One of the top EDU offers out there today is International Career Institute.
The pursuit of education has changed in the past decade. An increasing number of students have sought career-oriented education tailored to their specific needs.
Convenience, relevant course work, and affordability have driven many students away from the traditional route of seeking education in a classroom. As such, online institutions like The International Career Institute (ICI) has risen in significance and popularity over the past decade.
That said, marketing education to students eager to learn at their own pace can be tricky business. Through 13 years of trial and error, ICI shares its approach to marketing in the field of education and the usefulness of staying on top of the latest marketing trends and strategies.
Traditional marketing – Getting rid of the old and adopting the new
Traditionally, it was standard practice for colleges to be featured in directory listings. For a fixed rate, colleges could post courses in the hopes of attracting students. Many directories had a preference for PPL (paying for every potential customer) marketing.
Under the PPL methodology, leads are received at a slow rate. However, potential consumers generally pay higher prices because they have been pre-qualified by third-party referrals. In recent times, many of the career directory platforms have shifted away from this form of advertising and have begun to focus on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.
PPC was always ICI’s digital marketing strategy of choice, which brought in a significantly higher number of leads in a short amount of time. The problem was having a big enough budget to outperform the competition.
As more platforms moved to PPC advertising, they found they could not remain profitable due to competing universities that had much larger marketing budgets. It simply was not worth paying top dollar per click on Google.
With PPC marketing becoming saturated and costly, the International Career Institute had to find another way to attract students; a new strategy that focused less on advertising spend and more so on creating helpful career related content which would drive organic traffic as well as improving student experiences.
With this goal in mind, ICI sought out industry experts who excelled in creating top-quality content. Instead of focusing on KPIs or fielding entire divisions of sales teams, ICI allowed their courses to sell themselves.
The biggest marketing challenges faced by ICI
Having been in operation for 13 years, the International Career Institute has faced its fair share of marketing challenges. Its most difficult challenge to date was the transition from print media to digital media.
Print media, which falls under the umbrella of traditional advertising, can be largely unreliable when it comes to analytics. For example, there’s no way to track the actual number of people you’ve impacted with a flyer, poster, or billboard.
Digital media, on the other hand, allows you to focus precisely on your target audience through analytics. By switching to a digital marketing strategy, ICI was able to collect useful analytics on their student base, allowing them to better determine ROI and improve their ability to effectively spend their marketing budget.
Today, the International Career Institute focuses on providing a better experience for their students by allowing their courses to sell themselves through content marketing. The goal is to provide guidance to students to ensure they choose the course and career path that will meet the students expectations.
The students’ first approach
In their new shift in marketing, the International Career Institute began to focus on their strengths to draw students in – interest-free payment plans, dedicated student advisors that guide students towards success, course suitability, and regulatory advice.
This new marketing shift did away with sales focused goals. ICI instead focused on a consultative approach with an emphasis on quick response turn-around times when communicating with students.
In doing so, ICI optimized its platform into molding students into the leaders in their field of choice, improving the overall educational experience and eliminating the need for students to take on mountains of debt to obtain a quality education.
Increasing retention through personalization
It’s one thing to attract students; it’s quite another to get them to stick around. In general, distance learning across the industry has a larger dropout rate then on-campus programs.
To keep students motivated and engaged in the long-term, the International Career Institute poured their resources into providing the best student experience possible.
Tutors have a 2-day turn-around time when engaging in student consultations, and all assignments are responded to and turned around in 7 working days. ICI also gives a 3-year full completion period, giving students a target date to work towards.
By putting students first by quickly responding to their needs and requests, ICI personalizes their experience, thus increasing retention.
Marketing an EDU offer the right way
By cutting out sales teams and not focusing on KPIs, the International Career Institute can focus on improving student experiences. Since its inception 13 years ago, ICI has employed ethical and responsible marketing practices to reach a greater number of students and offer more courses. ICI is also a signatory to the Code of Ethics instituted by the International Association of Private Career Colleges. A portion of the Code is dedicated to marketing practices.
The education industry is changing, and an increasing number of students are looking for educational programs that put their needs first. ICI has effectively accomplished this goal and continues to serve thousands of students daily.