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4 marketing strategies for more college admissions on a budget

by Cyrus

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, applications to the most competitive colleges have gone up. Since they can only accept a certain number of students, that also means admissions have generally decreased over the past few years.

All those students who weren’t accepted to the most prestigious colleges will still need somewhere to get their higher education, so why shouldn’t it be your college? If you want to get more students next semester, here are four budget-friendly marketing strategies to increase college admissions.

Use eye-catching print marketing materials

Even in the digital age, print materials are still an effective marketing tactic for colleges. A well-designed poster can catch a potential applicant’s attention as they go about their day-to-day activities. The key is to place your eye-catching poster where your ideal audience spends their time.

Since you’re looking for more college admissions, the most effective place you could put your posters is in high schools and maybe even local community colleges. However, you could also hang posters in local businesses to attract anyone who might want to further their education to get a better job.

Since you’re busy managing all those college admissions, you likely don’t have time to design graphics from scratch. Luckily, there are thousands of college admission poster templates available from websites like PosterMyWall. Simply choose the template that best fits your college, customize the information, and you’re ready to print. Plus, all the templates are completely free! How’s that for budget friendly?

Templates are the best way to get professional-level graphics without needing professional-level design skills — or time.

Optimize your website

Perspective students do their research before applying to any college. They want to make sure the school is a good fit for their needs. And where do people go when they want to do research? The internet! So make sure your website can showcase your college in all its glory.

Make your website easy to navigate and fill it with high-quality content. The faster someone can find the information they’re looking for, the more likely they’ll take the next step in the sales process — or in your case, applying to your school!

It’s also a good idea to think about search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a way to make your website easier to navigate for search engine crawlers, so they can find information quickly and put it at the top of the search results for related queries.

For example, if someone goes to Google and types in “best college for communications,” your college’s page for the communications department should appear on the first page of the search engine results. And everyone knows that the first page of the search results is where you need to be if you want clicks!

Here are some of the best ways to boost your website’s SEO:

  • Use proper header tags
  • Create only high-quality content
  • Simplify navigation and menus
  • Speed up load times
  • Include internal and external links throughout

You already have a website. Implementing these optimization practices won’t cost you any more money out of pocket, meaning it’s one of the most budget-friendly and cost-effective ways to get more traffic to your school’s website and boost admissions.

Run social media ads

Social media is a great cost-effective tool to market your college courses. It’s free to start an account, and with over 5 billion active users worldwide, your audience base is virtually unlimited! However, only your followers see your posts organically. And if you want to extend your marketing reach in a budget-friendly manner, it’s a good idea to run some social media ads.

For a fee, the social media platform will promote your post to an audience demographic of your choice. This lets you narrow down your target audience to specific age groups, like high-school-age students, and reach thousands of people outside of your follower list.

The best part about social media ads is that you can choose your own budget. Pay a lot or a little; it’s completely up to you, making it easy to stay on budget.

Harness the power of email marketing

When it comes to budget-friendly marketing strategies, it’s hard to beat email. Email marketing generates an average of $36 for every $1 spent for an incredible 3,600% return on investment!

The reason email is so effective is because you can message your audience directly. No need to cross your fingers that they discover your website or social media posts organically. Email is especially effective for reaching return customers — or existing students who might want to come back to take additional courses.

Collect as many email addresses as you can and add them to your database. Then, send regular emails to keep your school at the top of their mind. Most marketing experts suggest sending between three and five emails per week. Introduce new courses, provide campus updates, and promote school-sponsored events. You could even start a monthly newsletter to keep everyone up to date on what’s happening at your school.

Then when someone is ready to take a new class or enroll in college for the first time, your school will be at the front of their mind.

Grow your college admissions numbers

Getting more college admissions doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Promote your school without breaking your budget with college admission poster templates, an optimized website, a few social media ads, and some well-timed email messages. It’s the best way to promote your school on a budget!

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