Increase your Brand Awareness
Technology has revolutionized the education industry. Today, learning is as likely to be happening at home as it is in a traditional setting, and that means a lot more opportunities for institutions that want to reach more people. But at the same time, there’s also a lot more competition for the attention of those that want to learn, and the best way to put yourself in a position to capture their attention is to dial up your brand.
You may be familiar with branding from a corporate or personal standpoint, but, increasingly, educational institutions are getting into the branding game, realizing that a great reputation is another way to reach more people and have a greater overall impact. After all, isn’t that the point?
But increasing an education institution’s brand is easier said than done, especially with all that competition out there. However, a brand is more than what others think of them — a lot has to do with the strategies that a brand employs to reach and interact with their audience. Some will try to increase their education institution’s brand with marketing strategies like a new logo or website, or doubling down on social media or running promotions and advertisements.
Here are some ways that you can improve your education institution’s brand (Brand Awareness) and increase your impact and reach.
1. Know your Audience
2. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
3. Consistency Is Key
4. Be Positive
5. Participate in Networking Events
6. Give Back to the Community
7. Create Referral Programs
8. Improve your Online Presence
9. Create a Dedictaed, Branded App
The first step in enhancing your Brand Awareness is to know — or define — your audience. All the work and investment in your brand will be for naught if you inadvertently cater to the wrong audience, so it’s important to do your research and know who you’re looking to target before you launch that next campaign.
If you already have some data in house, you may be able to make the determination on your own. If not, it may be best to bring in a marketing consultant to help you figure out who you should be reaching out to and where.
After creating a profile — or two or three — of your audience, it’s time to identify your unique selling proposition. A USP gives you an edge over your competitors and is the reason why a consumer may opt for you over another institution, and it’s also an opportunity to highlight your differences.
If you’re unlike that big competitor or in-person institution, then own it. Whatever you can highlight to draw a distinction between what you do and what else is out there will help reach and convince your audience, which ultimately helps you increase your education institution’s brand (Brand Awareness).
When you’re attempting to frame your institution in a certain way, it’s crucial to stay on message. Consistency can mean the difference between that message sticking and not, and if you’re haphazardly rolling out a strategy without bringing together the unified effort of your organization, you’re doing it wrong.
Indeed, if you’re selling the idea of on-demand learning from home and your imagery features students huddled together in person, that could end up confusing your audience or turning them off altogether.
The most successful brands tend to be those that embrace positivity and sell some kind of happiness, transition or an uplifting message.
Educational institutions are no exception, and if you’re looking to increase your institution’s brand, you would do well to be positive. The intent is for your audience to associate positivity with your brand, and they won’t be able to do that if your messaging is dark, brooding or depressing.
It may be a smaller audience than what you have access to online, but in-person networking events, in addition to industry events, are a fantastic way to get your organization and your brand out there.
While you may certainly get your fair share of sign-ups and people that may be interested in learning more, just being out in the community can do wonders for your reputation and brand. They say that most people need to come across a brand several times before it sticks, and the more opportunities you have to get out there, the more ways that you can increase your education institution’s brand.
If you have any kind of physical presence or you serve a geographic community, a little bit of goodwill can go a long way towards enhancing your brand. It might only cost a few hundred or thousand to sponsor that local high school sports team or community center — or to host your own event or local competition — but the attention and good press you receive will surely far outweigh the expenditure from a financial standpoint.
Considered in this way, giving back to the community can be one of the most fruitful initiatives to help increase your brand, and doing good work in the community is always something to be proud of.
Another way that you can improve your brand is to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and referrals among your audience’s network. If you can turn one new student into three or four, you won’t have to do much talking at all about your brand and your value proposition.
One of the nice side effects of creating a great product or service is that enthused users will spread your message far and wide, which can actually have a bigger impact on your reputation and success out there in the real world.
While it’s especially true if you’re an online-only institution, reaching people where they spend most of their time means being online. Whether that means dialing up your social media or creating a new website and enhancing your user experience, you’ll have to do something because the longer you take to decide, the further back in line you’ll be once you do decide to play.
Most people report having favorable opinions of the brands that advertise to them, and improving your presence online is one of the best ways to increase your education institution’s brand (Brand Awareness).
Sometimes, improving your brand’s standing is more about making it convenient for your audience to become students and engage with what you have to offer. And with a powerful learning device in everyone’s pocket, a dedicated and branded learning app is one way to do just that.