique? What need or desire can you fulfill for students? How can you help them accomplish their goals? 

Conveying this message across social media, websites, blogs, and email marketing will provide a cohesive university vision and marketing plan. 

Use Social Media 

One of the best marketing tools available for universities and schools today is social media. It is the native environment of Gen Z and an important way to create organic reach and build trust. With nearly 3.1 billion people active on social media, there is no shortage of potential students that can be engaged through social media. 

Social media can also give prospective students insight into campus life. Create dedicated university hashtags where students and faculty can sharae candid images of campus life. Millennials and Gen Z are more swayed by user-generated content. Dedicated hashtags create an authentic university buzz.

To generate momentum, create multiple official university accounts, including student life, and accounts for specific departments. Post daily and highlight the campus, unique program offerings, dining and housing options, achievements and awards. 

Cultivate A Mailing List

Or better, yet, send out interesting, valuable content to the university’s email mailing list. Capture prospective students’ emails when they visit your website and follow up regularly. A dedicated email funnel to explain the university’s unique features and value proposition will help to engage new students and build connections. 

Improve SEO

Organic website traffic is one of the most important ways to increase student enrollment. Do your top programs show up in an organic search? Which keywords can you capture? Over 90% of people use search engines for information.  

If the university has a world-class marine biology program, but it only shows up on the second page of google, a huge amount of potential students will never see your site.

Creating new, relevant, keyword specific content will drive new users, improve reach and the potential to increase enrollment through followup, videos, personal connection, and more. 

Use Blogs to Drive Organic Traffic

Another effective marketing tool to improve reach is department-specific blogs. Companies that blog consistently generate up to 88% more leads. The same applies to higher education. Niche, keyword specific blogs can act as funnels to prime university programs. 

The key is to provide rich content and regular keyword-specific updates that are useful to both current and prospective students. 

Create Live Streams

Live streams are a popular way to connect directly with prospective students. This includes livestream videos through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Twitter. Marketing via video ads and live streams is especially effective as the human brain processes visual data up to 60,000 times faster than text.

Video content requires users to engage directly and spend more time on content, allowing marketers to deliver salient university features and values. Video ads typically lead to higher click-through rates, improving student response. 

Improve Response Time

With 24/7 availability, prospective students expect same day response times for inquiries and contact forms. Georgia State University was the pioneer of a university chatbot powered by artificial intelligence to improve response times. With it, students receive a response in an average of 7 seconds, and the university benefits from 90% student engagement. 

Get High-Profile Endorsements

From high-profile alumni to influencers, leveraging high-profile endorsements can help create excitement about university programs. Maharishi International University has done this effectively with the David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts, but it doesn’t require a degree program founded by a famous director. 

Students typically trust a school’s employment track record, so highlighting successful alumni and achievements builds trust and authority. Student and alumni ambassadors can contribute to a university Youtube channel or Instagram account, organically highlighting school success.


Marketing to increase student enrollment is the process of consistently reaching out across marketing channels with a clear value proposition. Improving response times, followup, live streams, and email marketing are all components of a marketing package that will build long-term university enrollment. 


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