Engage, recruit, retain – design & marketing for education

Engage, recruit, retain – design & marketing for education

Design and marketing for education is one of our favourite things to do: it’s all about opening minds and aspirations to the different possibilities the future could hold! We love nothing more than developing and creating a fully integrated education recruitment campaign, covering everything from the prospectus design – one of the first opportunities a school, college or university has to engage with potential students – right down to social media communication, open event marketing and experience day collateral.

Here are three key steps we take when creating an education recruitment campaign that will engage, recruit and retain the target audience:

engage the audience.

The first step in producing a successful campaign is engaging the target audience, i.e. the potential students. What are they actually interested in? What are they into right now? What engages them in their own worlds? These are all questions we ask. To come up with a concept that will appeal to the target demographic, we carry out market research, including looking at relevant “youth” lifestyle brands to see what’s current and on-trend – and, of course, this will vary from FE to HE, and so on. We need to grab the audience’s attention (in a good way!) and then hold it. A key element in our approach to prospectus design is speaking to the target audience in real terms, avoiding jargon or simply listing reams of information. Exciting visuals and references from relevant popular culture help create the initial impression, and the right language and tone draw readers in. We also love to add a twist; a little something extra that will make the reader realise this isn’t your average prospectus.

find the key message.

We get to the heart of what the education provider is all about – what makes them different, what they offer which other institutions don’t, the true value of their offering. This helps inform the key message we want to communicate, and how it’s communicated. Does the campus feature amazing architecture? Is there award-winning learner support available? Are boundaries pushed in terms of innovation? We take these unique points – the real important bits, the bits that would make a student want to learn there – and work out how to communicate them in a way that will engage the audience, make the college stand out and leave a memorable impression. And finally, we execute that communication, choosing the right typography, photography, illustration to make the reader feel and understand what we intend them to, ending up with refined, purposeful, meaningful designs.

be consistent.

After the initial contact with the target audience – whether that be via a prospectus request or attendance at an open event – staying in touch and keeping engagement levels high is essential. An online presence, pushing out interesting content on social media or via eshots, will keep the college or university in the potential students’ sight. Fun, quirky, keep warm campaigns are also a great way of interacting with the target audience, and it’s always exciting receiving something tangible and impressive in the post. But we also make sure consistency is present in the look and design of the different campaign components. Everything we create for an education campaign works as part of the overall picture we’re trying to build, as well as on it’s own, and there should be no doubt as to which education provider the communication is from. All collateral, print and digital, should be on brand, promoting the college or university’s values, telling their story and never missing a beat.

The ellodave team have a vast amount of experience when it comes to design and marketing for education – you can find out more about our services for the education sector here. Working on all kinds of projects, from prospectus design and course promotion, to annual reports, merger documents, community newsletters and open days, if you work in the education sector and have any design and marketing requirements, we’d love to hear from you!


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