Pivoting Higher Education Comms During Covid-19

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With current uncertainty around Higher Education, our top 5 trends will help you shape a marketing plan that places students at the heart and ensures you understand the opportunities for your brand.


For further details on our higher education marketing strategy trends, download PDF: Higher-Education-Marketing-in a-Crisis

1. Times have changed

As with all times of change, it can make people reflect on their life and the future, university pathways are no different with 15% of prospective students now stating that they may change their university choice due to Covid-19. This means that universities have an opportunity to attract new students through marketing campaigns & PPC later in the year but also protect those who have committed to a university with ongoing comms through owned channels, such as email.

Furthermore, clearing through choice rather than necessity has become more popular which provides additional reason to have an always on approach throughout the year.

2. Close to home

With 15% of students reconsidering their university choice, we may see location become an even more important factor than it is now for two reasons:

1) Densely populated city universities may be impacted due to people being reluctant to return to busy urban spaces.

2) With long distance learning implemented there is no requirement for students to live on campus, they can save money from staying at home.

Consider how you could target prospective students in your local area with comms reinforcing location messaging.

3. Better than the real thing

It seems probable that most Open Days will be cancelled this year, therefore there is likely to be a bigger focus on virtual open days. Ensure you’re creating high quality content that shows off your university in the best possible way.

Research has also demonstrated prospective students want to talk to current students about their experiences – encourage Unibuddy, webinars, Q&As, even live video streams on social so
they can connect virtually.

4. Will history repeat itself?

If we look back at 2008/2009, there was a sharp uptake in Higher Education applicants as students felt they needed more of an edge in a competitive job market – we may see this trend follow
in a likely Covid-19 recession.

Highlighting career prospects and skill development in marketing will likely appeal to audiences that are conscious of the economic climate and the benefit Higher Education can offer them as a job candidate.

5. Take the pressure off

The Higher Education application process is already deemed stressful for prospective students; however this has now been amplified with exam cancellations and uncertainty around processes.

Ensure you are continually communicating to prospective students with emotionally supportive content alongside practical guidance, so they feel reassured. Don’t forget about current students though, peer word of mouth is a big influence for choosing universities so make sure you’re reaching out to current students and helping them through this time.

If you need any further support or information then do not hesitate to contact the Mediaworks team.

Thank You. Stay Safe.


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