When it comes to marketing online education, not-for-profit schools have room for growth, a new study finds. The report from higher education marketing firm CUnet shows that despite significant student interest in online education, 42% of the schools surveyed did not report online enrollment.
According to the study, the relatively high amount of unreported data indicates that there is room for growth when it comes to marketing online education. Of the schools surveyed, 84% believe that traditional marketing methods are not sufficient to meet enrollment goals. Higher education institutions stated that online marketing channels, such as social media and email, are among the most common methods being explored.
Almost half of the not-for-profit schools surveyed, 49%, said that they are increasing their investments in social media marketing while 33% said that they are increasing e-mail marketing. Outsourcing of online marketing functions is becoming increasingly more common in higher education, with 40% of schools reporting that they have hired, or are considering hiring, a third-party company to handle paid search or pay-per-click services.
Although outsourcing is increasing in the not-for-profit sector, it is decreasing among for-profit schools. A similar CUnet report on for-profit schools released in June found that third-party vendor generated student inquiries composed 44% of inquiries to schools, down from 66% in 2011. Additionally, 99% of for-profit schools are focused on increasing direct inquiry generation.
While both for-profit and not-for-profit schools recognize the importance of online marketing techniques, the importance placed on the different channels varies greatly. More than 60% of for-profit schools reported increased investments in online marketing technique—specifically in paid search, search engine optimization, and social media.
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