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MARKETING STRATEGIES USED BY UNIVERSITIES FOR ONLINE PROGRAMS.

Updated on May 30, 2016

Improvements in technology and increasing use of internet worldwide has led to another beehoveful discovery which has simplified the life of many ardent people who have the willingness to continue their studies but are constrained by time, place or nature. Online programs is a true bliss for people with physical disabilities ; busy full-time employees or those who are apart from the place of education due to financial lack. These programs are much more economical and thus are capable of satisfying the needs of masses.

But how do these courses reach people? How are people attracted to these courses?

Robert Heller accurately said-“Familiarity is the culmination of successful brand building.” Hence, for the success of any program, it should be made familiar to the people who are its end users. And here comes the dire need of advantageous marketing strategies.

Among the various contemporaries of marketing strategies; following are the indispensable ones.

1) DIGITAL MARKETING:

Digital marketing strategies include search engine optimization (SEO) ; search engine marketing (SEM) ; content marketing ; influencer marketing ; content automation ; campaign marketing etc.

Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results and more frequently a site appears in the search result lists, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine users. As an internet marketing strategy ,SEO considers how a search engine works, what people search for, the actual search terms and which search engine is preferred by the targeted audience. But, SEO is not an appropriate strategy for every website, and other internet market strategies can be more effective like paid advertising through pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

Based on this is the marketing service of Google ad words; it is an online advertising service that enables advertisers to compete to display brief advertising copy to web users, based on part keywords , predefined by the advertisers, that might link the copy to the content of web pages shown to the users.

Similar to this is the Bing keyword search; the yahoo bing network is the combined advertising marketing place of yahoo, bing, and related partner sites. They all work together to bring a distinct valuable audience. They work on a three-step mechanism wherein firstly; people search for a product or service, then they find your ads and finally the customer reaches you.

Several universities do indulge in this practice, but telling a value for the costs of such programs is a mere impossible task because SEO is like buying a car; your price will match your needs. You can start off with a budget of a nominal INR 1000 per day.

Content marketing :Using blogging as a marketing tool for your university helps in creating an image of generosity ; helps students to perceive you as a thought leader and this in-turn leads to idealization of your contemplation's and they start perceiving that the faculty at such a university would be THE BEST; which as a result helps the university to gain more and more audiences. Through content marketing, many universities have been successful in fascinating more and more students and thus gaining a large share of the audience. For example:

DeVry university : Devry’s blog offers a variety of information including sections on tech, business, health care.

Capera university: Capella university has several blogs titles “voices of Capella” that help attract various personas.

Fortis: Fortis has several blogs as well, covering their target prospective students in the areas of nursing, health care, online degrees, skilled trades, technology, and military. They post educational content often, highlighting both news in the respective industries and actionable advice for readers.

Anthem education:This college tailors their course offerings to help you have the best shot at getting a job after graduation. Their blog content is aligned with this goal, including topics like "How to Create a Portfolio" and "Top Careers You Can Prepare for In Two Years or Less.

Saint Leo university: Saint Leo offers educational ebooks tailored to the content in the blog articles for readers to convert on, thus collecting contact information of prospective students

2) SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING :

Social media marketing is carried on by the involvement of social websites such as facebook, twitter, flick, pin interest, foursquare, you tube.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks.

For making social media marketing a success every marketer should work by two approaches. First, Passive Approach; it is based on the involvement of end users. This approach works on the principle that people tend to make posts and comment on anything which is new and influensive , further sharing of these posts throughout the social media leads to the success of marketing process, this tends to be a sort of earned advertising; and the efforts of marketer here are minimal or non-existent.

The second approach is The Active Approach; this approach ensures surety of the marketers’ word being spread throughout the public and help marketer in building a healthy image for its program whereas the impact of passive approach can be negative and can lead to defamation of a brand/program. And also passive approach tend to be much more uncertain and is likely to favor marketing process only when it is already famous , it can foster a marketing process but one cannot completely rely upon it. Most commonly it is observed that online dialog’s are the best form of involving masses and to enhance relations with consumers. Using customer influencers such as bloggers can be very effective and cost- efficient.

You tube is another huge and significant platform where people share their experience of online school, and universities propagate their method of online professing by uploading a prerecorded video which is a teaser of the courses offered.

Social media is a platform accessible and availed by people from around the world, and, customarily used and the most common form of promotion/marketing and thus is the requisite of a successful marketing process.

Harvard University has been using facebook, twitter, foursquare, pin interest as well as flickr for the promotion of its courses.

3) DIRECT MARKETING:

A straight forward and manageable way of boosting your marketing campaign is to outreach students by the way of E-mails. And to bolster this goal, college fairs are an excellent venue at which E-mail addresses from students can be easily appropriated. After the procurement of E-mail ID’s next step is to invest In an E-mail marketing software which should be friendly to the marketing budget.

E-mail marketing campaigns can reach an infinite exponential number of prospective consumers.

4) LECTURE WEBCASTING :

A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the internet using streaming media technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially webcasting is broad casting over the internet. The benefits of webcasting are that It helps in reaching a larger audience, it is cost effective and is a representation of viral marketing.

Lecture webcasting is constitutional to every online school. Webcasting is internal and of chief importance for the marketing of an online school.

Most of the universities have been using this tool for marketing. For example UC Berkley, university of California Santa Cruz, MIT, Harvard university , UCLA , University of California , Yale university, Columbia university , university of oxford, strand for graduate business school , university of southern California, And much more.

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”-Joe Chernov. And hence, marketing is an imperative part to triumph over your competitors and to win the customers. And no program can be successful without a blue print. So create your congenial blueprint today based on above suggestion and feel the success.

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