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The Weight of Emotion in Education Marketing

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Education marketers are in the business of selling dreams.

When you’re marketing your programs and courses, you’re not really selling a service. You are selling an experience and the intangible values that come with earning a degree or certification. This may mean several things for students–the excitement of being on campus, the anticipation of living the dormitory life, the hope of being well-connected pre and post-graduation, and the idea of getting access to lucrative career opportunities.

Education also carries a different weight for lifelong learners. Upskilling and training may open them up for promotions and professional advancement. Education may also be their entry to a different industry and a brand new career.

Depending on your target audience, emotion-based marketing for the education industry also considers the psyche of parents–especially in K-12 to higher education spaces where parents play a significant role in the enrollment decision-making process. In this case, education may mean something different for parents. They may hold a belief that their choice of school could have an impact on the future of their children as well as the ease of their entry into the workforce.

Emotional appeals in marketing messages are more likely to lead to positive attitudes and behavioral intentions, such as the intention to enroll in a course or program, according to a study by the Journal of Marketing Education. Additionally, a study by the Journal of Educational Psychology found that students who were exposed to emotional appeals in marketing messages were more likely to be motivated and engaged in their learning.

How to feature emotion-based marketing in your strategies

Emotion-based marketing in the education industry can take many forms, such as using storytelling to create emotional connections with potential students, highlighting the transformative power of education, or showing the impact of education on students’ lives.

Education companies have a wealth of choices when creating marketing strategies that are emotionally persuasive. One effective approach is to focus on the benefits of the education program or course, such as the career opportunities or the personal growth and development it can offer. Another is to use emotional language and imagery that evokes positive feelings, such as excitement, inspiration, or hope.

Using testimonials and case studies of successful graduates can be a powerful way to evoke emotions and show the impact of education on real people’s lives.

Another way to evoke emotions in your marketing efforts is through video content. Videos have the ability to communicate powerful messages that create emotional connections with potential students. You’ll be able to showcase the student experience, show the impact of education on students’ lives, or highlight the lasting value of your programs or courses.

You’ll have to pay attention to the different needs your target audience prioritizes. For example, adult learners may be motivated by the opportunity to advance their careers or gain new skills, while prospective K-12 students may be motivated by the opportunity to receive a high-quality education.

Emotions play a significant role in the education industry and when strategically implemented can influence student engagement and motivation. Education companies can create emotionally persuasive marketing strategies by focusing on communicating value, using evocative storytelling and imagery, and through video and testimonials to create influence and trust.

Emotions persuade–they have the ability to influence decisions or they can change people’s minds. Selecting a course or enrolling in a program is a highly emotional decision and the more your advertising focuses on making your audience feel seen, understood, and advocated for, the stronger your influence is over their choices.

How are you incorporating emotional hooks in the development of your marketing strategies?

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