Top 3 Takeaways from LinkedIn’s Presentation at the AMA Higher Ed Symposium in Chicago

November 19, 2015

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Higher education today needs content marketing. Competition among universities has never been greater, and questions about the ROI from an advanced degree are pushing prospects to research and scrutinize the decision even more. As a result, many higher ed marketers are turning to content marketing to tell the story about what sets their school apart and build trust with prospective students.

This week in Chicago, leaders from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ Education Vertical were invited by the American Marketing Association to share insights and best practices at its annual Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. Considered a must-attend conference for higher education marketers every year, LinkedIn joined some of the top minds in education marketing for an engaging session about key trends in higher education.

Here are the top 3 takeaways:

1) Despite the challenges facing higher ed marketers today, technology is enabling significant opportunities

Technology has changed the way that schools deliver and market their programs. The proliferation of online learning is opening up new markets and audiences, for both for-profit and not-for-profit institutions. Innovative universities are adopting sophisticated digital marketing tools, from targeting to content automation, to deliver more relevant information to the right person at the right time.

Jessica Naeve, Marketing Solutions Director for the Education Vertical, said, “Schools who understand how to harness the power of data and technology have an almost limitless amount of opportunity ahead of them.”

2) If you’re waiting for prospects to contact you, it’s too late

Traditionally, marketing departments in higher ed focus on driving leads through lead forms and brochure downloads. However, our research shows that prospects are using digital and social media to educate themselves and develop their short lists without contacting schools. Marketers must start influencing leads earlier in the decision process to make that exclusive short list, long before they reach out to you for more information.

“Only three schools make the prospects’ short list,” said Saied Amiry, Marketing Lead for the Education Vertical at LinkedIn, “and 72 percent develop their short list before they even reach out to someone at your school. If you’re waiting for prospects to reach out for help with their education decision, it’s likely too late.” Content marketing allows schools to influence those “secret shoppers” who may fly under the radar without any contact.

3) Market and recruit students who are more likely to apply and graduate

With the increased focus on degree outcomes, schools should think long-term about recruiting the type of students that have the ability and tenacity to weather the challenges of completing a higher education degree. Forest Baker, Senior Account Executive at LinkedIn, proposed the idea that financial resilience and grit are two measures that could predict successful outcomes.

Financial resilience can be measured by answering the following question: “How certain are you that you could come up with $2,000 next month to meet an unexpected need?” We measured the financial resilience of LinkedIn members, and found that our members were nearly two times more resilient than the U.S. average.

Grit can be defined as having the dedication and passion to complete long-term goals, and it is gaining a lot of attention as a way to predict success in education. Our research shows that LinkedIn members are also much more likely to have higher grit scores than the average U.S. adult. Marketing to a higher quality audience that is more likely to possess these important traits, could be more likely to convert to application, complete the entire program, and become an alumni success story after graduation.

Attend our webinar or view our full AMA presentation

If you missed the AMA Symposium, view the slides from our presentation, Using LinkedIn to Deepen Relationships Throughout the Entire Student Lifecycle, below. To learn more about how you can reach prospects early in the decision process with content marketing on LinkedIn, attend our webinar with the AMA on Wed. Dec. 9 at 10:00 am PT / 1:00pm ET.

Higher Education marketing is more complicated than ever, and it’s time to overcome the new challenges or fall behind. Download Connecting with Today’s Prospective Students: How Higher Education Decisions are Made in the Digital Age to stay ahead of the game.

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