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Higher Education Digital Marketing Agency

Increase awareness, applications and enrollment with proven website design, campaign, SEO, CRO & Paid Media strategies that generate more inquiries, more qualified applications, and more accepted offers.

Schools we’ve Helped


Higher Education Digital Marketing Services We Offer

Our unique, holistic approach to higher education digital marketing applies cross-disciplinary expertise to meet your enrollment and other marketing goals — so no matter your school’s specific tactical needs, you get a strategic framework that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Communicate your school’s unique value and reach more potential students across every digital touchpoint, with a comprehensive approach to digital marketing that applies proven strategies from today’s fastest-growing higher education brands.

Website Design & Development

Your college or university’s website should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. We design and build websites that attract, engage, and convert prospective students, influencers, donors, alumni, and other important online audiences, to ensure that your school thrives during challenging times.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services

Get found online by the prospective students who are most likely to apply to and enroll in your college. Our higher education SEO specialists help you stay on top of the ever-changing best practices of on-page, off-page, and technical search engine optimization to drive high-value traffic to your website and other online content.

Pay-per-click (PPC) Management Services

Pay-per-click (PPC) for higher education is expensive and tough to get right. We help schools turn the challenges of PPC into a competitive advantage through an innovative approach that harnesses cross-platform data to drive ad engagement and conversions while lowering costs.

Content Marketing

Tomorrow’s students consume more content online than any previous generation. Our content marketing for higher education services are based on a strategic framework that lets you identify, create, and capitalize on high-impact content opportunities that deliver real, measurable return on investment.

Email Marketing

Turn leads into enrollments with email lead- and yield-nurture campaigns that offer real value to your prospective students at every point in their buyer’s journey. Our email marketing strategy for higher education delivers targeted content to increase engagement, build trust, and pave the way to more accepted offers.

Video Production Services

Not only is video the medium of choice for many of tomorrow’s students, it is also proven to increase website engagement and maximize SEO. Our video production services for colleges and universities range from animation and documentary styles, to lifestyle, drone, and b-roll footage, so you can deliver more of the content your audience craves.

Social Media Services

Social media can be a gold mine for connecting with prospective students — or it can be a black hole for your marketing budget. We help schools understand where, when, how, and why to use social media to boost enrollment without wasting time or money on outdated efforts that won’t pay off with the next generation of students.

35+

higher education institution
clients

100+

programs in top 3 ranking on Google organic results

300%

increase in PPC ‘apply now’ conversions

850%

increase in leads for higher ed clients

Who We Serve

What works for the Ivy League may not work for a regional liberal arts school. We specialize in customized growth and brand-building strategies to meet the unique challenges and goals of a wide range of colleges and universities.

  • Private and public institutions
  • Online, in person, and hybrid academic models
  • Big names and lesser-known schools
  • Four- and two-year colleges
  • Graduate and professional development programs
  • For-profit and nonprofit colleges
  • Regional, national, and international student bodies
  • Highly selective universities and more widely accessible schools
  • Specialized and technical schools and programs
  • Adult and non-traditional student bodies

Essential Reading

Ebooks: Digital Enrollment Marketing for Higher Education

What’s in the eBook? This 30-page guide is your digital marketing playbook for attracting more qualified applicants, building your academic brand, and bridging the gap between acceptance and enrollment to fill more seats and grow your school’s programs.

Hear it from our clients

Vital provided my team with the guidance and expertise we needed in order to maximize synergies across our omnichannel network of digital transformative initiatives.

— Andy Kauffman

Digital Marketing Strategist, University of San Diego Online

Before Vital, we struggled to have the discipline to measure results and quantify our paid strategies. Now we know exactly what’s working. Better yet, Vital pushes us to continually improve, so we’re able stay competitive in a really tough enrollment market.

— Kim Downey

Digital Marketing Strategist, UMass

Our Work

Recognition for Our Work 
in Higher Education

Higher Education Marketing Challenges We Solve

Ensure that your school thrives in the increasingly competitive higher education marketing landscape, with a proven, holistic approach to attracting the student body of the future.

Academic reputation is a top factor for 74% of students deciding where to go to college. We work with higher education marketers to make sure their digital presence authentically communicates their school’s brand value as an academic leader.

There are over 1,500 accredited, four-year colleges and universities in the United States, and most students start their college search with schools they’ve already heard of. We leverage digital marketing strategies to increase awareness of your school amongst the students who are most likely to be a good fit for your student body.

Hard truth: The most common lead-generation tools used by higher education marketers fail to capture the vast majority of potential students who aren’t yet ready to apply or even fill out a form for more information. We work with schools to boost enrollment by capturing and nurturing more top- and middle-of-funnel leads.

More applicants are good. Acceptances are even better. Enrollments are best of all. Our higher education lead-nurture and yield-nurture campaigns are strategically designed to connect with prospective students at every stage of investigation and consideration to maximize applications and fill more seats.

In today’s rapidly changing digital world, it’s all too easy for your school’s formerly tried-and-true enrollment marketing strategies and tactics to lose their effectiveness. Our higher education enrollment marketing specialists do more than just stay on top of trends — they constantly innovate new approaches that your competition hasn’t thought of yet.

Tomorrow’s students are spending more time online than ever before — but they may not be spending it on traditional college or university websites. We help schools solve the website engagement dilemma with enriched features and binge-worthy content that gives students a reason to linger longer, learn more, and envision themselves enrolled in your school.

Choosing a college is a complicated process, involving multiple factors from academic reputation to location and price. Most higher education marketers know a lot about why students choose to enroll in a given school; we conduct interviews and build buyer personas to help you understand how they make their decisions, so you can reach them in the right place, with the right content, at the right time.

The shift from in-person to online experiences is about more than health and safety — it is rapidly becoming the norm. We help colleges and universities capitalize on this sea change, with virtual experiences that increase your reach and bridge the gaps between interest, application, and enrollment.

Alumni relationships are key to the health of your school, and the strength of your alumni network is a direct decision-making factor for many prospective students. Our digital marketing strategies for higher education help you stay connected to this important audience for fundraising, brand-building, and enriching the value of your offering.

Why choose Vital as your higher education digital marketing partner

A deep understanding of your audience. Expertise in digital marketing for colleges and universities. A comprehensive approach that gets results.

  • Expand your pool of qualified applicants
  • Reduce rates of “summer melt”
  • Strengthen brand awareness and reputation
  • Grow high-value academic programs
  • Increase enrollment rate
  • Improve website engagement
  • Leverage alumni relationships

Our Process

We combine higher education expertise with a foundation in digital marketing for some of today’s most innovative B2B brands to create an unconventional approach to increasing your school’s enrollment rates.

Step one: Intake and assessment

Our higher education specialists take stock of your digital marketing performance with a baseline assessment of your current online presence and marketing activities.

Step two: Discovery and research

We conduct a thorough discovery into your school’s brand, your digital marketing goals, your audience, and your major competitors.

Step three: Plan the work

Based on your goals and your budget, we create a plan for building your digital marketing foundation and a monthly calendar for tactical deployment, with key performance indicators (KPIs) to define and measure success.

Step four: Work the plan

Our team of strategists, designers, developers, and writers partners with your internal marketing team to create digital assets, build your content library, and execute your plan.

Step five: Measure, improve, repeat

We measure and report on your customized KPIs weekly and use the data to adjust tactics and improve performance. Our expertise allows us to balance the patience necessary for long-term improvements with the agility to respond immediately to fast-moving metrics.

Why is Digital Marketing Important for Higher Education?

If you work in higher education marketing, you already know what you’re up against. Declining enrollment numbers make competition for new students fiercer than ever. But overall enrollment statistics only tell part of the story. The way tomorrow’s students are going online now is so different from the way they did a decade ago, if you’re not ahead of the curve, your brand risks becoming invisible to exactly the people you need to reach most.

Add that to:

And those are just a few of the reasons the need for effective digital marketing is more urgent than ever. Good digital marketing can work for any higher education brand, from selective liberal arts schools to regional universities to hybrid and online-only colleges. Done right, it will reinforce your school’s reputation as an academic leader, while growing your enrollment numbers.

The higher education marketing agency that combines fanatical discipline with inspired creativity

The Vital offices are filled with marketing nerds who can fill you in on the latest search engine algorithm updates, or wax poetic about the virtues of open source content management systems (CMS). We’re also home to some of the most innovative creative minds in the business. More often than not, the nerds and the creatives are one and the same. We get a kick out of solving problems your competitors don’t even realize they have. And we love to talk shop.

Let’s Talk

Ready to start your school’s digital marketing or website redesign project? So are we! Let’s get the ball rolling. Our team will be in touch within 48 hours.

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