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6 Higher Education Digital Marketing Strategies, Trends & Tactics for 2023

Over the last few years, technology and the internet have become even more prevalent in higher education, thus highlighting the importance of effective digital marketing strategies for these institutions. By building a strong online presence, higher education institutions will be able to reach and engage with their target audience. 

By having an active digital presence, your school will be able to:

  • provide 24/7 information access to audiences,
  • tell their story virtually, and
  • use data to make informed decisions.

The focus this year will be on the existing digital marketing strategies and finding ways to best optimize your content in the ever-changing industry. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the digital marketing strategies, trends, and tactics to look out for in 2023.

1. Transition to Google Analytics 4

One of the key pieces of making informed decisions about your marketing strategy is collecting and analyzing data. When utilizing Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you’ll be able to track the traffic and performance of your website, thus developing effective digital marketing strategies to increase enrollment. 

Google will transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 on July 1, 2023. It would be best to plan the transition and get acquainted with the new changes before then. Some of the most significant changes on the platform are:

  • Data collection: with an entirely different data model, any interaction in any device is organized under Events, which belongs to a User. This way, GA4 can link all interactions and enables you to organize them as need come, 
  • AI + Machine learning: through Machine learning, Google is able to fill data gaps and make forecasts that predict future behavior. By using conversion rate data from past activities, you’ll be able to make predictions on enrollment numbers and potential students. 
  • Cross-device tracking: with this feature at the heart of GA4, the new data model allows it to store data from multiple sources and send them for further analysis. The cross-device tracking mechanism is based on “Identity spaces”, which identify a user using multiple data points. This is done through three types of identifiers: User ID, Google Signals, and Device ID.

You can read more about Google Analytics 4 here

2. Reevaluate Your Higher Education Social Media Marketing Strategy


With 2022 being a challenging year for social media platforms, 2023 becomes the year to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not and how to relocate sources in SEO.

Let’s take a look at the four areas of high ed. digital marketing you can reevaluate and focus on in 2023.

  1. Increasing brand awareness: You can use brand strategy to show what makes your institution unique and stand out.  
  2. Boosting social media presence: Considering 54% of Gen Zers use social media for more than four hours a day, boosting your social media presence will increase engagement.
  3. Promoting purpose-driven campaigns: As an academic institute, you want to be inclusive and encourage diversity in all its forms; promoting purpose-driven campaigns can be an initiative towards showing leadership in this area. 
  4. Involving current students and alumni: By sharing stories or interviews of students or alumni, you can reach and influence more people.

3. Explore AI-Generated Content

Last year we saw a lot of progress with AI content generators, progress estimated only to grow. And while the content is still stilted, it can be a helpful tool in higher ed. digital marketing.

Some of the ways you can use AI in higher education digital marketing are:

  • Content optimization: AI tools can help analyze your website’s content and suggest ways to optimize it for search engines. In this area, Frase or MarketMuse can help you out.
  • Chatbots: with ChatGPT taking off by the storm, it can be a valuable tool for creating content, providing 24/7 service, answering frequently asked questions, and making content recommendations. 
  • Email marketing: AI can also be useful in optimizing email marketing, thus resulting in higher open and click-through rates. For this purpose, you can use tools like Persado or Phrasee
  • Ad targeting: AI can help target specific demographics and reach a wider audience. An AI tool you can use is Google’s Smart Bidding; after analyzing your previous campaigns, it will automatically find the optimal bid to drive higher conversion volume. 
  • Predictive analytics: You can also use AI tools (Lattice and C3 IoT) to address potential issues and find new opportunities.  

4. Incorporate Short-Form Video Into Your Higher Ed. Marketing Strategy

According to Video Marketing Statistics, video use in marketing in 2022 was 86%, and with Gen Zers preferring social media platforms with short video features (60% of them use TikTok), video use in marketing is projected to grow. Therefore, incorporating short videos into your school’s digital marketing strategies will help you be ahead of the game. 

You can include short videos (preferably under 90 seconds) on your homepage or other high-converting pages; you can try the following:

  • Campus and facilities tours
  • Student takeover
  • Sports and event highlights
  • Student interviews
  • Insight from professors and academic leaders

Because many students won’t be able to take in-person tours, they can take virtual tours; they’ll be able to get familiar with the campus and staff, thus increasing enrollment chances. 

By using sharable short videos, you’ll be able to drive organic traffic and make your site more homely, interactive, visually appealing, and convincing.

5. Include Responsive Ads in Your Higher Education Advertising Strategy


Another higher ed. digital marketing strategy to look out for is the use of responsive ads. As flexible adverts that can adjust their shape, appearance, and size to fit in a website or app, they are highly visible and don’t disturb the user experience. According to Google, when using multiple headlines, descriptions, and images with responsive ads, advertisers see 10% more conversions with a similar CPA.

Some other benefits of using responsive ads are:

  • Optimizing your ads: When uploading different assets into Google Ads, thus creating a responsive ad, Google’s machine learning model will determine the optimal combination of assets based on your performance history.
  • Reaching broader: because of the flexibility in shape, size, format, and appearance, you’ll be able to upload multiple assets per asset type.
  • Using videos: To maximize your reach on the Display Network, you can also add videos to your responsive ads.
  • Using with feeds: Because responsive ads show personalized content from a feed you add and control, you’ll find your ads in dynamic and static formats by adding a feed to your campaign.
  • Saving time: By using responsive ads, you’ll be able to focus more on performance improvement rather than managing ad portfolios within campaigns. 

6. Increase Search Engine Visibility via SEO

As the primary goal of digital marketing for your school’s website is to attract more students, you have to ensure that your school is easily found online. By adopting SEO practices and thorough keyword research, you’ll be able to improve your rank and appear higher on search engines.  

Some of the ways you can make your website more visible on Google are:

  • Creating quality content
  • Making it sharable
  • Getting verified by Google
  • Creating more pages
  • Targeting your pages for keywords 
  • Using Google Ads
  • Using compelling page titles
  • Composing better meta tags 
  • Building a backlink strategy

Another way to increase site visibility is to win a Google’s snippet box. This box describes a page before linking that page; this is a way of helping people find the information they need more easily. Google chooses these snippets based on whether a page can fulfill a specific search request. Through the snippet box, you’ll be able to drive more organic traffic and prove your authority in the subject matter.


By understanding and adopting the trends of digital marketing strategies for higher ed., you’ll be able to increase enrollment figures and conversion rates. Your school will also be able to connect better with the target audience and give insight into what makes you stand out. 

The points above indicate that the latest trends focus on identifying prospective students, admission inquiries, conversion rates, and click-through rates. The process of identifying prospective customers is called lead generation, which can also be applied to higher ed. You can learn more about lead generation strategies here.

So, what’s next? If you want to stay up-to-date with current trends and increase your student base, you can book a free consultation and learn more about what digital strategies you can adopt for optimal results. You can also check out case studies on how an SEO agency for higher education. can make a difference.

Granit Doshlaku

Granit Doshlaku

SEO Director, Co-Founder

Granit is the Co-Founder & SEO Director at Manaferra.

Granit is the Co-Founder & SEO Director at Manaferra.

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