Online education is growing at Indiana University and throughout the United States, as students seek the convenience of logging into their coursework 24/7. But competition for those students is stiff, as more and more institutions jump into the online marketplace.
The Office of Online Education (OOE) is cutting through the marketplace clutter with four major marketing campaigns aimed at raising awareness of IU’s distinctive collaborative online model (which operates under the IU Online brand name) and at driving more applications and enrollments in online programs.
Last year, OOE began working with EchoPoint Media in Indianapolis to launch full-scale digital marketing campaigns targeting audiences in the five-state region and in other selected states. Tactics include paid search, display advertising and retargeting, social media advertising, and geo-fencing. OOE is simultaneously working with the digital advertising firm HYFN in Indianapolis to geo-fence designated locations in Indianapolis and international airports in several midwestern cities.
For the second year, OOE is partnering with IU Communications to conduct an IU Online brand awareness campaign throughout Indiana. Tactics include billboards and radio spots in major Indiana cities, as well as a large floor advertisement in the baggage claim area of the Indianapolis airport. Advertising will expand to the Cincinnati and Louisville international airports later this year.
In fall 2018, OOE embarked on a new collaboration with Learfield Sports Marketing to raise awareness of IU Online among university sports fans. Tactics include end-zone LED displays at football games, court-side LED displays at basketball games, permanent signage during soccer games at Armstrong Stadium, and radio spots that air during broadcasts of each game.
An OOE collaboration with the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) resulted in the launch of an affinity marketing campaign designed to identify and target audiences most likely to enroll in an IU Online degree program. EAB matched known demographic and psychographic characteristics of students currently enrolled in IU Online programs to individuals with similar characteristics in an expansive national database. People with matching characteristics began seeing IU Online ads in Facebook in January 2019.
These efforts contributed in part to a total pool of 5,984 applicants in 2018, up 2,510 applicants from the 3,474 applicants in 2017. They also raise awareness of IU Online’s brand and reputation.