10 creative marketing tactics to help boost enrollment

Take your marketing efforts beyond the overcrowded digital space and into the community to meet prospects where they are.

Photo of college students taking a group selfie.

If you want your school to be the one people are talking about, and to create natural ambassadors for your programs, you need to get creative with your marketing. Show your school is connected and committed to the community by participating in things your prospective audience cares about. Consider hosting or sponsoring community events, especially those that connect with your extra-curricular programs in some way or align with your school’s ideals. Here 10 event ideas to attract prospects and their parents.

1. Support a community group or club.

Provide an underserved baseball club with mitts or a scouting organization with camping supplies. Directly supporting kids in your community will help forge a real connection and get them talking.

2. Organize a community concert.

Everybody loves music and hanging out with their friends. Organizing a summer concert series that brings in local talent and food trucks will attract a lot of attention community-wide.

3. Organize a casual, low-stakes sporting event.

Low-impact sports that involve teamwork, like kickball, bring people together and foster camaraderie while offering the opportunity to show off your campus and mingle with prospects.

4. Host or sponsor craft fairs.

Host a craft fair on school grounds to bring in the community. You’ll be directly contributing to the local economy while bringing in new people who may not be familiar with you and your campus. Have a table set up with student ambassadors to give tours, sell spirit-wear and share information. If you can’t host one, consider sponsoring one – it usually doesn’t cost much and it allows you to get your brand in front of tons of people in the community who care about the arts.

5. Support a local nonprofit.

Consider organizing a fundraiser on their behalf for building maintenance and upgrades. You’ll become visible with the nonprofit’s network creating potential new prospects.

6. Get involved at your local entrepreneurship center or Chamber of Commerce.

Your community is full of talented and innovative entrepreneurs, and many of them have children. This is a great place where you can connect with parents who value planning and preparation.

7. Support your local theatre.

Get your brand on performance playbills and programs by becoming a sponsor of your local theatre. Show your prospects who care about the arts that you care, too.

8. Organize a trash cleanup fun run.

Invite people from the community to grab some gloves and biodegradable trash bags, and get to picking up trash in the community. Start and end on campus with refreshments and see who has collected the most trash.

9. Host or support a farmer’s market.

Imagine how many people you would bring into your orbit by hosting a farmer’s market. You’d be filling a consumer need and benefitting the local economy. If you can’t host one, consider sponsoring one to get your school’s brand seen – create a free water station while handing out branded reusable shopping bags.

10. Organize a skills 101 workshop.

Collaborate with local businesses to create a fun day full of workshops that equip students and prospects with important practical skills and help them develop coping mechanisms and emotional intelligence. This kind workshop will attract all sorts of families, and may help your school connect with new audiences both through the attendees and the businesses. Just a few ideas for workshops include first aid and CPR with the local fire department or health professionals, changing a tire with the local mechanic, and wilderness skills with the help of your local outdoor retailer.

Need help marketing your next event internally and to the community? Get in touch to make sure you leverage these opportunities for the most enrollment conversions!