When it comes to showcasing the best of what your institution has to offer, nothing beats a well-executed open day. But with so many schools vying for attention, how can yours stand out?

This blog is packed with insights and strategies to deliver the right visitors to your open day, as well as tips on how to keep them engaged, and ultimately encouraging them to study with you.

  1. Create an effective landing page
  2. Utilise video marketing
  3. Introduce organic social media marketing to your strategy
  4. Allocate budget for targeted advertising
  5. Collaborate with other schools to maximise limited budgets
  6. Create engaging emails
  7. Utilise SEO to rank higher in search results
  8. Use Alumni to strengthen your marketing


Effective strategies to market your school’s open day:

Before you start your marketing campaign, you’ll want to map out a timeline to give yourself enough time to create any marketing materials, as well as enough time to let your campaign run. As a rule of thumb it’s a good idea to start planning at least 6 months ahead of your open day.

Here’s everything you need to ensure your open day is a success:


Your website should serve as the central hub for all information regarding your open day event. Ensure that it’s optimised not only for search engines but also for user experience. This includes checking that your website loads quickly, is mobile responsive, and has clear and easy-to-use navigation.

You’ll want to create a dedicated landing page for your open day. Here you should provide detailed information about the event including FAQs, a schedule of activities, and testimonials from previous attendees if available.

Be sure to include a form for prospective students to register their interest. This not only helps you gain insight into the number of attendees you can expect on the day, but also allows you to keep them updated via email and send reminders closer to the date.

You should also provide contact information should any prospective students have further questions about the open day.

Make sure that your page is linked in your navigation, as well as including a link on other key pages on your website.


Don’t just tell prospective students how good your school is, show them! Video is not only great for adding engaging content to your website, but it can help drive engagement across social media too.

Consider creating a high-quality video that showcases the unique aspects of your establishment, from classes and facilities to student life and accommodation. You could even feature some of the amenities local to your school.

You may also want to create a virtual tour of your campus so any prospective students considering visiting your establishment for an open day can get their bearings beforehand.


Being active on social media can help you build a new audience and stay engaged with your current followers. Here’s how you can use social media to help promote your open day:

Showcase your campus and facilities with video: Engage followers by taking them on virtual tours of state-of-the-art labs, libraries, and classrooms. Announce any award-winning research or student accomplishments to show the quality of your school.

Engage with prospective students: Ensure prompt responses to inquiries to demonstrate attentiveness and support. Share content that resonates with the interests and aspirations of prospective students, encouraging them to envision themselves as integral parts of your campus community.

Create event pages and invitations: You may opt to utilise Facebook events to share details about open days, including schedules and registration links. Encourage attendees to invite friends and share the event to expand its reach. You can also add updates to these pages, giving you the opportunity to communicate to prospective students who are considering attending your open day.

User-generated content (UGC): Encourage students, alumni, and faculty to share their experiences and perspectives. Feature UGC on your official channels to foster a sense of community and authenticity among your audience.

Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influential students or alumni who can authentically share their positive experiences about your institution. Their endorsement can attract attention and credibility to your open day event.

Use hashtags strategically: Create a unique hashtag for your open days and encourage attendees to use it in their posts. Monitor and engage with posts using the hashtag to amplify your event’s visibility and reach.

Share behind-the-scenes content: Offer glimpses into the preparation process for open days and introduce staff members involved in organising the event. Humanise your institution by showcasing the dedication and effort behind the scenes.



4. Allocate budget for targeted advertising

As part of LOCALiQ’s commitment to providing cutting-edge digital marketing solutions, we understand the importance of effectively promoting higher education open days. In a competitive market, targeting and retargeting are crucial strategies for reaching potential students and their influencers. Here are actionable tips to enhance your campaign’s impact.

Identify your audience
The first step in any successful marketing campaign is identifying who you want to reach. For higher education institutions, this typically includes prospective students at various stages of their decision-making process, as well as parents and educators who influence these decisions. Utilising tools like Google Analytics can provide insights into your website visitors’ demographics and interests, helping tailor your messaging accordingly.

Leverage social media platforms
Social media platforms offer powerful targeting options that allow you to segment audiences based on factors such as age, location, interests, and more. Platforms like Facebook Ads Manager enable precise audience segmentation so you can create tailored ads that resonate with each group. Don’t forget the effectiveness of video content on platforms like Instagram and TikTok which can significantly increase engagement among younger audiences.

  • Create engaging content: Use dynamic visuals or testimonials from current students to capture attention.
  • A/B testing: Experiment with different ad formats (e.g., images vs videos) across segments to find what works best.
  • Moment marketing: Align your campaigns with relevant events or trends for increased relevance.

Harness the power of retargeting campaigns
An interested visitor may not always convert on their first visit; this is where retargeting comes into play. By using cookies or pixels placed on your site’s pages, Google AdWords Remarketing, for instance – allows you to show targeted ads to users who have previously visited specific pages related directly towards open days information but didn’t register/sign up initially.

This method keeps your institution top-of-mind while they continue researching their options. Implement smart retargeting by focusing efforts on critical conversion points leading up until the event date itself – increasing urgency amongst those sitting ‘on the fence’.

LOCALiQ’s top tips for implementing strategic ad spending to Increase sign-ups and admissions:

  • Utilise data analysis: Use data analytics tools to gain insights into the behaviour and preferences of your target audience. Analyse past admissions data, website traffic, and engagement metrics to understand which channels and messages resonate most with prospective students.
  • Allocate budget wisely: Prioritise channels and platforms that are most likely to reach your target audience effectively. This may include digital channels such as social media advertising, Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and display advertising, as well as traditional channels like print and outdoor advertising. Allocate your budget strategically to maximise reach and impact.
  • Create compelling ad content: Develop creative and engaging ad content that highlights the unique selling points and benefits of your institution. Showcase academic programmes, campus facilities, student life, career opportunities, and other key attractions to capture the interest of prospective students. Use persuasive language and visuals to compel them to take action.
  • Optimise campaigns: Continuously monitor and optimise your advertising campaigns to maximise their effectiveness. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per acquisition. Experiment with different ad formats, targeting parameters, and messaging to identify what works best for your audience.
  • Leverage retargeting: Implement retargeting strategies to re-engage with prospective students who have previously visited your website or interacted with your ads. Show them personalised messaging and offers to encourage them to take the next step in the admissions process.
  • Measure ROI: Regularly evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of your advertising efforts to ensure they are delivering the desired results. Calculate the cost per lead and cost per acquisition to determine the efficiency of your campaigns. Use this data to inform future budget allocations and strategic decisions.
  • Engage with prospects: Provide opportunities for prospective students to engage with your institution beyond the initial ad interaction. This could include hosting virtual events, webinars, campus tours, or one-on-one consultations. Encourage dialogue and address any questions or concerns they may have about the admissions process.


5. Collaborate with other schools to maximise limited budgets

If your school is part of a multi-academy group, you can still run targeted campaigns, but there are a few additional elements that you will need to consider. Things like budget and individual needs of each school will need to be factored in. Here are our tips for running marketing campaigns for MATs:

Formal pooling strategies:

  • Centralised marketing fund: You can create a central fund where each academy contributes a set amount based on factors like size or student population. This pooled budget allows for more impactful marketing campaigns across all academies.
  • Formula-based contribution: Another approach is to develop a formula considering factors such as academy size, specialisms, or past performance to determine each academy’s contribution. This method ensures a fair and balanced financial commitment from all parties.


Collaborative Initiatives:

  • Shared marketing resources: Pool resources for tasks such as hiring a marketing consultant, creating a central website template, or investing in design software. By sharing resources, you can reduce costs and improve overall marketing quality.
  • Joint campaigns: Collaborate on joint marketing campaigns that target specific demographics or highlight shared strengths across the academies. For example, campaigns can focus on parents of gifted students or showcase sporting excellence across all academies.


Transparency and communication:

  • Clear agreements: It’s essential to establish clear agreements outlining contribution amounts, decision-making processes, and how the pooled budget will be utilised. This transparency fosters trust and ensures everyone is aligned.
  • Open communication: Maintain open channels of communication with academies regarding campaign performance, return on investment (ROI), and the overall impact of pooled marketing efforts. Regular updates and feedback sessions can drive collective success.


Additional considerations:

  • Financial regulations: Adhere to financial regulations governing budget allocation and spending within the MAG to maintain compliance and accountability.
  • Individual needs: Balance collective marketing goals with the unique needs of each academy. Flexibility in strategy allows for tailored approaches while still benefiting from joint initiatives.
  • Performance measurement: Develop a system to track the effectiveness of pooled marketing efforts. Analyse metrics, gather feedback, and be prepared to make adjustments to maximise impact and ROI.


By implementing these collaborative strategies, MAGs can leverage their combined resources to create more impactful and cost-effective marketing campaigns, benefiting all academies involved.


6. Create engaging emails

If you’ve added a form to your landing page, you’ll be able to send emails to those who’ve registered their interest. Try not to spam prospective students’ inbox, instead, focus on crafting compelling and engaging emails by doing the following:

Utilise personalisation: Address each recipient by their name and send personalised invitations to attend the open day. Personalisation can significantly increase engagement rates and make prospective students feel valued.

Highlight key information: In your email, clearly highlight important details about the open day such as the date, time, location, and agenda. Make it easy for recipients to understand what the event entails and why they should attend.

Showcase benefits and opportunities: Emphasise the benefits and opportunities that attending the open day can offer prospective students. Whether it’s meeting faculty members, touring campus facilities, or learning about academic programmes, highlight what sets your institution apart.

Include testimonials and success stories: Share testimonials and success stories from current students or alumni who have attended previous open days or enrolled in your institution. Authentic experiences can help build trust and credibility with prospective students.

Use a clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) prompting recipients to RSVP or register for the open day. Use actionable language that motivates them to take the next step, such as “RSVP Now” or “Secure Your Spot”.

Use a mobile-friendly design: Ensure that your email is optimised for mobile devices, as many recipients may access their emails on smartphones or tablets. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes for a seamless user experience.

Send follow-up reminders: Send follow-up reminder emails as the open day approaches to keep it top-of-mind for recipients. Include any additional information or updates about the event to encourage attendance.

Utilise segmentation: Segment your email list based on factors such as interests, academic programmes of interest, or geographic location. Tailor your messaging to each segment to make it more relevant and compelling to the recipient.

Use social proof and FOMO: Create a sense of urgency and fear of missing out (FOMO) by highlighting limited spots or exclusive opportunities available only to open day attendees. Incorporate social proof, such as testimonials or attendee numbers, to reinforce the value of attending.



7. Utilise SEO to rank higher in search results

Search Engine Optimisation will help your web pages naturally appear higher up the search results pages for relevant searches. For instance, you might want your open day landing page to rank for searches such as “university open day” or “campus tour”.

There are a series of techniques you can implement to ensure your web page appears for relevant searches.

Keyword research: Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases that prospective students may use when searching for open day events. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to discover high-volume and low-competition keywords related to higher education and open days.

Optimise your landing page: As mentioned previously in this blog, your website should have a dedicated landing page for your open day. Ensure the page contains relevant keywords such as “open day”, “higher education”, and the name of your institution. Include essential information like date, time, location, agenda, and registration details.

Local SEO: Implement local SEO strategies to target prospective students in your area. Include location-specific keywords, such as the city or region where your institution is located. These keywords should be used in your website content, meta tags, and URL structure. Additionally, create a Google Business Profile listing for your institution to improve visibility in local search results.

Optimise title tags and meta descriptions: Write compelling title tags and meta descriptions for your open day landing page that accurately describe the event and encourage clicks. Include relevant keywords and a clear call-to-action to entice users to visit your website.

Create high-quality content: Develop informative and engaging content related to higher education, campus life, academic programmes, and career prospects. Publish blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics that address the interests and concerns of prospective students. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within your content to improve search engine visibility.

Optimise images: Optimise images on your website by using descriptive filenames and alt tags that include relevant keywords. This helps search engines understand the content of the images and improves the overall SEO of your site.

Mobile optimisation: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and performs well on smartphones and tablets. Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites in search results, so optimising for mobile is crucial for SEO success.

Internal linking: Incorporate internal links within your website to connect related pages and improve navigation. Link to your open day landing page from other relevant pages on your site, such as the homepage, admissions page, and academic programme pages.

Earn backlinks: Build high-quality backlinks from reputable websites within the education sector, such as educational institutions, industry associations, and student directories. Guest blogging, participating in industry forums, and reaching out to influencers can help you acquire valuable backlinks that improve your website’s authority and search engine ranking.

Monitor performance and analytics: Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Track key metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.



8. Use Alumni to strengthen your marketing

Think of your alumni network as a gold mine when it comes to promoting your school and drawing in new students. After all, who better to speak to the value of your education than those who have experienced it first-hand?

Leveraging alumni network for marketing
There are countless ways to leverage your alumni network for marketing purposes. One approach is to feature alumni success stories in your marketing materials, such as on your website or in your social media posts. This can help prospective students see the tangible benefits of an education from your institution.
Another strategy is to engage your alumni in your marketing efforts directly. Nudge them to share their stories on social platforms, dive into recruitment activities, or even take up the role of mentors for those who are currently walking the halls they once did.

Involving alumni in open days
Open days provide the perfect opportunity to involve your alumni in your marketing efforts. Invite them to participate in panels or Q&A sessions, where they can share their experiences and offer advice to prospective students.
You can also encourage alumni to serve as tour guides or ambassadors during open days, helping prospective students navigate the campus and answering any questions they may have.
Bringing your alumni back for open days does more than just give prospective students a peek into their potential future; it also showcases the tight-knit community and robust support system your school prides itself on.

Using alumni in your content marketing
You can also utilise alumni in your video and content marketing, here are a few ideas:

  • Inspiring narratives: Create video testimonials featuring successful alumni who have achieved remarkable milestones in their careers. These narratives should highlight their journey from student life to professional success. Authentic stories resonate with prospective students, showcasing the institution’s impact on real lives.
  • Diverse perspectives: Showcase a diverse range of alumni across various fields, industries, and backgrounds. Whether it’s a tech entrepreneur, a renowned artist, or a social activist, each story adds depth and relatability. Highlight how the institution contributed to their growth and achievements.
  • Written profiles: Craft detailed written profiles of alumni success stories. These can be featured on the institution’s website, blog, or alumni newsletters. Include anecdotes, career trajectories, and personal insights. Use compelling language to evoke emotions and connect with readers.
  • Impact metrics: Quantify the impact of alumni success. Highlight statistics such as employment rates, average salaries, and notable achievements. Data-driven content reinforces the institution’s credibility and attracts prospective students seeking tangible outcomes.
  • Collaboration opportunities: Leverage alumni networks for collaborative projects. Invite successful alumni to mentor current students, participate in workshops, or deliver guest lectures. Their involvement fosters a sense of community and encourages networking.
  • Virtual events: Host virtual panels or webinars featuring alumni speakers. Discuss industry trends, career advice, and personal experiences. Live interactions allow prospective students to connect directly with successful graduates.
  • Social proof: Use alumni success stories as social proof. Incorporate quotes, testimonials, or short video snippets into promotional materials. When prospective students see others thriving after graduation, it boosts their confidence in choosing the institution.

Remember, alumni success stories are powerful tools for building trust, inspiring prospects, and reinforcing the value of education provided by the institution. By sharing these narratives strategically, higher education establishments can create a compelling brand identity and attract motivated students.


Post-event engagement strategies for prospective students:

You’ve put in the work, created a welcoming environment, and made a great impression on prospective students during your open day, but how do you now keep them engaged and interested in your institution?

Keeping prospective students engaged after the event
The key to keeping prospective students engaged after an open day is to keep the conversation going. Follow up with them via email, phone, or even social media to thank them for attending and to offer additional information or resources.

But don’t stop there. Keep them updated on upcoming events, deadlines, and opportunities to connect with current students and faculty. Make it clear you’re in their corner, ready to cheer them on and help out every step of the way.

Utilising digital platforms for post-event engagement
In today’s digital age, there are countless ways to keep prospective students engaged after an open day. From social media to email marketing to virtual events, the possibilities are endless.

One effective strategy is to create targeted content that speaks directly to the interests and needs of prospective students. This could include blog posts, videos, or even interactive quizzes that help them explore different aspects of your institution and what it has to offer.

Another approach is to leverage your current students and alumni as ambassadors for your institution. Encourage them to share their experiences on social media, participate in virtual panels or Q&A sessions, and connect with prospective students one-on-one.

How can LOCALiQ help?

As an award-winning digital marketing agency, we have years of experience in crafting bespoke higher education campaigns. Whether you’re looking to boost your search presence for localised searches, or want to retarget prospective students we can help. Our services range from web design and SEO to video creation and social media advertising, visit our education marketing page for more information.

If you’re interested in creating an A+ marketing campaign then get in touch with one of our knowledgeable digital marketing experts for a no-obligation chat.

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