How to Strengthen Higher Education Marketing

How to Strengthen Higher Education Marketing: Part 1

Top Higher Education Marketing Trends to Implement in Your Strategy for 2023

Higher education marketing can often be a challenge for some institutions. With certain trends lasting one week and others staying relevant for months, it is not always clear how your school can stand out from competitors.

As experts in higher ed marketing, we compiled a rundown of the marketing trends and recommendations on how you can enhance your strategy in the upcoming calendar year. 


Gen Z—a common target audience for higher education—has been relying on crowdsourcing for their decision-making, no matter how big or small. In the past few years, Gen Z has been looking up to influencers, peers, and online reviewers for advice and guidance. 

Crowdsourcing is the practice of turning to others for knowledge, goods, or services. Although the term “crowdsourcing” has been floating around since 2006, this practice became popular at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued to grow since, directly influencing digital marketing strategies. 

In 2023, higher education institutions should prioritize conversational marketing that captures the voice of Gen Z.

Our Recommendation

Student ambassadors are crucial in increasing enrollment as they help foster a sense of belonging for prospective students. Since human connections and interactivity will continue to dominate the marketing trends, developing an admissions ambassador program can add vital interpersonal value to your school’s marketing strategy. Through an ambassador, prospective students and their families are able to not only learn firsthand about your institution but also to establish mutual trust with the school.

Short-Form Video Content Creation

Whether your educational institution targets Gen Z, millennials, or Gen X, the reality of marketing trends for 2023 is the same: the pressure for content creation is not going anywhere. If anything, the popularity of short-form vertical video content continues to grow, with algorithms of social media platforms such as Instagram favoring reels over regular posts. 

For higher education, this means that social media marketing (SMM) is a powerful strategy to lean on for reaching broad audiences. 

Video content is an excellent way to engage with prospective students and showcase your campus and/or community that make your educational institution unique.

Our Recommendation

Short-form videos with people in them perform particularly well on social media and should be the focus of your school’s content creation. Whether it’s a montage of student photographs from the first week of classes or a day on campus from an admissions ambassador’s POV, such videos are likely to engage students and increase their interest in your institution. 

Another important thing to remember is that if your video has sound (e.g., a Q&A about the school), you should always incorporate closed captioning, since the majority of people scroll through videos without sound.

Make Your Institution Stand Out

5 Horizons can help incorporate all of these tips and more into your higher education marketing strategy. With our vast experience working with community college and university clients, the 5 Horizons team understands your unique target audience and provides exceptional creative execution and data insights that bring in tangible enrollment results. Let us help you reach and exceed your marketing goals.

Check out Part 2 of How to Strengthen Higher Education Marketing.