In March of 2020, many universities made an unprecedented decision to transition to online classes for the rest of the Spring semester. Then orientations, graduations, and summer classes were affected by COVID-19 as well. There is no doubt that this pandemic has changed higher education in a big way. In these uncertain times, students need guidance and reassurance from institutions.
Summertime is usually a time to celebrate accomplishments of graduates and welcome the upcoming class into a university or college. Those things will still be accomplished this year, but the channels that universities and colleges utilize will be adjusted. Online presence is a must in this time. Current and upcoming students are constantly looking for updates concerning their campus life, and graduates are looking for advice and support as they enter the workforce. Information from University Business states that Facebook advertising from universities and colleges has increased by 7% during the pandemic compared to a year ago. Social media is in a boom period right now, so campaigns that emphasize safety of students, faculty, and staff and statements on current events are popping up on many university’s feeds.
With the many precautions being taken for classes to start again in the fall, some students are tempted to delay the start or continuation of their higher education. To combat this, many institutions are investing in increased customer service including personalized hotlines, which students and parents may be more inclined to use now with more time to make calls at home. Additionally, text announcements can be used to open a line of communication and way for potential students to obtain information quickly.
Another key topic is financial transparency. Many Americans are currently feeling financially stressed, so it is important to be open and honest. Communicating the value of career advancement may help students and parents feel more at ease during this time. Here is a link to a statement from Johns Hopkins University about financial implications and planning that was posted back in April.
For students already enrolled in higher education institutions or graduating from them, many institutions are promoting their current online course options as well as increasing awareness of graduate programs. Video campaigns showing how campus community exists even within the age of social distancing can combat the slump that many students are facing. Each student’s experience will differ during this pandemic, but universities can provide valuable and encouraging information about their education and beyond.
While higher education focuses on learning for their students, administrators and personnel are also learning to adapt. Marketing of higher education, much like many other businesses, is evolving in this time. Ensuring that communications are relevant, informative and also compassionate, goes a long way in creating personal connections.
Thread Marketing Group has learned to adapt our communications as well. And we can help you do the same. Please reach out to #ConnectSimply.