With a slew of alumni events in your rearview and commencement looming, you’ve just realized that you haven’t spent all of this year’s marketing budget. And much like your health insurance cafeteria plan, if you don’t spend it, it’s gone forever. Just like it’s a bad idea to schedule last-minute lasik, it’s not a great idea to just throw money at production work or that t-shirt cannon you’ve been eyeing since 2013.
You aren’t alone in your struggle. This year, much like years prior, we’ve gotten our fair share of calls from higher ed marketers looking to work in some pretty cool ideas before their budget vanishes like a cat-faced snapchat pic. That got us thinking, what are the most strategic ways to spend the remainder of this year’s budget to ensure you finish strong and start the next academic year off right?
Workshops and Training
Getting your team up to speed on higher ed trends, content or social media strategy, SEO/paid media, or brand activation can be invaluable rolling into a new year. Workshops are a great way for you and your team to get away from the noise for a half day and then put initiatives into action in a very short amount of time.
You’d love to spend time rifling through your cross-apps’ websites, print collateral, or paid media. Or even inquiring for more info from a competitor just to see what they are sending to prospective students. Competitive reviews give you great insights into how a university is positioning itself, how it’s marketing to the masses, how it’s utilizing their website and social, and what messages are hitting email inboxes.
Having someone take a look and make sure conversions, goals, demographics, industry benchmarks, etc… are set up correctly can make a big difference in how you report results to the powers that be. Analytics audits will also provide great insights into…
A few years ago, this term was pretty specific to website content. Done right, content strategy provides a framework that spans multiple mediums and channels – from print to web to social to email to public relations. A good content strategy starts with pillars, addresses the best mediums, and identifies how you’ll deliver content, build reach, and acquire new friends, followers, and prospects.
Search Engine Optimization and Paid Media Audits
Unless you are your state’s flagship school or the first 16 to beat a 1, prospective students are searching for their program/degree of interest before brand. SEO and paid media audits can find critical gaps in your efforts and provide you with insights that you can act on almost immediately.
What’s it All Mean?
Well, it means that you’ve got some options that will get you and your staff prepped for an amazing new academic year. Summer is a great time for colleges and universities to build on marketing strategies and plan for execution beginning in the fall.