At Unicom, we are experts in Higher Education marketing. Our team of strategists, researchers and analysts are driven to improving the outreach and conversion of our clients, leading to long term success.
In an increasingly online world, accelerated by the pandemic, it is important to ensure your reputation is strong across online platforms and so this blog is aimed towards helping you build the foundations of a strong internet presence.
Your reputation as a University is built on the opinions of a range of stakeholders, students, businesses, governments, current staff, alumni and more. The strength of this reputation will determine the quality of staff, students, partners etc, which, in turn, will determine the long-term standing of your University.
Strategies for success
There are many clever and innovative strategies you can adopt to build your online reputation, and at Unicom we have developed a strategy based on the three “i’s” framework. Those being to Inspire, illuminate and invite.
The message you portray is key, and it comes from understanding the audience you want to target. We help you to understand your audience using our innovative means and analytical insight, ensuring the right message is sent to the right person. For a University, successful communication with a policymaker or member of staff, will have different components to communication with an 18 year old potential student. Knowing that one message, as well as the platform of delivery, does not fit all, is paramount.
We believe there are 5 key audience groups you should consider the individual content direction for;
Having identified the key target audience groups, the next step is to implement your means of delivering your message. We’ll now discuss some forms of targeting.
Taking care to ensure you have the most appropriate message, delivered via the most appropriate platform, is how you close in on your target audience with personalised content that leaves them with a positive online experience. A positive online experience leads to engagement, sharing and organic promotion as it is content your audience WANTS to see, as opposed to a misguided fishing net of information thrown at them.
Once you have understood your audience and how best to reach them, you must now keep track of your progress to see what is working and what is not. Typically, when gathering information on the success of a promotion campaign, we would break it down in to 4 segments:
At Unicom we are performance campaign experts who can take care of this important analytical aspect of your targeted content delivery, but we feel it is important to make you aware of how we operate and to get inside the mind of those who work towards building your reputation.
Having looked at the techniques applied when attempting to build your online reputation, we cannot ignore the variables that enter the field of play in a time of crisis, such as the world we currently live in. We must all adapt to the demands of society in such circumstances and being University specific, this means we must have a flexible and proactive approach to how we handle communication with those in and around the education system.
With times like these, comes uncertainty, and with uncertainty comes questions. As a University you must be the first to provide people with the answers they need regarding your sector, otherwise they will find them elsewhere. The type of questions being asked this year will differ from any prior typical catalogue, so you must be proactive in anticipating the demand and updating your information portals. A University that provides a potential student with support and details that eases concern is a University that is a step ahead of those not reacting to the current climate. We highly recommend using AnswerThePublic to analyse search terms via a key phrase such as “UK Universities”. This will allow you to identify areas of information you must provide accessibly.
In terms of your tone and demeanor we have identified the following as highly valued by students:
How to tackle crisis
A step by step approach will help to mitigate the damage to reputation caused by a crisis event or any negative incident.
As you can see it is important to have an online presence that exudes proactivity and involvement in current affairs. There is an expectation placed upon Universities to be leaders in supporting youngsters of today through these times and we hope some of our tips can help you be the institution your students need you to be.
Find out more
We believe we have provided you with tactics and techniques you can apply to ensure a strong reputation online during these times. If you wish to discuss what Unicom can do for you, or you’d like some further detail on any of the matters addressed in this blog you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org