With over 770 degree-awarding universities and institutions, 36000 affiliated Higher Education Institutes enrolling 70 million students and with 227 million school goers in 1.5 million schools, coupled with an estimated market size of U.S. $ 110 Billion dollar and a U.S. $ 3 Billion e-learning segment that is expected to touch U.S. $ 40 Billion by 2017 (Second only to U.S.), the education domain in India has become a breeding ground for some serious revenue generation. Currently, the market has overtaken China to become the home to the most number of students in the world. Based on the fact the world is in cyberspace now and India having 462 million internet users (Second only to China with 721 million users), that is 35% of population penetration and at a 30.5% yearly growth which again is highest in the world, we are looking at internet marketing to dominate all other forms of media. The education industry is currently contributing to 6% spent on the total digital advertising industry in the country which is estimated at Rs.7300 Crore.This particular segment that is 12.7% of the total advertising market in India is seeing unprecedented growth over the last three years with 30%, 45%, and 47% growth rate respectively in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In the education industry slowly the concept of throwing expensive electronic media advertisements, round the clock radio jingles and other traditional marketing communication investment channels like the print media i.e. newspapers, magazines, hoardings, posters, banners, flyers, etc. is becoming a thing of the past as students are glued to their Smartphone, checking their social updates on the go. Students are not paying enough attention to anything that is non-digital and appears beyond the screen of their digital world as with an infinite reach it has become the sole source of any information and its validation. The dominance of digital media is such that any other media investments look ridiculously underachieving and ineffective. An advertisement on the front page of a leading newspaper unable to create enough buzz, sparse footfalls in a long and resource sapping education fair or an extravagantly priced prime hoarding display giving just brand presence and not a lot of sincerely genuine inquiries are the stuff of nightmares to institution owners and its marketers. The seasonal nature of the business makes price sensitivity a matter of high priority.
The Digital Marketing medium is riding on its sheer ability of engagement by a real-time interactive media and drawing maximum eyeballs in the shortest time elapse with the relevance of content marketing powered by campaign analytics and techniques like contextual advertising and behavioral targeting. Thus the ROI is bound to be a top draw which exemplifies that a majority of education marketers are allocating 30% of their marketing budget to online action and 2017 is slated to see a 10% hike in this behavior. Student enrollments seem to be the prime focus of online marketing taking the lion’s share of 63% of the primary goal, student retention and branding awareness going for 18% and 17% respectively. The top internet marketing activities are dominated by Social media marketing(66%) followed by Email Marketing (54%) and Search Marketing (56%).Social Media Marketing saw maximum student engagement (40%) followed by email marketing (32%) in 2016.
Email marketing is playing a pivotal role and is voted as the Digital Marketing channel with best ROI. 60% Marketers integrated Google Analytics to analyze their emails. Having said that, although majority subscribers are from Gmail (78%), only 32% of them use Google Postmaster to analyze the performance of their emails on Gmail, thus still keeping a lot of room for improvement. Likes, shares, comments, views, followers, retweets, etc. being the new quotient of success in the student community , content marketing with Blogs and Newsletters are taking center stage. Content Marketing is not only helping in Brand awareness (69%), engaging the newer audience (62%), retaining the existing ones (53%) but also contributing to lead generation (43%).
Typically effective content marketing tools would comprise of Blogs & Newsletters(68%),Social Media (65%),Images and Infographics (47%),Testimonials & Case Studies(47%),Videos & Webinars (41%) and Research Reports and White Papers (27%).Typically all email campaigns and website development are being done keeping in mind that almost 89 % of the urban student genre is on Smartphone and 75% of emails are being opened on it, making mobile marketing strategy a key element. Talking of mobile marketing, the last couple of years have seen a dip in the use of marketing through SMS campaigns with the advent of Whatsapp marketing. Now rather than branding activities only information exchanges and updates are being done through SMS.
Some typical traits of marketing campaigns at education institutions for the year 2017 should see a revamping of content marketing territory, marketing through videos and infographics is still not being exploited to the fullest especially after the introduction of micro-video apps and video syndication on Facebook. Youtube is now the new TV, so YouTube videos become a game changer. More use of analytics-based software, SEO tools like MOZ, SEMRUSH, RAVEN TOOLS, and WEBCEO, etc. along with the application of better Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) should improve the ROI. Use of programmatic technology through automated email software could customize and personalize the email experience for a more efficient email marketing exercise keeping in mind the uniqueness of each user. Finally, use of multi-device strategy to reach students online and offline through various touch points should be an essential ingredient.
Digital Strategy @ Education Industry, consultant Internet Marketing Education business, online brand communication, Admissions planning..
A competent professional having over 12 years of experience in the Education Industry with respect to complete Admissions process, Online strategy planning, Internet Marketing, Business Operations, CRM, Market Research and Media planning.