Marketing 101 for Universities: How to Increase Student and Alumni Engagement

Universities would be nothing without their students, but as any professional attests today, an education is not enough to advance your career. This puts students and universities in a tough stop. After all, today, the best way to kickstart your career during university is to go above and beyond. Internships, job shadowing, projects, awards – the works. While students are absolutely in charge of many of those tasks, it’s up to universities to give them the first opportunity.

This means that universities not only need to work with businesses and organisations to create programs, mentorships, awards, and more, but they also need to advertise those offerings. Building up a culture of going for it, growing, learning, and improving can be challenging, but this guide will help you understand how to build the right message and how to implement it:

1. Work With Industry Professionals

One of the best ways to market any opportunity or program at your school is to start by offering options that students find worthwhile and valuable. To do that, you are going to want to start working with industry professionals. Reach out to your alumni and see what they recommend you focus on, and if you can start any collaborative projects, mentorship programs, or sponsorships through them. Then, go outside of your network into the professional world at large.

2. Work With A Marketing Agency

When it comes to creating a great marketing campaign, always go with a professional agency. These agencies can work to increase student recruitment and help with inter-university marketing so that you can bolster your numbers and the value you offer students (which, in turn, works to increase your student recruitment). Just look at how this marketing agency helped the University of Central Lancashire with recruiting students. Undergraduate applications were up by 44.6% following this campaign, and international enrolment increased by 37.9%.

3. Give Students Free Reign (And Resources)

Every department should have an allocated fund specifically for student-led projects. This way, it isn’t just your university working to increase the culture and opportunities you offer, but your students as well. Make sure that students know this fund is available, and create a series of steps they need to use to achieve it (like create a project proposal, budgeting sheet, and so on). Students that lead projects should either get points towards an award, or an award itself, to enhance their CV with a unique project specific to their passion and goals.

4. Create a Thriving Community Board

Every student should have access to a thriving community board, where all events, opportunities, and so on are posted. This should be available to every student, even if the student in question can’t access a certain opportunity because it’s locked to specific majors. It is important to know what is available, so that they can continually engage. Not only will this help students get more out of their university experience, but it’s also a huge draw during the recruitment stage.

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