Marketing Strategies for Colleges

May 16, 2024

“Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.”

– Jodie Foster –

Choosing a college or university is a hard decision for many young adults.

When you shift your view to cater to prospective students, you can understand what they are looking for, and therefore how to effectively market their needs.

Whether you are marketing for community colleges or marketing major colleges. This article will discuss effective marketing strategies for college to utilize.

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Marketing strategies for colleges, what role do we play?

We develop authentic strategy and solutions to connect colleges and universities to their prospective students using compelling, creative, and narrative-driven video creation. If you are looking for a company to help your school grow check us out!

Marketing Strategies for Colleges

Our favorite strategies:

1. Video Marketing for Colleges

It should be no surprise that video marketing is our first tip for marketing strategies for colleges. Video is increasingly becoming the best marketing asset to utilize for colleges or universities. There are a few reasons that reinforce that statement.

Let’s rewind to the first paragraph of this article, the idea is to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective student. This means following the trends of students who are potentially interested in attending your school. Without a doubt, young adults are constantly consuming media. From social media, to youtube, to web videos, they love video content because it is easy and digestible content. In fact it is utilized as a form of education for a lot of teenagers today.

  • 80% of people remember what they see, compared to ten percent what they hear and 20 percent of what they read. (Search Engine People).

Once video is understood as their preferred way of learning, things get interesting! Video is an incredible asset that can be used as a sales AND marketing tool if done correctly!

For the same reason that you may cry at a sad movie, or feel inspired by a video, is the same reason that video can stir emotion within the viewer. By nature, humans are attracted to storytelling. When combining a great story with music and lighting, it creates an emotional connection for the viewer.

Every college or university has it’s own unique culture, history, student body, staff, and importantly story! Leverage this and begin implementing video marketing for your school. Out of all our marketing ideas for colleges, this is our favorite. Lasso has mastered effective video assets like this and have helped numerous schools grow tremendously! Reach out to us to see if we are a good fit.

2. Social Media Advertising

Our second favorite marketing ideas for colleges is utilizing social media advertising. Looking marketing ideas for college events? Social media advertising works great for that too.

At this point you understand the importance of your prospective student’s outlook, which is why social media advertising is a great tool to use. Almost every teenager or young adult lives on social media, everything from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Social media advertising gives you the opportunity to leverage this marketing strategy for colleges.

Social media advertising for colleges is key, but the actual content as just as crucial. This could be as simple as text copy or photography, or even video content. All of these elements have to be targeted and executed correctly to be effective as a form of marketing. Every ad should be formatted and catered for the platform it will be advertised on. For example if you are creating a YouTube ad it would be formatted and structured completely different to a Facebook ad. Depending on your school these are great marketing ideas for colleges.

Whether you or a marketing agency are setting up your social media advertisements, you should target young adults in high school in areas that fit your schools target. For example if you are using social media advertising for marketing for community colleges, you should target about a 100 mile radius since anyone outside of that is not likely to attend. If you are marketing for major colleges your geographical demographic is much larger since teenagers are more likely to travel to your school.

You should also target the parents of these teenagers because in some cases they will be the decision makers! Targeting them through advertising is simple, but the content that can effectively target and connect with them is what you should focus on to be effective.

3. Print and Billboard Advertising

If you are looking for marketing strategies for colleges, you know all about print and billboard advertising already, so we will keep this part simple. Print and billboard advertising for colleges is tried and true, everyone is used to seeing these types of advertisements. Generally, you are limited to what content you can market with these types of advertisements, such as text or photo. These types of advertisements are also harder to measure the metrics of how effective they are.

Billboards are great for marketing ideas for college events because it allows the public to see what is going on at the school and boost attendance. An example of this would be marketing a school play or sporting event, using a billboard near the school to advertise the event will significantly spread awareness and likely attendance to the event.

Print ads are effective in things like local or national magazines, newspapers, flyers, brochures, etc. When broad marketing strategies for colleges are cohesive with each other, such as using print ads, social media ads, video, and billboard, it creates a very effective and widespread reach. A project like this takes time to properly work, but is likely the most rewarding.

4. Website Marketing - SEM and SEO

Websites are very widespread, and rightfully so due to the digital era. However a lot of websites are not created as an effective marketing tool. When built, designed, and created the right way, a website can be one the best marketing ideas for colleges. Besides your physical school location, your website is your landing page for anyone interested in learning more about your school. Building the right website is a very complex process and differs for every school.

The user interface for the website is important because the demographic of the visitors can vary from potential students to parents. It should be easy to use and navigate, yet aesthetically pleasing. The website should be used to host other marketing materials such as text, photo, and video content. These assets should be strategically placed and formatted for the most effective results.

Once you have a solid foundation for the website, you can do creative SEM and SEO tactics to boost your organic visitors. Organic meaning free and not advertised visitors. Organic is better than advertised visitors because people seek you out instead of you seeking them with advertising. Website marketing for community colleges would be using SEO to funnel a lot of the local searches to your website. Website marketing for major colleges could be using SEO to target broader keywords that students from across the globe are searching for.

5. High School Marketing

The last of our marketing ideas for college is using high schools to market your college. Find high schools that your target demographic is likely to attend and market directly with the high school. Further, marketing strategies for colleges would be to utilize college fairs at those target areas or schools to meet a large pool of potential students.

This tactic works great because it is coming from a place of trust for the students. They have attended that high school and know and trust them, to see your school as a recommendation is huge! Plus most high schools are open to partnerships that can help both your school and their school out.

This can be an especially effective marketing for community colleges to target the surrounding radius of high schools for partnerships. Using high school marketing for major colleges is more complex, but if you are an ivy league school, you can target higher end high schools that better fit your college or university.

A creative marketing idea for your college could be geo-fencing high schools with social media ads to push your content and message across to your potential students!


We hope you found some new marketing strategies for colleges or marketing ideas for colleges from this article. We included a lot of great tips for your college to utilize! We will update if needed, or you can follow us on social media for more great tips!

Feel free to contact us. Alternatively, learn more about what Lasso has to offer.

Marketing strategies for colleges brought to you by Lasso Video Production.

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