How do higher education institutions strategically use digital marketing services to reach their constituencies?

In 2020, mStoner conducted a survey to help improve our industry’s understanding of digital marketing services, goals, and resource allocation at educational institutions.

There’s a surplus of anecdotal reports floating around in conference presentations, blog posts, and other sources, but no survey that we could find that provides general insights into what channels institutions are using, how much money they’re spending, and who’s responsible for strategy and execution. The findings from the survey will result in a comprehensive white paper report and webinar.

You'll learn: 

  • How much institutions spend on digital marketing.
  • Institutional advertising goals for social media and paid search.
  • Where institutions advertise on social media.
  • Other interesting insights including influencer marketing, SEO, buyer personas, and email content strategy. 

Early findings on digital marketing spend:

80% of institutions have a budget for digital marketing. In 85% of institutions, a central marketing department manages the marketing budget. On some campuses, marketing shares responsibilities with admissions (a third of campuses) and on 22% of campuses, individual departments may manage their own budgets.

Digital Marketing Spend 
  none less than $25,000 $25,000 - $100,000 more than $100,000
Paid advertising (digital display)  4% 47% 33% 17%
SEO 34% 53% 10% 3%
Paid search (Google ads or pay-per-click) 7% 53% 22% 17%
Social media advertising  2% 61% 23% 15%
Email marketing 16% 65% 17% 2%

In response to the question “What does your institution spend annually on each type of digital marketing service? If you’re not sure, please provide your best estimate.” n = 93-97


*Anticipated release of the white paper is Q2 2021