Marketing to teenagers is one thing. But marketing to teenagers about the academic choices are another. Trying to get a teenager to pick your university over another is a different beast entirely.
It’s not like if the user in this instance buys a rival product that they can still sample yours later. Once they’ve chosen a university, they stick with it. (Well, technically they can change universities, but most don’t.)
Here are some of the things you should remember when marketing your university to those about to advance from secondary education.
Remember: teenagers are more cynical than ever
Here’s the thing about modern students: they’re onto you. They’re a bit more cynical than the generations that preceded them.
The way they engage with brands and advertising is completely different to what you may have seen in the past. I don’t want to portray the “kids of today” as grumpy – but they are wiser to modern business techniques.
They know when a business is just after their money or attention. Historically, one of the ways that companies have sparked the ire of the young in advertising is by trying too hard to be “down with them”.
Teenage cynicism towards this kind of thing has only increased over the years. So don’t be surprised your marketing campaign featuring an outdated Internet meme only makes them groan.
Your website needs to be stunning
A university is a place where the future begins to take shape. It’s where kids learn things like computer science and information technology.
If your website looks like it could have been made in the nineties, then they’re not going to have much faith in your skills.
They care about being modern. If they don’t think your university is very modern, they won’t be interested. And the first exposure to your university will be through your website.
They need to be impressed university web design almost as much as they need to be impressed by your university!
Students are usually worried about post-academic careers
Why are most students applying for further education? Sure, there are loads of them who are applying to university mostly for they perceive to be a university “party culture”. But even most of those kids are concerned about the future careers.
There needs to be a strong link between students of your university and good careers. Are you confident in the statistics of your previous students with regards to their job-acquiring skills? Then get those stats and find a way to use them in your marketing.
Yes, you can use Facebook
I read somewhere that universities aren’t allowed to use Facebook accounts for social media marketing. I’ve heard people talk about this, too. I’m not quite sure how far this rumour has spread, but don’t believe it. Universities can use any social media platform to market themselves.
The best way to use something like Facebook is to use it as a posting ground for all the events and accomplishments of your university. Because Facebook gives you so much room to post photos and share text, it can almost be as useful as your website. (But seriously, don’t use Facebook and assume you can ignore your website. Your website is still the most important thing!)