Inbound Marketing for Higher Education

Want A Larger Student Body? Bulk Up With Digital Marketing.

Is your college or university struggling to fill its classrooms? You're not alone. From 2009 to 2020, the number of undergraduates attending American colleges plummeted by 1.6 million. (That's not even counting the even further drop of around 1 million students caused by the pandemic in just the two years since). Whether the dip in enrollment rates from 2009 to 2020 is due to the rising costs of college or to Americans' shrinking confidence in the efficacy of higher education, it must be said: this enrollment crisis is an epidemic.

But which universities is the epidemic affecting most? Schools with name recognition such as UCLA or the Ivy Leagues have had no trouble keeping their enrollment rates steady. It's smaller schools such as Lincoln College in Illinois or The San Francisco Art Institute that have had to shut their doors for good.

You're probably on this page because you're wondering how you can avoid that same unfortunate fate.

We all know that your school plays a crucial role in the future professional success of its students, but does your audience believe that? Do you have an audience?

A moment of transparency: college is a massie personal and financial undertaking. Very few students choose to attend a college without first having learned about it extensively from a number of outside sources.

Now, we're not saying that your school has to make a TikTok account. Instead, you can utilize CMG's powerful inbound marketing for higher education, connecting directly with your target audience and putting your school on the map.



Higher education organizations need to focus on inbound marketing


Our Powerful Marketing Strategies

To guarantee the effectiveness of our inbound marketing for higher education, we enlist programmatic advertising services. Programmatic advertising, put simply, is the use of software to aid in the purchasing of digital ad space. And at CMG, we take a multi-pronged approach to programmatic advertising:


  1. Display and Video via DSP is short for Demand-Side Platform and it's a kind of software that advertisers use to buy advertising via automation. Basically, it ensures that your ad images or videos are being displayed to the right audience at the right time. This means that a middle-aged woman with a doctorate, for example, won't see your advertising, making it as cost-effective as possible.

  2. Amazon Display and Video (OTT) is an Amazon-built DSP for incorporating your advertising with streaming networks, so your target audience will see your ads while watching their favorite shows. This method of advertising is growing in popularity and has shown a 3x-8x return on investment, a figure far greater than the industry average.

  3. Targeted Display (internally we call it Ground Truth) is a DSP designed to display your ads to your specific target audience, based on not only demographics and geographics, but also psychographics. That last one means, through their digital footprint, we can find potential enrollees who even share your school's values and attitude, a more perfect fit than merely them just being "college-aged."

  4. YouTube Pre-Roll allows us to work with Google Ads to display your video ads to your target audience before their YouTube video plays. Although these ads can seem intrusive, they've proven to be 84% more effective than TV advertising.

  5. DOOH (Digital Out of Home) advertising is done through, surprise, another DSP. In this case, we show ads to your target audience when they're on-the-go, on digital interfaces such as digital billboards or digital signs. OOH advertising has been around for centuries and has thrived. In the last decade though, DOOH advertising has shown the same success, but married with the infinite potential of the digital realm. Prospects can now be targeted subtly where they are most likely to have wandering eyes: the gym, the doctor's office waiting room, the checkout line at the grocery store. What's better? We can work our wizardry so that DOOHs are only displayed when we know your leads are actively searching for an online higher education program.


These are the best marketing strategies for universities and colleges, and any one of them would have a powerful effect on the growth of your student body. Combined though, the impact these strategies could have on your school's bottomline is limitless.


Digital Marketing for Online Education Programs

Finding future students to fill your lecture halls is no easy feat-finding students to fill your Zoom lectures is even more complicated. You know that you have a stellar program that provides incredible value both financially and in its ability to allow students to earn their degrees on their own time.

So, where are all your leads?

Chances are, they're more in reach than you might think-you just don't know where to look.

Online higher education options are evolving in quality and implementation. And they're more esteemed than ever. Even Ivy Leagues are taking to the streets (and search engines) to promote their online master's programs with great success. There's no reason your university shouldn't have the same conversion rate.

With CMG in your corner, we can help you find your ideal audience and directly reach out to them with a compelling message about your value. Are you ready for a masterclass in marketing for online education?



Our Team

When you work with CMG, you're working with some of the top digital marketers on the planet. Our expertise and technical skill have been forged through years of trial and error, as well as through education in schools just like yours. As a result, we're able to provide you with the very best marketing strategies for universities and colleges, displaying your advertisements to your target audience always at the right place and the right time.

When it comes to your advertising, we cannot overemphasize the importance of location and timing. In our business, location and timing are everything. If your ad is displayed to the wrong person (the previously mentioned middle-aged woman with a doctorate), the ad will mean nothing to them. If your ad is shown to the right person, but at the wrong time (a high school senior who's just enrolled in another college, for example), then you've missed the window of opportunity for your ad to have the desired effect. That's why at CMG, we do everything in our power to make sure your advertising is always in front of the right person at the right stage of the decision making process.

Besides our team of specialists, our inbound marketing for higher education is also aided by the most advanced advertising software in the industry-all of those DSPs we mentioned earlier. This is software that can detect, through a series of algorithms, when a person is currently interested in pursuing a higher education and when they are not. Once we have that information, it's a very simple decision as to when and when not to display your advertising. As we've said before, the most effective advertisement is the one that's hitting the right eyeballs at the right time, and that's what we do best. It's up to you then to come up with the right message.

But, if you need a little help with your brand positioning-don't fret, we have a team who handles that too.



Partner With an Agency Who Knows Your Industry

It isn't just higher education institutions that we help with our experience and knowhow. The best marketing strategies for universities and colleges also happen to be the best marketing strategies for any company. And every successful company knows that investing in marketing is the most effective and most efficient way to grow their organization. Cutting back on expenses only limits what your company can achieve. You have to invest in your future. At CMG, using our powerful digital marketing options, specifically our programmatic advertising, we can locate your target audience, grow your college or university's student body, and ensure that your investment in us, your investment in your school's future, is a fruitful one.

Invest In Your Future Now

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Our Partners and Publishers

When it comes to your digital marketing, we only partner with the top leaders in the industry to help get you the best results possible. Because we're a part of CMG, digital advertising with us is credible, accessible, data-driven and transparent.