In Australia, RTOs face a unique set of challenges. With around 4600 RTOs competing for the attendance and attention of Australian and international students, educators need to reach students and respect ASQA regulations.
Let’s face it: students aren’t looking for their education options in a newspaper or listening to the radio to find out about programs. And even for RTOs who have wisely moved to digital marketing, there are surely hundreds of thousands of misplaced advertising dollars spent each year on impressions but not on engagement, action or enrollment.
Add to the mix that 80% of decision makers want to learn about products and services from helpful content like articles, graphics or videos, instead of advertisements, and the argument for a new method of marketing to students becomes even stronger.
Enter inbound marketing, which HubSpot defines as being “...focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”
For educators, that means producing content that’s useful to students who are navigating their future, career and education, reaching them where they spend most of their time: online. You may create blog posts about financial aid, share fun on-campus activities on Instagram or share helpful articles on Twitter, all focused on the interests and issues of prospective students.
As more companies and education organisations adopt inbound marketing methods (approximately 71% of organisations around the world have switched to inbound marketing), there are an increasing number of case studies and statistics to examine and consider when considering inbound marketing for your RTO.
If you’re looking to increase your student enrollment and maximise your marketing spend while staying within ASQA regulations, here are four education case studies that prove inbound marketing works for education and enrollment.
Relying on marketing methods like direct mail and billboards, the team at Maryville College soon found themselves encountering a problem common with higher education institutions: their old marketing methods weren’t reaching digitally savvy students and their families.
Enter inbound marketing paired with HubSpot, the leading inbound marketing platform, and a savvy strategy.
By becoming an online destination that offered content and value to students and their families, they achieved a 126% increase in website traffic in just one year!
Using HubSpot to connect their email marketing, social media and web traffic, Maryville College could measure the performance of their strategy and ensure great ROI which, in fact, rose to a 225% return on investment.
Maryville enrolled a record-breaking amount of students after just one year— more than at any other time in the school’s 195-year history.
Florida Institute of Technology
Struggling to convert website visitors and find a student application journey that led to enrollments, the marketer at Florida Institute of Technology knew there had to be a solution.
That’s where inbound marketing came into play.
By incorporating inbound landing pages, Florida Institute of Technology improved upon their old, lengthy forms that served as a barrier to students applying for their program.
Using marketing analytics, the team could identify what worked— or didn’t— on their website. By identifying the most impactful channels and activity, they were able to concentrate their budgets and attention on what worked best.
So, what were the results?
There was not only a 140% increase in monthly leads, they also improved their website conversion rate by 34%. Their marketing and enrollment became lean, mean and effective, filled with content and offers that resonated with students.
Although Australian education company, LearnFast, tried other digital marketing platforms, tools and strategies, none had quite the impact they needed. The integration between these tools and their CRM was nonexistent and the varied platforms led to losses in efficiency and leads, eventually becoming ROI negative.
The LearnFast team needed a solution to help themselves approach their potential customers in a helpful, consultative way and add value their existing customers, all in one cohesive, connected platform. After creating blog posts and a weekly newsletter, the LearnFast team connected all of their blogging, social media and email marketing efforts through marketing automation software with incredible results.
By creating content offers and lead magnets, LearnFast achieved a 400% increase in lead generation while doubling open rates and tripling click-through rates.
With a connected and smart marketing system and methodology, LearnFast’s entire marketing and sales process is transformed.
Australian Training Colleges
Similar to LearnFast, Australian Training Colleges (ATC) suffered from complications created by using far too many tools and non-integrated marketing platforms, leading to missed opportunities and inefficiency.
With aggressive recruitment targets and needing to maintain a high standard of help they provide to prospective students, ATC required a methodology that added value and attracted attention from the students they were seeking.
Critically, ATC had to understand their buyer personas, or the semi-fictional profiles of people who are likely to buy from them. Based on data gathered through HubSpot and their website visits and downloads, ATC developed three buyer personas, profiles who were likely to enroll in their programs. These buyer personas then had unique content and buyer journeys created to speak to their specific interests, concerns and behavior.
Within one year, ATC achieved a 10x increase in lead generation, outpacing their aggressive goals. Their website became even more powerful and traffic doubled within just six months of implementing their inbound methodology.
Is inbound marketing right for you?
Achieving fantastic enrolments doesn’t require huge marketing teams, complicated software or expansive budgets.
In fact, organisations who utilise inbound marketing obtain leads that are 61% less expensive than outbound marketing methods. Inbound marketing is scalable, measurable and, most importantly, proven to work for higher education institutions with even just one marketer on staff.
If you’re curious about whether Inbound Marketing could work for your RTO, let’s discuss your goals and opportunities— and discover how you can over achieve your enrolment goals year after year.