Technology is taking over the way we communicate with one another. Many teenagers in America own a cell phone, and a great percentage of them own a smartphone. Smartphones are becoming so ubiquitous that they are soon going to be referred to as just ‘phones.’ As mobile technology continues to advance, students use their phones not only to text and make calls but also surf the Web and download apps to connect to their favorite social media sites. Today’s teens and 20-somethings have been given several monikers, such as Generation Connected, Digital Natives, and Generation Web 2.0.
Schools can use mobile marketing to reach their target audiences, whether it’s prospective students, current students or alumni. There are several things they should do to ensure they are effectively using the options available to them to create richer, more individualized dialogs. If you are just getting started in the mobile marketing field, your institution can take several steps to achieve the best results.
According to Google’s “US Education Search Analysis,” 1 in 8 EDU searches will be mobile in 2012.
Mobile Web Searches
- Be at the top of search results
Many users do not scroll when browsing on a mobile device, so you want to be on the top of the page. By using search-engine optimization, you can move your school’s name to the top of the page in search results. This will result in more people clicking on your school’s page.
Creating mobile-specific paid search campaigns can also help to increase visibility, traffic and leads. Due to the competitive nature of paid search, especially in the higher education industry, showing on the first page can also sometimes be expensive.
2. Encourage prospects to make a call with a single click
If your search results include a phone number, mobile users can take advantage of “click-to-call” technology. By touching your number, their mobile devices will directly start a call, and they can instantly be in touch with your call center. By selecting a phone number that is department-specific (e.g. alumni page linking to the alumni association phone number), users will be able to directly reach the department they are looking for instead of being redirected multiple times.
3. Optimize your website for mobile
Take simple steps to optimize your school’s mobile website for a better small-screen browsing experience. To start, place the most important information at the top of the page. Next, make the site easier to navigate on a mobile device by reducing the size of the page layout and removing extraneous navigation. Add social media links to the top of your page, and use brief text links instead of graphical buttons when possible, as text links are easier to select and faster to load on a smaller mobile screen.
For more information about how to use mobile marketing to reach your target audience, check out Fathom’s previous blog posts on mobile and stay tuned for future posts.
Check out Fathom’s 30-pg. Ultimate Guide to Marketing an Educational Institution with Social Media. It’s full of insightful interviews and illustrative case studies on using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing a school.