Digital first has never been more important in education

We’ve all heard the saying ‘digital first’, but the pandemic has really highlighted the need for your online presence to be quickly adaptable and act as your main marketing tool.

73% of clients have stated that ‘Digital Transformation’ is now a major business priority* due to the weakness exposed during this time.

Here’s a few points you may want to consider.

3 students on laptops

1. Accessibility law

How to ensure your online platform conforms to Accessibility laws.

From 23rd September 2020, it was a legal requirement for all public sector websites launched on or after 23rd September 2018 to meet accessibility standards.

At least 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long-term illness, impairment or disability. It’s therefore key that your online platforms and content are clear and easy to use, whilst offering simple solutions to those who need to adapt things to make it more accessible.

You’ll need to ensure your digital platforms meet the international WCAG 2.1AA accessibility standard which is based on four design principles:

  • perceivable
  • operable
  • understandable
  • robust

These principles cover things like alt test for non-text content, structured content to make it easier for screen readers to understand, using plain English and consideration of colour to name just a few.

Undergoing an audit of your site is a good place to start to get a clear understanding of the work required to comply with these standards.


2. The rise of video

Video has never been more important with 86% of marketers saying it increased traffic to their website.

Video content is key to your audience. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it, compared to 10% when reading on paper. A clear strategy and planning are crucial to capturing footage that can be used across a range of media: Here’s our top tips for your next video shoot:

  • Determine your audience 
  • Identify the key objectives 
  • Develop the main messages 
  • Agree where the videos will be used 
  • Produce a storyboard, itinerary and shot list
  • Write a script and practice, practice, practice

To maximise on your budget, footage can often be used for a wide range of uses. Why not create an overall showreel for your homepage, alongside individual course area videos and snappy cuts for use on your social channels that help drive traffic to your website?

*Source wyzowl Video Marketing Statistics 2021


3. Your prospectus

Tips on how to make the most of your prospectus and stand out from the crowd.

Your prospectus is key to a student making their final selection on where to study, so why go down the same route as every other college or university? Here’s a few tips on how to make yours stand out from the crowd:

  • Personalise it – Create an online prospectus builder, allowing students to customise their guide with the subjects they’re interested in and the information they really want
  • Make it interactive – Instead of an online PDF, why not create an engaging, online, page-turning book incorporating video, animated statistics, links to further information and key call-to-actions. What’s more, it can all be trackable, allowing you to analyse your ROI
  • Size and finishes – Considered design touches to your printed prospectus can really make the difference. Have you considered a new size, print techniques like foiling and embossing, the way the pages are bound together, or splashes of pattern or colour to guide the audience to key information?


4. Social strategy

Your opportunity to engage with students and parents, make it count!

Over 50 million people in the UK are on a form of social media, accounting for 71.64% of the population. Your students are here, their parents are here – so make sure you are too! Researching how to be effective on each platform and the types of content that work on each platform is crucial – your target audience on Instagram and LinkedIn will be completely different, so your tone needs to adjust to suit!

Need some help ensuring you're digital first?

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*Up To The Light, 7th Annual Report in association with dba.