Marketing in the Education Sector: A Complete Guide

Marketing in the Education Sector: A Complete Guide 5

Marketing in the education sector is crucial for educational institutions to attract students, build their brand, and stand out from the competition. Building a strong marketing strategy can help; with recruitment, enrolment, awareness and reputation.

Marketing in this sector does come with its own unique challenges. This guide aims to identify the opportunities and challenges that may be faced when building your marketing strategy, as well as recommending a range of marketing mediums that are worth consideration.


There are a lot of factors to consider, such as the target audience, the messaging, the channels to use, and the competition. In this guide, we will provide you with a complete overview of how to effectively market in the education sector.

1. Know Your Target Audience

The first step to successful marketing for your educational institution is understanding your target audience. Who are the students/partners you want to attract, and what motivates them to enrol in your institution or program? What are their demographics, interests, and preferences? Understanding your target audience will help you create messaging and marketing materials that resonate with them. Not sure on the answers to the questions, working with an independent research agency will answer this for you

Click here to see how Barnsley College used research to gain a deeper understanding of the community's perception of them. 

2. Develop Your Brand Identity

Your brand identity is the way your institution or program is perceived by your target audience. It includes your logo, tagline, colours, and tone of voice. Developing a strong brand identity is essential for standing out in a crowded market and creating a positive impression on potential students.

3. Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan will outline your marketing objectives, target audience, messaging, and tactics. It should also include a timeline and a budget. Your marketing plan will help you stay focused and measure the success of your marketing efforts.

  1. Increased enrolment: effective marketing channels can help institutions reach prospective students at the right time and in the right place. Establishing a relevant introduction to prospects can help increase engagement and interest in your marketing message.
  2. Staff recruitment: As well as creating a marketing campaign to target students, many of our marketing mediums allow for multi-message campaigns meaning your staff recruitment could see an increase.
  3. Enhanced reputation: a strong marketing message that is well executed can help build your establishment's reputation among competitors and the wider industry.
  4. Awareness: your marketing can help you stand out from the crowd and set you apart from your competitors, in turn boosting your brand awareness and keeping you at the forefront of your student's minds.

What marketing mediums should you be considering?


Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an effective way to reach and engage with potential students. It includes search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Leverage digital marketing to increase your online visibility, build your brand, and drive website traffic.

Getting your messaging out across social media is a great way to get in front of your target audience. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are heavily saturated so having strong creative content is crucial to the success of your social media campaign.

Increase your organic reach online by improving the visibility of your website and ensure that you are the first thing prospective students come across in their search. Using keywords and phrases alongside high-quality content can help increase your web traffic and reach. Pay-per-click advertising is a quicker, but costlier, route to achieving the top spot on search engines.

Click here to see how a campaign could look.


Radio Advertising
Radio advertising really is a tried and tested marketing tool. There are also different types of radio advertising meaning you can pick the one that suits your strategy best. The key benefits of using radio in your marketing campaign are;
  • Reach a specific audience: Radio allows you to target specific demographic groups or geographic areas, which can be useful if you're trying to reach a specific audience. For example, if you are trying to reach seniors, you can advertise on a radio station that caters to this demographic.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to other forms of advertising, radio advertising can be relatively inexpensive. 
  • Frequency and repetition: Radio commercials can be played multiple times, which can help increase awareness of your brand. With a message that is simple and memorable, you can stand out from competitors and stay top of mind for consumers.
  • Engaging content: radio is a great way to showcase your personality and bring to life your brand, this can really set you apart and help consumers build a connection and trust in your company. Click here to read more about how to write the perfect radio script for your brand.
  • Consumer context: radio is a great way to get in front of the right audience at the right time. I might be commuting to work, or after the weather. Reaching your target audience at a specific time is a fantastic opportunity for travel brands and allows you to be heard when people are the most receptive.
  • Ad effectiveness: Whether you are using radio as a one-off boost or as part of a longer-term strategy, it is important to think about how you are going to measure the radio advertising effectiveness. Click here to learn more about how to measure your radio ad effectivenss

(top tip: if radio feels like the right fit for you, you might want to think about what radio station aligns with your organisation. Read more here)



Using podcasts to market can be an effective way to reach a specific target audience. Podcasting can allow you to share your message with a highly engaged and dedicated audience.

The benefits of using podcasting as a marketing tool are;

  • Reaches a targeted audience: Podcasts are a great way to reach a specific audience, as listeners typically choose to listen to podcasts on topics that interest them.
  • Building Brand Awareness: Podcasting provides an opportunity for your institution to share information and stories, helping to build brand awareness and increase recognition.
  • Set yourself apart: audio content is booming and exploring this marketing tool would allow your brand to stand out from competitors, reach new areas of your target audience and build stronger relationships with consumers.

Click here to listen to the Wakefield College podcast to see how they used podcasting to go behind the scenes of Wakefield College to hear from students and staff with invaluable help and advice for college life.


Mobile Digital Out of Home

Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising can be an effective marketing tool for the education sector and can help you stand out from competitors.

The key benefits of using DOOH in your marketing campaign are;

  • High visibility: the eye-catching ads create a memorable impression on your target audience and can reach areas of the market traditional media can not.
  • Measurable results: this form of advertising includes tracking technology that can provide insight into engagement rates, audience impressions and other data that can measure the success of your campaign.
  • Targeting: DOOH advertising can be targeted to specific locations, times, and demographic groups, allowing you to reach your ideal target audience.

Digital Out Of Home campaigns work great when combined with experiential marketing, for prospective students. Consumers are looking for experiences that capture their attention and leave a lasting impact.

  • Drive engagement and results 
  • Connect people with brands 
  • Generate meaningful interactions 
  • Create talk-ability 
  • Turn heads 

Click here to see how Digital Out of Home technology can bring your freshers' events to life. 



Market research is a great tool to help education providers better understand their target audience and the competitive landscape. It can also identify the best way to reach and engage with prospective students. 

Some ways that research can benefit are;

  • Identify the need and preferences of students to help relate and provide relevant information
  • Gain an understanding of the most effective channels for reaching your target audience 
  • Build audience personas profiles to help engage effectivity. 

By carrying out marketing research you can gain valuable insight that can strengthen your strategy, increase success and make the best use of resources. 

Experiential marketing Attend Industry Events

Industry events, such as educational fairs and conferences, are a great way to meet potential students and build relationships with industry professionals. Attend relevant events to showcase your institution or program and network with others in the education sector.


What next?

Share this article with a colleague, download our education sector 2023 insight and get in touch today with one of our team to find out more about our products and services and how we can help you stand out and get you in front of your target audience.

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