Higher Ed Marketing for Adults and Non-Traditional Students

January 20 / Clare J. / filed under Miscellaneous

While a large portion of US college students are considered “traditional” – post-secondary students under the age of 25 studying full-time – nearly 75% of students enrolled in college or universities are considered “non-traditional”. These students have unique needs, and value affordability, flexibility, and accessible academic support when considering educational options. Non-traditional students are a valuable part of higher education communities and customized digital marketing efforts can help diversify your student body. 

Students in a classroom

Here are some key factors to consider when implementing digital marketing campaigns designed to target adult and non-traditional students:

Make Sure You’re on the Right Platforms

When it comes to higher education marketing, Google is a keystone platform for building awareness and reaching customers at opportune times. However, when reaching out to non-traditional students, there are additional ad platforms worth launching. LinkedIn, for example, is a great place to advertise to adults interested in a career change or career progression. Meta (Facebook and Instagram) can engage potential students based on their interests and passions. 

Inclusive Ad Copy and Images Are Key

Non-traditional students have unique needs. Returning to college as an adult, potentially while working or raising a family, presents specific challenges. When appealing to non-traditional education audiences, be sure to highlight financial aid programs, academic support resources, and flexible programs in your ad copy. It is also important to feature diverse adult students in ad images. Inclusive and informative ad assets will pique the interest of potential students and build trust. Returning to school can be an intimidating and difficult challenge – highlighting flexible, supportive programming is a great way to engage non-traditional students. 

Build the Right Custom Audiences

Custom audiences are an excellent tool for reaching adults and non-traditional students looking to return to school. Research is a key step in the process of finding a great program, so getting your ads in front of people who may not have prior knowledge of your institution is a key step. Custom Intent audiences are a great way to reach new, relevant audiences who have been searching for your program offerings, even if they may have never been to your institution’s website . Of course, the challenge is then keeping your school and programs top of-mind as each prospective student researches various schools. That is where remarketing comes in. Remarketing audiences remind potential students of your program, support resources, and financial opportunities. 

Non-traditional students are a boon to any higher education institution – the challenge is building awareness and reaching those students with relevant information. Digital marketing is a great opportunity to build awareness and brand recognition among non-traditional student audiences.

Have questions about getting started? Chair 10 Marketing is here to help! Reach out today to learn more about our experienced higher education marketing team.