Educational scholarships are highly sought-after forms of financial support that can transform a young person’s life and improve their prospects. While few elite scholarships are guaranteed to attract high numbers of applicants through word-of-mouth and sheer prestige, most initiatives require strategic marketing to secure a competitive pool of high-quality applicants.
Whether you’re a single donor or representing a multinational organization, one of the best ways to discover the candidate of your dreams is via careful digital promotion. To help you enhance your scholarship marketing efforts, we’ve put together a list of tips for promoting scholarships for teens and young adults. As your target audiences are likely to be young digital natives, we’ve focused on online tools and techniques.
1. Target potential applicants with social media ads
Social media is ubiquitous amongst young adults and teens. According to Pew Research Center’s most recent survey exploring teens and technology, 95% of 13–17-year-olds own a smartphone, and 41% claim to be Snapchat users. TikTok is another favorite among youngsters, with 62% of its US users aged between 16 and 29.
Therefore, advertising via platforms such as Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram, and Twitter represents an effective way of reaching ambitious young people. Of course, a successful marketing campaign requires proactivity – it is not enough to make an official scholarship page and passively accept followers.
To ensure your scholarship gains the viral attention it deserves, you need to spend a little time and money on advertising. Investing in sponsored ads is one of the most effective ways to gain traction. Thanks to the segmentation and targeting features offered by platforms such as Facebook, you can precisely select the kinds of users who would benefit from your scholarship.
As well as targeting specific age groups, sponsored ads allow you to reach specific demographics based on their interests. Say, for example, you’re hoping to cover college tuition for an up-and-coming filmmaker. A sponsored campaign could reach cinephiles who frequently post and like content about films.
Payment models for social advertising
There are several different payment models available for social media advertising. Facebook Ads, for example, offers a flexible arrangement whereby users can set a budget and schedule based on their individual requirements.
You may wish to run the ad on a continual rolling basis, spending a set amount of money every day. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to run the promotion within a specified timeframe, you could attach a lifetime budget to your ad. This arrangement may be suitable if a deadline is approaching or your marketing budget is very rigid.
2. Create SEO-optimized blogs
Google represents one of the first places teens head when planning their futures. Virtually all college applications and scholarships can be discovered and applied for online, after all, so boosting the searchability of your grant should be a priority.
The best way to improve organic traffic is to post SEO-optimized content that young people will enjoy. As well as generating interest in your offering, this strategy will help push your website to the top of search engine results.
Tried-and-tested SEO tactics used by marketing professionals include:
- Posting short articles that are easy to read: This could include, for example, digestible articles about the benefits of college and what to expect upon arrival. Remember to get young people excited about your scholarship and entice them with engaging content.
- Conducting keyword research: Carefully weaving keywords into your content is a surefire way to boost SEO. Don’t simply guess what kinds of words college students are typing into search engines – conduct extensive research using a tool such as SEMRush.
- Including internal links: Try to add links to previous posts that may be of interest to users.
- Add images and videos: Search engine algorithms love high-quality images and videos. Why not make an introductory video about the benefits of your scholarship or drive engagement with photographs of its successful alumni?
3. List your scholarship on popular websites
There are many online databases designed to promote scholarships and help young people reach their goals, the best of which includes Scholar’s App. High schoolers and college students often head straight to platforms like Scholar’s App when researching scholarships, so adding your studentship or grant is an easy way of harnessing a captive audience. Scholarship websites also represent a relatively inexpensive method of advertising – good news if your marketing budget is tight.
Ensuring that your scholarship is listed early will help you to capture as much interest as possible. Remember to include helpful information about deadlines, eligibility criteria, and terms and conditions, as well as a link back to your official website.
4. Make the most of pay-per-click marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing allows you to promote your scholarship on sites such as Google and Bing using video ads, image-based ads, or by pushing your website to the top of search results. It is cost-effective as search engines charge according to how many click-throughs your advert attracts.
As with social media advertising, PPC providers offer audience segmentation that helps organizations reach specific demographics based on age, location, and more. Naturally, if your scholarship is for high schoolers, you should target teens and parents aged around 40-55. Depending on the nature of your scholarship, you may also wish to aim for sporty individuals, book lovers, or musical prodigies.
It is worth noting that Google offers special Ad Grants of up to $10,000 per month for nonprofits and charitable organizations, so your company may be eligible for free publicity depending on its mission. While Ad Grants are limited to simple search ads, it is possible to complement your Ad Grants account with a standard account for image ads, video ads, and remarketing.
Streamline your scholarship process with Scholar’s App
Maximize interest in your scholarship and boost applications with Scholar’s App. As well as enhancing the visibility of your scholarship, our easy-to-use platform collects applicants’ details in a single centralized place and streamlines the selection process. Are you looking to save time and optimize your marketing budget? We’re here to help.
If you’re ready to supercharge your promotional strategies and find a deserving scholar to sponsor, book a free consultation with our scholarship experts today.