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Digital Marketing Strategy for Higher Education

Upal Pradhan
Managing Director-Kratos
Friday, January 13, 2017
Upal Pradhan
In recent years, the higher education landscape in India has become increasingly competitive, as universities and colleges from across the globe, strive to recruit and retain high-quality Indian students. In today's technology-centric world, college management is recognizing that more and more prospective students will be first introduced to an education institution through their mobile device. These students are part of the mobile-only generation, and it's the way they interact with everything they do. This makes it a critical new channel for reaching them.

This is why higher education marketing strategies need to ensure they say their story, no matter where or how the students consume it online. Higher education institutions have to incorporate online and digital strategies not only to recruit students, but also to research prospective students. They have to engage with various constituents via multiple communication channels.

This is done at a basic level through a mix of paid and organic placements in the digital space to generate leads. The next stage is in connecting with them across multiple devices (mobile, Tablet, Laptop) and multiple channels (Social, FB, Twitter, Instagram, search- Google, Bing Blogposts and 1000s of other educational, gaming sites the students visit). Building a brand and a relation that lasts means building an interactive relation with the target audience over the period of 2-3 years (when they are in 11th and 12th) across device, across channels through really useful and interesting content to build the kind of recall and loyalty that's unparalleled. Given that prospective students most likely will conduct their college search on smart phones, a digital marketing strategy in the coming years needs to focus on the mobile experience.

Best practices for a successful mobile strategy

Mobile web
Start with the mobile web first, as that strategy gives you a wider reach. Despite the well-known popularity of smart phones in India, many feature phones are still in use. In addition, students may prefer to use a browser as opposed to downloading an app in the initial search. Prospective students who have decided to apply or their parents will make the commitment to download an app. After you have a robust mobile website, add native apps.

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