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The Fine Art of Marketing Tech Schools

By Hank Cohen on May 19, 2016

Wondering how to go about marketing tech schools in 2016?

Bigger “traditional” colleges are quick to shuffle these schools out of the limelight, but the truth is, a tech school with a coherent, accessible brand has many advantages for today’s student:

  • They tend to offer accelerated degree courses that provide a faster return on investment.
  • They often allow students to apply life experience to a degree, accelerating the process.
  • They are more accessible both financially and academically than many big universities.

Despite that, marketing tech schools can be difficult. In terms of traditional media, large universities with deep endowments have an edge. To connect with today’s students, marketers need to challenge received wisdom.

How can you do it? A few quick tweaks in your existing strategy may make all the difference:

Go Mobile
Americans of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds are spending more time on mobile devices. 64% of American adults own a smartphone, with 60% using one to access the Internet. Mobile Internet use is more common among younger Americans—in fact, Google just retooled its longstanding ad platform to focus on more versatile mobile ads. Video is especially effective with young mobile users, but content needs to be compelling and relevant to compete for limited attention.

Get Social
Driven in part by the explosion in mobile availability, prospective students are overwhelmingly represented on social media—65% of U.S. adults are active social users, with 90% of young adults aged 18 to 29 active on social media. Facebook remains the dominant force for tech school demographics, although Twitter is a factor to keep an eye on in the future.

Use Real Testimonials
When evaluating options, many students—no matter their age—are looking for evidence that “people like them” can succeed at your school. Social proof comes from real testimonials, not slick, highly-processed campaigns. Successful graduates should not only appear in ads, but also at college fairs and other events where they can tell their story.

Advertise with Precision
Whether using their DVR or their browser’s “ad block” program, today’s students feel no hesitation in opting out of pushy advertisements. Whether digital or traditional, respectful ad placement matters – and so does making an immediate connection to prospective students’ needs. That means driving them toward a laser-targeted landing page on your website and ensuring near-instant followup to inquiries.

What’s the common factor that connects all these aspects of marketing tech schools? Today, it’s all about making a personal connection—which, in a world of high technology and low attention, often means using your budget in creative ways to “go where the students are.” It also means implementing a robust attribution system to focus
your efforts and maximize ROI.

It’s important to bear in mind that your prospects aren’t mainstream: They are looking for specific careers that will drive meaningful success within the short term, protecting them from job shortages throughout the technical sector. Understanding how they think gives you the opportunity to focus on the advantages you offer. Turn your unique value proposition into a learner-focused narrative that will encourage your prospects to look beyond “big names” and shift their focus to what only you can do for them.

For more information call  or email Hank Cohen at WindStar Media

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