How to use digital marketing to diversify the international student body

Global universities have increasingly been relying on China and India as two of their most significant sources of international students in recent years. These two countries alone account for a considerable portion of the global student population, with China being the largest source of international students worldwide, followed by India. However, with recent geopolitical tensions and pandemic-related disruptions, universities have started to recognize the risks of relying too heavily on these two countries and are increasingly looking to diversify their student body by targeting other regions and countries. This shift towards diversity is driven by the desire to mitigate risk and create a more balanced and inclusive learning environment that benefits students from all backgrounds.

At the same time, during the pandemic, the internet has transformed the way students approach the application process for colleges and universities. More and more students are turning to online resources to research potential institutions, explore degree programs, and access application materials. The convenience and accessibility of online resources have made it easier than ever for students to navigate the application process, even if they are not located in the same geographic area as the institution they are interested in. This trend has created a big opportunity for universities to engage with a wider pool of potential applicants, especially those who may not have had access to the same information and resources in the past. With the right online marketing strategies and outreach efforts, universities can tap into this trend and expand their reach to attract talented students from all corners of the world.

But, as more and more companies shift their advertising budgets to digital channels, online marketing has become increasingly competitive and expensive. This trend has not spared the education sector, with universities also facing significant challenges in online marketing. Unlike many other industries, universities often have limited marketing budgets, which makes it challenging to compete effectively with larger corporations for online advertising space. As a result, universities must carefully target their advertising efforts and develop creative campaigns that resonate with their target audience to ensure that they get a good return on investment.

Another significant challenge for universities in online marketing is the difficulty of tracking results and measuring return on investment (ROI). Digital campaigns can be complex and involve multiple touchpoints, making it challenging to identify which tactics are working and which ones are not. Additionally, universities often have long sales cycles, which can make it challenging to attribute conversions directly to specific marketing efforts. This lack of visibility can make it challenging for universities to optimize their campaigns and make informed decisions about where to allocate their marketing budget.

How to solve this?

Focusing on Strengths

In a highly competitive landscape, it’s essential for universities to focus on what sets them apart and make a compelling case for why prospective students should choose them over other options. To develop a successful online marketing strategy, universities must first take a data-driven approach to understanding their unique strengths and advantages from the perspective of international students. This means analyzing data on factors such as location, rankings, language, and other key drivers of student decision-making. As experts in understanding the needs and preferences of international students who are considering multiple destinations, Global Admissions can help universities identify and bring out their unique value proposition and develop targeted marketing campaigns that highlight their strengths.

Focusing on the Long Tail

The long tail refers to a large number of students who are located in many areas and have unique needs or preferences but are often overlooked by traditional marketing efforts. These customers may have specific interests or needs that are not widely catered to by mainstream programs. In the context of online admissions, the long tail represents the idea that the collective demand for these niche products or services can be just as significant, if not more so, than the demand for popular, mainstream offerings. This is because the internet has made it easier for customers to find and access these niche offerings, creating a more diverse and inclusive market. By targeting the long tail of students, universities can tap into new sources of demand, create more personalized offerings, and build stronger relationships with their customers.

The internet and digital marketing is changing

The rise of social media and influencers has revolutionized the way businesses approach marketing. Social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have become powerful marketing channels, providing universities with access to massive audiences and offering new ways to engage with customers. Influencers, who are social media personalities with large followings, have emerged as key players in the world of marketing. They have the ability to shape consumer behavior by promoting products and services to their followers, who trust their opinions and recommendations. This has resulted in a shift towards more personalized, authentic marketing, where businesses partner with influencers to reach new audiences and build brand awareness. Influencer marketing has proven to be highly effective, with studies showing that it generates higher engagement rates and conversion rates than traditional marketing methods. As social media and influencer marketing continue to evolve, universities must adapt their strategies to stay relevant and connect with their customers in meaningful ways.

Content Creation is Becoming More Important

In the world of marketing, as marketing becomes more expensive, advertising and listings costs rise, content creation has emerged as a critical component of successful digital marketing strategies. Creating high-quality, engaging content is essential to building brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, and engaging with students across multiple channels. However, as more businesses and universities recognize the importance of content marketing, the competition for audience attention has become more intense. This means that simply creating content is no longer enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace. To be successful, universities must focus on creating high quality content that is relevant, timely, and useful to their target audience. This requires a deep understanding of their students needs and preferences, as well as the ability to create content that is both engaging and valuable. In today’s digital age, content truly is king, but creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience is becoming increasingly difficult, and universities must invest in the skills and resources needed to create content that stands out from the crowd.

Using Students as Ambassadors to Generate Content

One huge resources that universities and advantage universities have is that they are already generating huge amounts of content. Not to mention teachers, lectures, classes, but students are all creating lots of content organically by themselves everyday .Universities can leverage their students as ambassadors to create authentic and engaging content that resonates with prospective students. Students are the heart and soul of any university, and they have unique perspectives and experiences that can provide valuable insights into campus life, academic programs, and other aspects of the university. By empowering students to create and share content with the university, universities can tap into their enthusiasm and creativity to reach new audiences and showcase the unique benefits of their institution. Student-created content can take many forms, from blog posts and social media updates to videos and podcasts. By providing students with the tools and resources they need to create high-quality content, universities can showcase their strengths and create a sense of community among their student body. Additionally, student-generated content can be an effective way to reach prospective students who may be more likely to trust the opinions of their peers over traditional marketing messages which can feel more authentic and real. By leveraging the power of student ambassadors, universities can create compelling content that resonates with their target audience and drives enrollment.

MultiLingual Content

Multilingual content is a powerful tool for universities to connect with students who speak different languages and come from diverse backgrounds. Students are more likely to engage with content that is presented in their native language because it feels more personal and relatable. By offering multilingual content, universities can show that they value and respect the diversity of their student body, and are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment. In addition, multilingual content can also help universities to reach new audiences in different parts of the world, where English may not be the dominant language. This can be especially important for universities that are looking to attract international students, who may be more likely to consider institutions that offer content in their native language. Overall, multilingual content can be a powerful way for universities to connect with students on a deeper level, build stronger relationships, and create a more diverse and inclusive community.

Introducing Global Admissions

At Global Admissions, we understand the challenges that universities face in today’s competitive digital marketing landscape. That’s why we offer a range of free and paid marketing services designed to help universities reach new audiences, diversify their student body, and achieve their enrollment goals. Our team of experts works closely with each university to develop a tailored marketing plan that is tailored to their unique needs and goals. We use data-driven strategies to identify target audiences, create personalized messaging, and track results using key performance indicators (KPIs) and monthly reports. With our help, universities can leverage the power of digital marketing to build stronger relationships with students, create a more inclusive and diverse community, and drive long-term success. To learn more about our services and schedule a call with one of our experts, visit our website today.


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