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Fast Five: Tips for Career Education Marketing in California
Strategy October 26, 2018
#1 Brand Your Career Education Programs
Ensure that all of your marketing and public relations strategies are consistent and professional by taking the time to evaluate and strengthen your college’s Career Education brand. With a strong brand and consistent messaging, your marketing strategies will help to drive enrollment, promote programs across various populations, and improve perceptions of Career Education programs in your community. Check out the great branding Orange County community colleges are using for their career education campaigns.
#2 Develop Exclusive Career Education Marketing Materials
When your faculty or outreach departments attend career fairs, visit high schools or answer inquiries from potential students, do they have professional materials to share? Even in today’s digital world, print materials still play an important role in college perception and selection. Develop a program brochure for each Career Education program so that your brand ambassadors have great leave-behinds. You could also consider developing a Career Education viewbook, like this one developed for the Inland Empire Desert Regional Consortium, that showcases all your programs in one exceptional publication. Potential students will now have take-aways they can show their parents and friends.
Bonus: use this as an opportunity to create a thorough photography library with images that can be showcased on your website, sent to news media, and used for other marketing pieces.
#3 Create Videos Showcasing Each of Your Career Education Programs
There’s no doubt that video is one of the most powerful ways to show off your college. By creating short, energetic videos for each of your Career Education programs, you can showcase your college’s work on various platforms: social media, YouTube, your college website, and in presentations. In fact, Hubspot reports that after watching a video, 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product — imagine if even half of that number made the choice to apply to your program!
You can also take all the short videos you’ve created, and combine them into a longer video that speaks to the excellence of all programs at your college
Bonus: use this as an opportunity to create strong B-roll you can send to television stations upon request and use for other projects down the line.
#4 Invest in Your Career Education Website
Your college website is the front door into your institution for many students. In fact, the 2016 E-Expectations survey of more than 3,000 college-bound students found that close to 70 percent of students consider a college’s website a resource that influences their interest in a college. Your institution’s Career Education pages should contain resources that help a student make the choice to attend your college.
A thorough website review, followed by implementation of visually appealing and organized resources, including your programs, student and faculty testimonials, employability and labor market data, will help ensure that potential students get a good first look at your offerings and lead them to enrollment.
#5 Strengthen Your Career Education Public Relations Infrastructure
There is never a shortage of great stories at community colleges. The problem is having the time and resources to tell them all and manage the media interested in distribution. Many organizations have turned to online News Centers, where excellent photography is mixed with great storytelling. Once they have a News Center built, organizations use those rich stories in targeted e-newsletters to potential and current students, business leaders, professional organizations, and even the news media. When it comes to telling your story, no one can do it better than you!
Let’s Do This, Together.
Of course, there are many other ways to showcase your Career Education programs. Whatever your strategy, Interact Communications would love to help. Interact has performed research, strategy and creative services for Career Education programs throughout California, at the college, regional, and state level. We can work with your college to ensure that your Career Education marketing dollars make the biggest impact possible.
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