How education institutes can target China’s lucrative audience of overseas students

Chinese students and their desire to study abroad is a major drawcard for Australian and New Zealand education institutes. In 2017, 608,400 Chinese students chose to study abroad, an increase of nearly 12% over the previous year, with the majority of those students self-paying for the experience.


For Chinese students, and their parents, studying in Australia and New Zealand is desirable due to a number of factors. The two countries high education standards, accessible student visa policies, affordable fees and living expenses, general safety and career development opportunities all combine to ensure Chinese students are attracted to explore their studies.



However, how can Education brands engage with Chinese students and their parents to ensure they select their institution?


1. Select the target audience

In a market the size of China it goes without saying that brands need to narrow in on exactly what audience they wish to target. Once the target audience is identified brands can explore the appropriate media mix and channel plans to engage with this audience.


2. Establish a social media presence

Ensuring your brand has an official website, Weibo account, WeChat account and presence on other popular Chinese social media platforms is crucial for establishing awareness and trust in your brand. Not only do these channels provide information and education but also engagement and direct conversations with prospective students.


3. Embrace traditional and new advertising platforms

Advertising remains an essential way to increase influence and in China’s densely populated cities it also provides high levels of awareness and effectiveness. TV, radio, outdoor billboards and subway advertising, along with online advertising are great ways to increase exposure for your brand.


4. Take part in Activations and PR activity

Offline activities are a great way to create relationships between potential students and your brand. Education events for parents and students hosted in different cities and schools can be a highly effective channel for recruiting new students and enable your brand to get face to face with the target audience.


5. Create a WeChat Mini Program

WeChat Mini programs have proven to be powerful marketing tools for brands, and education institutes are no exception. The programs enable brands to share information such as study and course details as well as information about locations, visas, fees and even online classrooms. Mini programs also enable brands to gain awareness, publicity and one-to-one communications all the while providing relevant and engaged audiences for the brand. Education institutions can even use mini programs to complete student registration processes.