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Responsible Communication: Education Marketing Strategies During COVID-19

Dec 3, 2020 3:24:49 PM / by HT Editorial Team

Perhaps one of the gravest disruptions caused by the pandemic has been to the education system. All across the world parents, educators and students were reluctantly made part of a transition marking the end of the schooling system as they knew it.

According to a UNESCO report, the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown restrictions has resulted in nearly 1.37 billion students in over 138 countries being unable to attend school and university due to closures.

Another UNESCO report revealed that approximately 0.32 billion students in India have been affected, with 84% residing in rural areas and 70% attending government schools.

The Challenges

During these past 8 months, Indian educational institutions, be it public or private, have been staring down the tunnel at dramatic changes to every part of their system: a total paradigm shift towards online education.


(Source: UNICEF)

Only a handful of private schools in urban India were able to offer their students online classes, focusing on student-teacher interaction on a real-time basis. Unfortunately, the government-aided and low-fee educational institutions could not afford the same quality of digital-learning due to limited resources.

The Opportunities

As a consequence of widespread closures and lockdowns, online learning platforms in India have witnessed a steep rise in demand. According to a report by Gipsi, there has been a jump of 220% in interest around online education.

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(Source: Gipsi report)

Backing this data up, India’s ed-tech startups have raised over $1.5 billion in 2020 alone, equaling the amount they had raised in the last five years put together.

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It’s more important now than ever that colleges and schools position themselves as institutes that value learning, rather than just a place where students attend classes and take nothing away.

In this light, a host of ed-tech startups in India have done some great work to show their moral fiber by ensuring that students get unrestricted access to resources:

  • Exam preparation platform GradeUp launched a campaign called #PadhaiNahiRukegi, offering students free access to their live and recorded classes.
  • Another ed-tech platform Lido, increased the length of its free trial period from 7 to 14 days.
  • Toppr, an e-learning app, also announced free access to their live and video classes until schools reopen.

It’s a well-known fact that how brands behave with their consumers during tough times can shape their true character in the long-run. And it’s encouraging to see the ed-tech sector in India aligning their actions so responsibly to this crisis.

Responsible Communications

On this note of responsibility, you might be asking yourself how education brands should be marketing themselves at this time without coming across as money-hungry or insensitive.

Yes it’s true, we’re facing times of crisis. So, as an education company, sustaining a positive advertising/ communication strategy with your consumers plays a more important role now than before.

When it comes to education, consumers are usually more than willing to be generous with their spending. Therefore, instead of competing with each other, education and ed-tech brands need to work on reversing negative consumer sentiments.

In general, we recommend that you work towards reassuring parents and students that your brand prioritizes academics and student life. Deploying responsible, inclusive and informative enrollment marketing campaigns might be the smartest approach to do this.

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Your messaging needs to resonate your brand’s established promises and values. Keeping up consistent communications across both print and digital advertising channels is now becoming pivotal.

Why Digital News Platforms?

Simply put, they are a few of the most frequently visited platforms by students these days. They are mostly free and can help them prepare for competitive exams. With new stories breaking every single day, television and online platforms have become a popular staple for real-time information.

It goes without saying that you may need to consider adjusting your targeting and focus on different locations when running ad campaigns during the lockdowns. For example, if the majority of your target audience used to be international students, those segments no longer hold much value for you. Domestic and locally targeted campaigns may be a better bet.

Online education is here to stay. Whether you provide:

-strong online courses,

-career counseling sessions,

-specialized workshops,

you should aim to cast your net wider than before and spread the news.

How we can help

Partnering with us will make reaching your target consumers easier than ever. By advertising your ed-tech or educational institute across our Print and Digital channels, you gain the chance to reach our 56 million readers and 139 million digital users. For more information, visit our website here.

Tags: Education, "EduTech", advertising campaign planning tips

HT Editorial Team

Written by HT Editorial Team