Graduate School Marketing: What Haven’t You Tried?


Are you responsible for your school’s graduate school marketing? Have you been tasked with growing enrollments? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll delve into key strategies and expert advice to help you elevate your graduate school marketing efforts. 

As a seasoned higher ed marketing expert with over two decades of experience, I’ll share three crucial points that can make a significant impact on your success. So, let’s dive in!

Watch this Video: Higher Ed Graduate School Marketing Tips

1. Understand How Prospective Students Find Your Program. 

It’s imperative to understand how prospective students search for your programs. 

Whether you are marketing a sports management degree or a sustainability program, honing in on the ways people discover your offerings is paramount. 

Ensure your programs are visible and easily found when potential students search for them. As a first step in your graduate school marketing:

  • Go through the steps as if you are a prospective student looking for one of your programs.
    • Conduct searches in Chrome incognito mode to gain an unbiased perspective and understand how your competitors are positioning themselves online. Are your competitors showing up in organic search results or running ads? 

  • Identify the keywords and search terms students use to find programs similar to yours.
    • Use third-party keyword research tools to understand and find new keywords to target for each of your graduate programs. Identify the most relevant keywords, and create a plan to on how you will optimize to have your programs show up for these searches. Need help with your SEO strategy? Check out this University SEO strategy blog post

  • Track where your competitors are showing up and where your programs are not. You will want to put this information together to figure out your future priorities and create a strategy where you can pursue these newly identified opportunities. 

  • Explore social media platforms, such as TikTok, where students are increasingly seeking information about educational programs.
    • Track the type of content that is coming up for these searches. 

2. Graduate School Marketing: Focus on Programmatic Marketing

Graduate School Marketing Programmatic vs Brand

It’s crucial to go beyond brand marketing and focus on programmatic marketing by emphasizing program-specific content to educate and inform prospective students. 

Providing comprehensive information about your graduate programs will help students make informed decisions. Consider the following:

  • Uncover unique value propositions that set your programs apart, making them more attractive to prospective students.

  • Create compelling brochures that highlight program details, including start dates, tuition, testimonials from current and alumni students, and endorsements from employers. Learn more about the value of programmatic digital brochures

  • Develop new content that compares and contrasts your programs with others, helping students narrow down their choices. This content can take various forms, such as blogs, videos, and social media posts.
    • Utilize a mix of multimedia elements, like images, GIFs, and videos, to create immersive and engaging content on your website and other platforms.

3. Optimize Your Marketing Channels 

Optimize your marketing channels and strategies to ensure your marketing efforts yield the best possible results, pay attention to the following tactics:

  • Encourage faculty and professors to contribute by creating content that highlights program strengths and faculty expertise.

  • Develop well-structured landing pages on your website that guide students to relevant information and encourage enrollment.

  • Maintain a cohesive and seamless user experience across all marketing channels, ensuring students can easily navigate your website and find the information they need through your communications after they become an inquiry. Learn more about optimizing and improving your student journey experience

Additional Tactics To Utilize

In addition to the main points discussed in the video, here are some additional elements you can consider including to further enhance your graduate school marketing:

  • Highlight Success Stories: Share inspiring stories of successful graduates from your programs. Feature their career achievements and how your graduate program played a crucial role in their professional development. These stories serve as powerful testimonials and can influence prospective students.

  • Tap into Alumni Networks: Leverage your alumni network to amplify your marketing efforts. Encourage alumni to share their experiences on social media, write guest blog posts, or participate in virtual events. Their authentic perspectives can resonate with potential students and build credibility for your programs.

  • Virtual Campus Tours: With the rise of virtual experiences, we offer virtual campus tours specifically tailored for graduate programs. Showcase state-of-the-art facilities, research labs, and dedicated spaces for graduate students. This immersive experience can help prospective students visualize themselves as part of your academic community.

  • Highlight Industry Connections: Emphasize the professional networks and industry partnerships your graduate programs offer. Showcase collaborations with leading companies, internships, and job placement opportunities. Demonstrating strong industry connections can be a significant selling point for prospective students.

  • Host Webinars and Q&A Sessions: Organize live webinars or interactive Q&A sessions where prospective students can engage with program faculty, alumni, and industry experts. This fosters a sense of community and allows participants to have their specific questions answered, helping them make informed decisions. Offer students a free application code if they attend and watch until the end of your webinar. 

  • Emphasize Flexibility: Highlight the flexible options your graduate programs offer, such as part-time or online learning formats. Many students seek programs that can accommodate their work or personal commitments, so showcasing this flexibility can attract a wider pool of prospective students.

  • Showcase Research Opportunities: Highlight research initiatives and opportunities within your graduate programs. Showcase faculty-led research projects, published papers, and grants secured by students. Emphasize the potential for students to contribute to cutting-edge research in their chosen field.

  • Collaborate with Industry Experts: Foster collaborations with industry experts who can contribute to your program’s curriculum or deliver guest lectures. Highlight the involvement of these experts to showcase the relevance and practicality of your graduate programs in preparing students for real-world challenges. Then ask these professionals to share the upcoming event to their network, further expanding your reach and exposure. 

  • Promote Networking Events: Organize networking events, both in-person and virtual, where prospective students can connect with current students, alumni, and professionals from relevant industries. These events provide valuable networking opportunities and give prospective students a glimpse into the professional community they can be a part of.

  • Highlight Student Support Services: Showcase the comprehensive support services available to graduate students, such as career counseling, academic advising, and networking resources. Demonstrating a commitment to student success and well-being can enhance the attractiveness of your programs.

Remember to incorporate these additional elements in a way that aligns with your institution’s unique offerings and target audience. By including a comprehensive range of information, you can create a valuable resource that guides prospective students towards making informed decisions about their graduate education.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can strengthen your marketing efforts for graduate programs in higher education. 

Remember, understanding your audience’s search behavior, creating program-specific marketing materials, and optimizing your marketing channels will position your institution for success. 

Take advantage of the wealth of resources at Ellison Ellery Consulting to further enhance your marketing initiatives and drive enrollment growth.

Are you ready to take your graduate school marketing to new heights? 

Connect with us today at to explore how we can help you tailor your marketing strategy and achieve exceptional results. Together, let’s empower students to make informed decisions and embark on a transformative educational journey.


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Picture of Renee Seltzer

Renee Seltzer

Renee Seltzer is founder and CEO of Ellison Ellery Marketing & Growth Agency and has spent over 20 years helping companies grow their revenue. As a cross-functional marketing executive with extensive experience crafting messaging that compels and campaigns that convert, Renee understands marketing at its core and can deliver actionable solutions for every marketing or sales hang-up.

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