Higher Education
Marketing Playbook

Research and insights for the modern higher education marketer

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Digital advertising for higher education poses a unique combination of challenges within the industry and within the digital landscape. With economic pressures, declining college enrollment rates in the U.S., and a future full of dire predictions about decreasing pools of students, higher education marketing has never been more competitive or complicated. Both your prospective students and your marketing strategies exist in a rapidly changing world, defined by uncertainty. If you’re looking to meaningfully engage tomorrow’s students, your strategies need to adapt to their interests, behavior, and needs. Gaining insight into this audience will help you update your tactics and reach them where they are.

AUDIENCEX strategists have released this year’s Higher Education Marketing Playbook to help you identify and understand multiple relevant audience segments, share tactics and strategic approaches that can help you engage with them, and provide concrete examples of performance outcomes.

Including Case Studies for These Brands

Higher Education Digital Marketers Must Understand the Needs of Prospective Students

According to EvoLLLution, 58% of students cited “to achieve career outcomes” as a reason for degree enrollment.

Yet an astounding 41% of students are underemployed after graduation.

Prospects are searching for programs that are priced within their means that also have proven success in preparing students to pursue their goals. With rising financial pressures, universities must also take note of evolving trends within the education and political space.

New learning trends, such as online learning, college alternatives, and brand disruptors, have placed pressures on current players within higher education as innovative ways to learn new skills emerge.

Marketers Need to Know Where Tomorrow’s Students Are

Understanding your audience and knowing where they’re currently engaged is key, from prospective freshmen to their parents and adults continuing their education.

Top Social Media Platforms for Undergrad Prospects, Age 16-18

(% of Audience Usage (Daily) / Estimated Audience Size)

74% / 7.7 M

63% / 6.6 M

59% / 5.7 M

40% / 3.0 M

Download the full playbook for data on more social networks, and audience data on the parents of undergraduate prospects.

Marketers Can’t Afford to Overlook Expansion Audiences

As we face continued shifts in the professional world, higher education marketers must understand the repercussions this has for their own marketing. Consider how you might address adults who are going back to school to continue their education or change careers, or what you might have to offer those exploring alternatives such as trade schools or vocational programs.

Top Indexing Interests:

Adult Continuing Education (Age 25+). Estimated US Audience: 8.1M




Parenting / Childcare

Coding / Programming

Download the full playbook for insights on additional expansion audiences.

Education Marketers Must Adapt to Remain Relevant

Higher education must become omnichannel to reach their audiences and acquire new students.

Benefits of omnichannel marketing:

High Enrollment
and Loyalty

Better Audience Insights

Increase in Applications

Smoother Enrollment Process

More Integrated Prospects

Get the Free Higher
Education Marketing Playbook

Get a wealth of further insights and data, new strategic approaches, and updated tactics to try when you download our new Higher Education Marketing Playbook, compiled by our expert strategists to help you refine your marketing approach to see improved, true performance outcomes.

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