Guides and Templates

Best practices for digital marketing in higher or further education

Managing the recruitment journey from the point of attracting each prospective student’s attention through to their application and enrolment at university or college

How will this resource help me and my institute?

The competition for students is intense and the audience is switched on to every marketing channel. To be successful, your institution has to be able to balance campaigns and cut through the noise, ensuring that there is a real point of differentiation between your university and its competition.

Promotional activity must be prioritized across the most effective channels. The recruitment funnel generated by this promotional activity must be managed carefully and then supported by a range of conversion activities that are created to inspire each prospective student to choose your university or college above all of the others. All of the activity must be supported by a robust system of measurement and evaluation, excellent processes and the right tools to do the job.

Who is this guide for?

This guide will be helpful for those working across marketing, recruitment, and admissions within universities and colleges.

It is aimed at helping these roles:

  • Heads of marketing
  • Heads of recruitment – local and international
  • Heads of admissions
  • Marketing managers

In the United Kingdom, the university sector is more generally known as ‘higher education’, but the resource will also be useful for those managing university student recruitment in other countries. The strategy development techniques advised in this resource also apply for other colleges know as ‘further education’.

How is this guide structured?

This guide follows the RACE Planning framework for creating digital marketing strategy. It is applied directly to the Higher Education sector, considering the entire student journey from awareness through to enrolment at the University.

This resource explains key issues to consider that are specific to higher education using the Opportunity to Strategy to Action process we recommend for creating a digital strategy in our 7 Steps to Digital strategy guide and our digital strategy e-learning.

Opportunity Strategy Action

A summary section explains ten key transformation success factors for holistic, integrated communications.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Caroline Dowler and Dr Dave Chaffey
  • Format: Online long-form article

About the authors

Caroline Dowler

Caroline Dowler

Caroline co-founded Marketing Dimensions and specialises in the Higher Education sector, working across marketing, recruitment and admissions to make sure that all elements of these functions are effectively aligned, to maximise both student enrolment and return on investment. She is a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

You can contact Caroline through Linkedin.

Dr Dave Chaffey

Dr. Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing management advice site Smart Insights. He is author of five best-selling books on e-commerce including Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice and was recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2004 as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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