It's that time of year again. The days are filled with anxiety, laced with potential and beaming with opportunity. Imposter syndrome has likely reared its ugly head again, and you might question your purpose. You're probably also growing tired of hearing about the same hot marketing trends in 2022.
In this new era of digital transformation, tapping into the latest trends can help you reimagine your brand for a new world. From harnessing the power of social media to exploring new technologies, there are plenty of ways to stay ahead of the curve. Get ready to make an impact and take your brand to the next level!
What can we expect this year? Well, I'm glad you asked! Here are 6 key trends that will transform how we market our education businesses over the next 12 months.
All Marketing is Digital Marketing
Sound familiar? It should, as this has been the rallying cry of the education marketer for some time now. And it isn't just marketers who want to believe it. In fact, you may have even heard a (boomer) CEO say something like: “I don’t care about digital because our students have always come from traditional channels, and prefer the phone call", they don't use Snapchat or Instagram, so we're going to continue doing all our advertising in print magazines and on TV!” (surely they're not referring to Gen Z...)
The thing is, whether you like it or not (and if you're reading this article I'm guessing that you do), everything from your website to your social media presence impacts how people perceive your brand. And there has never been more opportunity for education marketers to get their name out there than there is now—provided that they know how best to leverage the trends of today's economy into tomorrow's success story over coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts (or wherever else caffeinated beverages may be consumed).
Email Marketing is Back, Again
"Guess who's back, back again..." Excuse the millennial reference, I couldn't help myself.
If you're an education marketer, you may be thinking: what's so special about email? After all, it seems everyone has already gotten on board with this trend. But let's take a look at why email marketing still matters and how you can utilise this opportunity to reach your students and families this year.
What Is Email Marketing?
Some people refer to email as a “direct channel” because it allows brands to communicate directly with consumers without having to go through intermediaries like Facebook or Google for their messages to get noticed by audiences.
It works best when it is part of your greater marketing funnel. Sure, sending out blast emails to your current database may render some results, but, what is your end game?
Utilizing email marketing within your enrollment funnel, or flywheel is the best approach.
Let me (briefly) demonstrate.
- Awareness: Paid ad and organic approach.
- Engagement: A webinar, virtual tour, or free (value) download - where your prospect shares their contact details.
- Conversion: Email
Of course, we're not saying that sending one email to those eager beavers at the end of your funnel will guarantee conversion, but it will do this:
- Serve to nurture the relationship you've built
- Keep your institution at the forefront of your prospects’ mind
- Educate your prospect, and enlighten them about what life at your campus (virtual or otherwise) is like
- Keep them engaged. It is personal after all
Data Privacy And User Centricity are Crucial
It's 2023, and there are new things to worry about. (Surpised? Doubtfully.) Data privacy and user centricity are crucial if you want your brand to be successful in a world where consumers hold the power. It's becoming increasingly important that companies do everything they can to protect their users' data privacy.
In recent years, new laws and greater consumer awareness about the use of their data have made it harder for companies to collect personal information. There is also a lot more competition among technology firms now than there used to be.
Consumers have become more aware and outspoken about data collection, usage and rights.
The management of big data is becoming more user-centric as technology advances and consumers become savvier. (Think: The inevitable death of the cookie, Apple's privacy feature updates...)
The trend toward giving users more control over their personal data is only going to continue through 2023.
For example, you might incentivise consumers by offering them a discount or promo code in exchange for their email address or phone number. Always provide an option to opt-out of your list so that you don’t end up spamming people who haven’t requested it. Don't be afraid to let them go. You know what they say about loving someone and letting them go, right?
This way, you engage consumers in a mutually beneficial relationship. Don't be fooled - consumers know your end game. Prospects know that you're in a rival street war attempting to gain their John Hancock. They're enlightened. So, leverage this.
You'll never know if you don't ask.
Video tops the chart as the preferred content format
Also unsurprising, video dominated the marketing space in 2022 - and according to HubSpot, it's predicted that 2023 will be no different.
Because marketers plan to invest in short-form video more than any other trend this year.
Over 90% of marketers who currently leverage short-form video will increase or maintain their investment in 2023. (HubSpot) In fact, people are willing to spend more time-consuming video content than any other type of media.
Video also builds trust in your brand by establishing a relationship with your audience based on shared experiences and values. When you produce videos that resonate with viewers, they feel a sense of connection with the organization producing them—something that can help build loyalty toward you and make them more likely to purchase from you in the future.
As an education marketer looking to leverage this trend, consider using animated explainer videos as part of your marketing strategy because they’re easy-to-produce tools that will drive engagement among prospective students who are looking for information about programs offered at institutions like yours!
Augmented And Virtual Reality Experiences take centre stage
This begs the question...
Did I write this article, or was it AI?
Rest assured, it was me. A person.
Spoiler alert? Marketers won't be replaced by AI, but it will enhance their skillset.
Augmented and virtual reality experiences are here to stay. Technology has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years, with consumer adoption increasing rapidly.
AR and VR can provide an incredible experience for education marketers looking to engage students on a deeper level while building brand awareness at the same time. It’s important to note that these two technologies are not exactly interchangeable; they have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to delivering content through them.
A key trend we're likely to see in 2023 is the rise of AI and machine learning in marketing. These technologies are already being used in a variety of applications, from chatbots and virtual assistants to more sophisticated algorithms that analyse customer data and provide insights for marketers to make better decisions.
We expect to see an increasing number of companies adopting these technologies in the coming year.
Purpose-Driven Marketing Gains Popularity
In today's world, consumers are becoming more aware of their personal values, what they want out of life and where they want their money spent. This means that people want businesses that align with their core ideals. So if you want to build a loyal following who will buy from you again and again—not just now but also in the future—it's time to start considering how your brand can be used for good or for ill by its customers.
Purpose Driven Marketing is all about building a better world. In other words, it's about using your business to make a difference in the world around you. By doing this, you can attract customers who want to support your brand's mission and values and are more likely to buy from you again.
Companies often use purpose-driven marketing to create awareness for their brand or product. For example, Patagonia uses their clothing line as an opportunity to educate people on environmental issues such as climate change through its Worn Wear campaign that allows consumers to send in their used Patagonia clothing so that it can be repaired and resold.
Purpose-driven marketing is a social strategy that embeds your company’s core mission into every aspect of your business, from product design to customer service.
It's by no means a new idea, but it is gaining momentum in our increasingly connected world.
As an education company, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends in order to keep your brand relevant and competitive.
Following and adopting new marketing trends can help you reach a wider audience and increase your visibility amongst your target market. In today’s digital age, staying on top of the latest trends can be essential to staying ahead of the competition and staying engaged with your customers.
By being open to new trends, you can tap into new marketing channels, such as social media and video marketing, and reach more potential customers. Additionally, by staying current with the latest trends, you can ensure that your marketing strategies are effective and up to date. By following and adopting new marketing trends, you can also benefit from the latest technologies and use them to their fullest potential. For example, if you’re using AI to target potential customers, the latest trends can help you refine and improve your strategies. Additionally, by staying on top of the latest trends, you can ensure that your content is fresh and engaging, which can help to keep your customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer.
With the rapid pace of change, it’s easy to get distracted by all the new shiny marketing tools. Keep your eyes on the big picture, and remember that these trends will only continue to evolve. That being said, they are still useful as they tell you what people want from brands today and tomorrow. That way you can focus on providing them with what they want, instead of trying to catch up later on when everybody else already knows how to do it better than you ever could.