How To Increase College Enrollment Through Advertising

How To Increase College Enrollment Through Advertising

Despite the growing number of majors and universities throughout the United States, college enrollment has experienced a decrease in the last year, per the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Here at MSSmedia, we deliver college recruitment campaigns that help increase student enrollment, in addition to promoting majors and recreational activities on campuses. For example, we ran an out-of-home branding campaign for the College of Nursing at the University of Houston, generating more than 400,000 impressions in promoting the college’s new field of studies. As campus experts, we’ve put together tips on how colleges and universities can generate engagement and establish a strong footprint in the campus space.


As a college or university, you may need to devote more time to recruiting at lower grade-levels, such as high school sophomores, rather than trying to get their attention as seniors. This has proven to be effective in establishing relationships between higher education institutions and students. For instance, by emailing students with exciting news about their colleges or universities will help build trust and loyalty over time. Make them feel special, and let them imagine the campus experience they will soon be living. At MSSmedia, we have provided our university and college partners with both traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns, such as out-of-home and social media services for the School of Hospitality at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, which ranked as the number one hospitality program in the nation for three consecutive years.


Almost 5 billion people interact on their phones nowadays, so an optimal way for universities and colleges to target students and increase enrollment is through mobile advertising. After planning out your objectives, start thinking of a social media channel to engage students with your campaign. Is it Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? Keep in mind that you don’t need all of them, rather focus on quality over quantity. At MSSmedia, we have helped clients understand the right social media plan to establish trust and generate engagement among students. Just last year, we ran a mobile campaign on behalf of Pandora at FIU to increase brand engagement and drive in-store sales for Mother’s Day. At the end of the campaign, we delivered more than 50,000 impressions and over 300 clicks.


Out-of-home advertising, contrary to popular belief, is not dead. Particularly, it is still very important for the success of universities and colleges because it builds credibility and increases visibility among prospective students. At MSSmedia, we have capitalized on the out-of-home space becoming experts on traditional advertising. For example, we helped Panera promote the opening of its new location near college campuses at Ohio State in Columbus, OH and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The campaign resulted in more than 58 million impressions and, due to the enormous success, Panera ran a similar campaign the following year. Another great way to drive enrollment numbers is scheduling hyperlocal campaigns, the process of targeting customers in a geographically restricted area, such as streets or districts. Hyperlocal campaigns can be beneficial to reach your goals as it drives physical traffic to locations and has a strong commercial intent. Try searching for universities and colleges in the area, and you will automatically be served with the ones that are near you.

At MSSmedia we do it all. From traditional public relations to digital campaigns that, we can help you become top-of-mind for your audience. Curious to learn more about our work? Visit our website.