Unlock the Power of LinkedIn and Education Marketing

Claudia Reiners
November 20, 2019

Unlock the Power of LinkedIn and Education Marketing

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LinkedIn holds the power to boost your Education Marketing value. Here’s why.

Many education providers and marketers are reliant on prospective students searching for their institutions and programs, but in reality, many of these students are not always ready to take that first step or have not even sparked their research interest.

Knowing this, education marketers are notorious for pumping resources into campaigns and turning up the volume on subjects and courses as a quick fix.

However, the key factor often overlooked is that prospective students are more likely to be attracted to what value you can add to their personal or career growth, rather than what you are simply offering. Here’s where LinkedIn trumps other social platforms when amplifying the value of an education provider’s course offerings.

Why LinkedIn?

Compared to other social channels like Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn boasts a platform of over 546 million professionals across all types of seniorities, industries, companies and businesses. From an education marketer’s perspective, this opens a plethora of valuable prospective students.

Why? – Aside from the large multinationals and high-level seniors, there is an even larger pool of graduates, students and employees looking to take the next step, whether that be at the upskilling stage, career change or simply looking to move forward in their education journey.

As such, LinkedIn makes it easier than ever to connect with like-minded and highly engaged audiences; enabling education providers to really zone in and tap into a prospective student’s aspirational mindset.

Below, we break down more of LinkedIn’s best qualities and demonstrate exactly how education providers can incorporate these features into their education marketing strategy.

Connect directly with Prospective Students, not Consumers

There is no denying that social giants such as Facebook, Instagram and the like have the power to zone in on specific interests and target areas. However, it is usually more of a challenge for education providers to gain rapid traction and have their institutional value resonate within a more consumer-focused audience.

Candidates on LinkedIn often view the platform as a trustworthy source and as mentioned, are generally looking for a value-added experience. LinkedIn’s unique, professional-focused niche makes it an effective option for education providers to market their courses, as there is naturally an aura of wanting to ‘better’ oneself. As such, being able to connect directly with a more motivated and goal-oriented audience is a highly desired characteristic that education providers look for in prospective students.

From a paid perspective, LinkedIn boasts a unique interest targeting strategy where users are not only able to target specific subjects but can also tailor to education levels, seniority, job functions and more. This, along with LinkedIn’s aspirational, goal-oriented audience ultimately translates into an increase in lead quality.

This is especially the case for courses specialising in professional development, online and part-time courses. The rise in the discussion of micro-credentials creates even more opportunity for education providers to expand their offering as these short, compact courses are naturally a great fit for the platform.

Maximise your content and social value

Maximising traction and connectivity on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is highly reliant on a numbers game to feed the short attention spans commonly found in a consumer-focused audience. And while larger following and social engagement still count towards social value on LinkedIn, because users are focused primarily on work purposes and not play, it still creates an equal ground for education providers of all sizes to promote or voice out their expertise on specific topics.

Compared to the snappy, high-energy content we usually find on fast-paced social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn audiences thrive off long-form content pieces such as industry insights and tips, which adds value towards their individual goals and also works as a means of increasing traffic to your websites. Similarly, captions should be two to three times longer than the average social update and are ideally insightful summaries of the content you are sharing. This provides prospective students with the ability to gauge how your qualifications or courses will benefit them in the future.

With so much to offer in the education space, consider looking into sharing reactive content pieces on high-traction topics such as the AQF 2019 Review.

Also note, If you have a following that exceeds 300, the content suggestion tool is great for collecting thought leadership article ideas or for sharing content by other users to spark insightful discussions.

Build a community of like-minded thinkers

Two major aspects of the LinkedIn community for education providers to keep in mind are that:

  • Active members are usually a high-engaged audience and dedicated to their chosen sectors.
  • Even at lower seniority or undergraduate level, prospective students are maximising LinkedIn for insights as a research tool and are generally more career-oriented.

With that, a great tool offered on LinkedIn is the ability to form close-knit, specific community groups where like-minded thinkers can share and gain insights from trustworthy sources and from individuals of all seniority levels.

Education providers can consider creating their own groups to answer frequently asked questions or an insight hub to attract prospective students to learn, contribute or share their own experiences as alumni. In addition, LinkedIn groups can also be used as targeting criteria in campaigns to really hone in on specific topics of interest to prospective students.

Aside from groups and communities, another place where prospective students are able to find valuable insights and expand on information is none other than your own provider or brand page. In addition to sending out high-quality content pieces, it is also crucial to have all your contact details front and centre, along with a detailed ‘About’ page to connect with prospective students as an engaging and high-quality source of education.

Showcase pages are also an amazing tool to highlight the different schools, locations or subject areas which your institution offers.

Advertising tips on LinkedIn for Education Providers

Like many other social platforms, LinkedIn has its own campaign manager where education providers can incorporate paid initiatives behind their messaging or content. As we’ve already mentioned, the nature of the platform adds a touch of professionalism to the way campaigns are built, branching out of the basic characteristics like age and location and allowing users to focus on industry, experience or qualifications, which is extremely useful for reaching out to specific candidates.

Just under 5% of people started a non-degree graduate program after being exposed to an ad on a channel other than LinkedIn.

However, more than 7% started after clicking on a LinkedIn Ad.

While LinkedIn is amazing at helping education providers narrow down on specific targeting areas, it’s important to remember to keep your audience size at a minimum of 50,000+ for niche audiences or at least 100,000+ for consistent results. In addition, while you should never pay for the bid you set – it is important to set a realistic goal so that it provides the platform with a range of freedom to find high-quality audiences for you.

The LinkedIn campaign manager also offers a wide range of ad placement options, depending on what your goals are. Some of our tried and tested favourites include:

  • Sponsored InMail

    These ads are amazing for education providers looking to provide a more personalised experience for students, especially for long-term courses that require a large commitment term.

  • Carousel Ads

    Our favourite for showcasing the student journey.

  • Lead Form Ads

    Great for capturing data without prospective students having to leave the platform. A good value-added tip is to include free content students can download after submitting an enquiry.

LinkedIn also offers amazing analytics tools to track how successful your organic and paid activities are at attracting the right audiences. Aside from basic follower demographics are insights on competing providers, update or content performance, industry and more.

With the power to tap into specific student areas and access high-quality and motivated individuals, the LinkedIn platform is certainly a valuable resource and a must-have in any education providers marketing strategy for providing traction and visibility.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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