It’s no secret that the competition among higher education institutions is stiff. Having a meaningful online presence takes continuous work and nurturing on the part of the program or institution. Additionally, with all of the information that is available and pushed onto consumers, it is even more imperative that marketers come up with new, eye-catching ways to draw readers in.
With 98% of 18-24 year olds using social media, it’s an unavoidable and essential outlet for marketing that universities are now taking advantage of. Furthermore, approximately two-thirds of prospective college students use social media as a research tool to help with their decision, according to the 2013 Social Admissions Report. With that being said, it takes more than a simple, lackluster effort to truly engage with this age group. Enticing, attention-grabbing imagery is often the best and most effective way to capture the attention of a younger target demographic to get your message across. Moreover, posts with images get much more engagement, views, and shares than those without. Although this isn’t a novel concept, many people still don’t put in the effort to produce visually enticing imagery because they are discouraged by the perception of time and skill that it will take to create. While we can’t deny the power and effectiveness of having a network of professional designers, researchers, and advanced programs to bring your message to life, we also understand that many marketers simply don’t have the time, budget, or access to these tools. With this in mind, we’ve composed a list of five great, easy-to-use websites and apps that are of little or no charge, to help take your visual content and message to the next level.
A great, easy tool for those who lack design skills but want to create professional-looking, customizable content. You can upload and customize your own photos, or choose from a variety of free or paid options on their site. Whether it’s posing a question to students or showing a comparison between two options (e.g. degrees) you can create original, appealing content through their large library of images, layouts, and backgrounds.
Made for creating easy-to-follow infographics, this tool is a must-use for infographic amateurs. As universities often have a lot of research and important academic findings under their belt, this is a great way to deliver that information in an easily digestible manner. In fact, a study conducted by KISSmetrics showed that “high quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles,” and “infographics are 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks.” With over 100 themes to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits the story you’re trying to tell.
It’s clear that higher ed institutions love to use quotes as part of their social media strategy. Whether it be from academic inspirations, students, faculty, or profound intellectuals, WordSwag will help deliver those quotes in a visually appealing manner that will encourage more shares and engagement.
Want to showcase a new degree program in a realistic setting like in the hands of a student? PlaceIt allows you to insert your own screenshots and videos into a variety of screen images that they have available. You can do this for free, although there will be a watermark on it so if you prefer to lose that, you can pay $8 and make it your own.
Creating animated videos has never been easier. This is an excellent tool for creating engaging, animated videos that can be used as a resource for presentations, instructional videos, or tutorials, just to name a few.
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