Digital Marketing Social Media Sells International Education
Social media sells education. THE explosion in internet access has transformed the 3.5 million strong market for international education according to a four year global research project by the British Council’s Education Intelligence unit, published today exclusively by The Australian. According to research manager Elizabeth Shepherd, “the evidence shows institutions that want to attract the best quality students must make information accessible in the easiest possible way and that means going the extra mile online.” She says many are already on the march. According to the EI research; “in large part institutions’ websites have now taken over the role of physical brochures as regards the details of courses and accommodation options. Online attendance at exhibitions is now competing with physically attending an expo as a means of meeting representatives in person to ask questions about overseas study aspirations.” However Ms Shepherd warns many universities in major destination markets (although she declines to name any especially egregious examples) still look at their online presence, especially social-media, as add-ons, to complete after day jobs are done.
“ But social media is now a day job,” she says.
As to institutions that are getting it right she nominates the University of Auckland, for “a great online presence, mainly targeting China”. “They use a lot of rich media content with YouTube videos, blogs and chat functions and provide translations.
The EI survey of 127,000 students from 200 countries considering overseas study found that universities’ websites are the single most important source of information for students establishing a consideration set.
And as internet access expands so do expectations that information will be available in the local language, creating challenges for the five top providers (the US, UK, Australia, Germany and New Zealand) in servicing the largest markets. While 70 per cent of web pages are in English only 27 per cent of internet users are English speakers (followed by Mandarin at 23 per cent)…..
AIEC QUEST Australian International Education Centre Europe.