Universities around the world are revisiting their programmes in light of the switch to digital. Institutions are pondering, given the successes of teaching online, how courses can be adapted to improve access and better serve the needs of students.
That also presents an opportunity to redraw marketing frameworks for course pages and prospectuses. Student needs change with the times; if there was ever a good opportunity to update your marketing assets, it’s right now. Even today, we still see course pages missing mission-critical pieces of information.
Let’s take a look at the top five things you simply have to include on your course landing pages.
You must include detailed module descriptions
According to University Business, course curriculum is the number one deciding factor for students when they choose their university. It’s simply common sense, then, to include a detailed description of course content on every page. And that means individual module descriptions – not just an overall course description. You get bonus points if you can link each module to a specific career outcome. Students today are more career-aware than ever before. Many of them are looking to pick up specific skills to make themselves marketable in an extremely competitive job space. Make sure you’re clear about how specific modules apply in the real world.
Make career paths your headline
Following on from the above, career opportunities stand at slot number three on the University Business list. The majority of marketers are smart enough to know that those outcomes need to be on their pages. Yet we still see so many marketing assets that bury career options out of the way. We understand why you might be reluctant to make promises about career prospects. But you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not making it the headline message. Students need to know that their studies will help them build a future.
Comprehensive financial information is more important than ever
The data suggests that the global pandemic has led to many students making more conservative decisions about their education. Many feel that COVID-19 will impact their ability to finance their studies. That means your financial services are more important than ever to your audience. Even if you can’t bring down the cost of studying with scholarships, you can still prove how your support teams help students deal with the financial burdens of university life.
You’ve got to have great testimonials
Most students trust their universities. But studies show that in a marketing context, up to 72% of consumers will only take action after reading a review. That’s why testimonials are a tried and tested way of making your course pages more appealing. Getting the words and faces of real students on your page also serves to humanise your marketing efforts, making your academic community feel more accessible and alive.
Brand values might well clinch the deal
As we’ve discussed in previous articles, choices in university partners are often driven by a sense of shared values. That goes as much for students as it does for staff members. It’s essential, then, that you take the opportunity to show your brand values in action on course pages, not just in the ‘mission and values’ section of your site. Students love to feel that they’re working towards something bigger than themselves. The things you stand for as a university might just be the deciding factor in hitting that apply button.