With the inclusion of digital technologies in education, the traditional methods of marketing, learning, teaching have changed a lot. Digital and social media marketing give a huge scope to reach and connect with students at a very affordable cost. According to research, 60% of students first visit the website of institutes to get information.
We’ve interviewed Mr. Ketan Sanjay Desale, who is a winner of “ASMA Top 30 Marketers in Education Awards 2019”, (this award is being given to those personalities who do stellar work and their marketing effort is visible through strong brand equity of the institution). He works as a digital marketing head inPimpri Chinchwad Education Trust (P.C.E.T), Pune and looks after digital marketing of the institute from making strategies to execution.
To brief about the institute it was established by Late Shri S. B. Patil in the year 1990 with a mission to serve the society, industry & all stakeholders through value-added quality education in the fields of Engineering, Management and Computer Applications & school education. P.C.E.T. is committed to its mission through preeminence in Creating, Communicating, Preserving and Applying Knowledge, Art and Academic Values.
With having more than 4500 students on board, the institute is very active on digital platforms.
The Transition From Traditional Mode To Digital
Mr. Desale told us that the digital transition was very smooth and fruitful in terms of results, be it for increasing admissions, be it for alumni engagements, be it for increasing placements.
“Though we faced many challenges from the core understanding of the audience behavior to plan and execution right strategies to reach to them. Still the digital transformations journey, I have enjoyed and leveraged it to the highest level.”
Mr. Desale said reaching to the right people, process, and platform in such a highly competitive education market is very challenging.
The Objective of The Digital Campaign
- To spread Brand awareness i.e. of Placements, Academic Discipline, Research at Degree courses, Programs, School, Junior college in the minds of customers and stakeholders across India & outside India as well
- Improve website content & user ﬂow
- Increase Quality Admissions & Industry Connections
Major target (80%) is Students & Another Target (20%) is Stakeholders like Parents/Guardian, Industry, Alumni, etc
Best Practices That You Should Know
Simply, the most prominent strategies which are easy to implement to get quick results had been taken into consideration in the beginning.
Mr. Desale explained the three core strategies were implemented,
a) Reputation to build trust
Mr. Desale told us that brand essence is important to build trust among the audience, or prospect and building the equity of institute is always been challenging, as traditional platforms are outdated and have a minimal cross-section with the audience in regular times. So digital marketing was the choice left to connect with the audience.
b) Marketing to create demand
After choosing the digital marketing medium to achieve our set objectives, now it was time to choose the right strategies and platforms, where the higher impact could be made with lesser efforts. So We started with content marketing to the core, we have started
- SEO and SMM
- Search Engine Optimization – for improving website ranking, focused on creating quality content on the website.
- Top 5 Keywords are optimized for Top search results on Google search engine
- Ratings and Reviews
- A very important aspect in Marketing where actual views of students/parents/stakeholders are expressed.
- We have asked students and alumni to write honest reviews about the institutes, faculties, academics, infrastructure, facilities, placements & rate it on Google, Facebook and another educational portal.
- Quora Optimization
- Started ﬁnding relevant questions about college, Trust and answering them through students/ stakeholders.
- Questions creation & then answering it. Useful for Backlinks
- Regular posting
- Daily minimum one post is posted on all social media accounts to keep it active
- Post can about Events in institute, achievements, Rankings, Toppers, Quotes, Latest hashtags, etc.
- Event Branding
- Video marketing has been done for events (e.g. KPIT Sparkle, Enduro 2019)
- Feedback through Video bytes of Students, Professors, Stakeholders, etc.
- Social Media live event posting and updates were on top during the event.
- PR and media coverage of the event.
The results were astonishing, we had succeeded on multiple levels,
“Total 15 Branding Events we have created on our Facebook Pages, reached up to 15,544 people. Regular Posting on Facebook reached to 80,789 People. For almost 10 Events we were Live through Facebook through which we have reached to 23,147”
c) Enrolment to drive conversion via CRM system.
Mr. Desale told us that these practices helped the institute create brand awareness and generate quality inquires for the different courses.
Of the many challenges which were even easy to handle technically, these two challenges were more inclined towards behavioral aspects. Mr. Desale explained the biggest challenges in the adoption of digital technologies in education are,
- Convincing the higher authorities from adopting tradition mode of marketing to digital. He explained the impact of digital marketing to reach the large and right audience with less amount, thereby leading to a high conversion ratio.
- Educate and Train the stakeholders including faculty, staff, and top management to have a separate blog for themselves. We’ve asked students to have a blog and be active on it. We’ve asked faculties to write a blog and host a blog for themselves, upload short videos and testimonial.
The Success That Cherished The Journey
These strategies helped our institutes to achieve a new milestone, and here are a few
- We succeeded in reaching up to 3,00,000 People through Website, Social Media, Email, SMS, Education Expos We received Quality Admissions to Engineering (Avg. Cut Off 92 percentile), Architecture (Cut Off: 87 percentile), Junior College & School also.
- Signed around 140 Industry MoUs
- I have been nominated & awarded with “Young Leadership in Education Award 2019” by IIT Patna & Techprolabz at New Delhi.
Plan For 2020: The Priorities To Work On
Mr. Desale told us the priorities and new initiatives on which his institute is working on for 2020, and because of the confidence gained and success achieved through digital adoption
Geographical Expansion– Now we’re looking beyond the Maharashtra region, tapping the north-east region for the year 2020.
Internationalization – Since we’ve seats for international students, our focus in 2020 would be on gulf countries and Asian regions.
“I am thankful to our Trustee of Pimpri Chinchwad Education Trust (PCET) Shri. Dynaneshwar Landge – Chairman, Smt. Padmatai Bhosale – Vice Chairperson, Shri. V S Kalbhor – Secretary, Shri. S D Garade – Treasurer, Shri. Bhaijan Kazi – Trustee. My special gratitude to our Executive Director Dr. G M Desai who always supported & motivated me and our Principal Dr. A M Fulambarkar.”
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