With the end of FY23 just around the corner, we know many of you are feverishly working on plans and budgets for FY24–a clear plan and priorities have never been more important. It’s important to be realistic. You can't do everything you might feel needs to be done all at once. But you can prioritize based on the strategic activities that are most likely to have a positive impact on your institution's enrollments. Let the data guide you to the best decisions.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled insights from clients and industry partners, and put together our recommendations for top initiatives to prioritize as you look ahead at your next enrollment cycle.
Google Analytics 4
Just as most fiscal years are getting started on July 1, 2023, Google is officially replacing Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Google will no longer process data on UA on this date so if you haven’t made the switch to GA4, this is the final call.
While there are mixed opinions on GA4, similar to any big update from Google, there are definite advantages of GA4 that should get EDU marketers excited. Already, we are seeing increased visibility into behaviors across a more complete customer / student lifecycle, enhanced cross-domain tracking for better attribution insights, and more efficiencies and insights powered by AI and machine learning.
Haven’t made the switch yet or haven’t been able strategize to get the most out of your GA4 setup? See how Primacy is helping clients.
Cross-Channel, ROI-Focused Measurement Strategy
In addition to the switch to GA4, we encourage all marketing / admissions teams to have a comprehensive measurement strategy that can help you understand enrollment impact and ROI of your marketing efforts. We know this is easier said than done, but as CRM and measurement tools are evolving, Primacy is finding ways to more seamlessly integrate media and measurement platforms for enrollment impact visibility and to more effectively optimize campaigns based on full-funnel insights.
Program Demand Research
With so many changes in higher education, the workforce, audience demographics, and the economy overall, similar changes in the demand for particular programming shouldn’t come as a surprise. In order to diversify enrollment and drive revenue, it’s essential to continuously evaluate program demand based on economic factors, and to be revamping curriculum, sunsetting programs, and introducing new programming accordingly. This, along with brand perception and voice of customer research, can help you identify your white space and prioritize your marketing budget for maximum return on your marketing investment.
Social Media Platform Consolidation
Sprout Social recently released their annual Social Media Demographic and Usage Report and to no surprise, TikTok continues to see unprecedented growth, Facebook usage continues to decline, and Reels are now the top medium for engagement on Instagram. Creativity and storytelling are musts with a social media strategy and the release of this report is a friendly reminder that you can’t always do it all. Leverage Sprout Social’s report and your own data and insights to determine where you see the most engagement and where there’s the most opportunity to evolve–prioritize those social media platforms accordingly and look to eliminate or de-prioritize others.
With people now watching an average of 17 hours of online videos per week, it's critical to use this medium in your enrollment marketing . Here are few suggestions:
- Keep your videos educational and informative. Prospects aren’t just watching videos for entertainment; they are often seeking to learn something new or looking for content they are passionate about.
- Increase the use of user-generated content. Almost 80% of people say user-generated content has significantly impacted purchasing decisions. If you don’t have student ambassadors involved in your social media marketing strategy, now is the time to make this a priority.
- Focus on vertical, mobile oriented videos. With the continued rise in video consumption via TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, vertical and mobile-first experiences must be prioritized.
Search Engine Optimization
Niel Patel surveyed 8,000+ marketers and almost 70% of respondents advised they planned to increase their investment in SEO in 2023. Their reasoning: it provides higher ROI than paid advertising. We know the complexity of SEO can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. HubSpot has a great 2023 SEO Guide and Primacy has assembled an SEO Toolkit based on our experience working with hundreds of websites over the years. For those of you who have a great foundational SEO strategy and are looking to turn it up a notch, check out SEJ’s 10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice for 2023 and Beyond for some actionable insights.
Leveraging AI Tools like Chat GPT
Chat GPT and other generative AI tools continue to gain momentum as great tools to support many professionals, including EDU marketers. Content generation to support marketing activities is top on the list for marketers (I even tried writing this blog using Chat GPT). And now companies like Element451 are using generative AI technology to power chatbots and to streamline content creation and editing for email marketing more efficiently and effectively.
Are you ready for your next enrollment cycle? What are your top marketing priorities? Let us know! And if Primacy can help you plan for FY24 and beyond, education [at] theprimacy.com (get in touch.)