Your prospective students are experiencing a mobile mind shift. Their expectation? The ability to access any information or service about your campus on their mobile device at the precise moment they need it.
That means full integration of all digital assets, including a strong web presence with dynamic content; email that is personal and relevant; and a plan for digital advertising that is nimble and yet effective must be at the forefront of all enrollment recruitment plans.
There are dozens of different digital strategies that enrollment and marketing leaders can employ. Key to any of them is the ability to measure and adjust accordingly. As with any strategic plan, digital marketing is a living entity that must be nurtured and invested in.
Below are five digital strategies that can make the most impact on your enrollment funnel.
1. Use digital advertising to create an omnichannel approach to engagement.
Digital Advertising takes many shapes and forms. However, it is important to remember that targeting and retargeting strategies not only reenforce your brand, but also can deliver specific, targeted messages to prospective students at different junctures of their enrollment journey. Be sure to understand and leverage digital ads that target specific email addresses, household IPs and narrow geographies. For example, you can direct ads to a science building at your feeder community college for transfers into your biology program. Additionally, you can message your future students on social media by demographics, interests and beyond.
2. Build your online community … before they arrive on campus.
Students and their families can learn about your institution as they interact with their peers and look for information in a variety of online communities. Be sure to interact and listen for their needs and questions in online communities such as CafeMom, Quora, Reddit and Fishbowl. Engage and share as you see fit but also listen and understand their concerns and dilemmas.
3. Send emails to your prospective students based on their behaviors.
Gen Z is very much interested in receiving email from you … as long as it’s authentic and meets their needs. Drip campaigns from your CRM often will not address their circumstances. Use Behavioral Email to deliver email messages that are timely (when the student is actively engaged). Capture’s Behavioral Email Series (BES) campaigns result in a nearly perfect delivery rate, a click-to-open rate of 35% (double the industry average) and an identification rate of nearly seven times the average. Long gone are the days of batch-and-blast; here to stay are the days when email communication reflects a student’s behavior and engagement.
4. Influence the influencers.
On every campus there are members of your community that can reach your prospective students when you cannot. Having a small army of influencers (active students, awesome faculty and successful alumni) can have an impact on how prospective students perceive your campus and can create great interactions.
5. Embrace video and audio production.
The use of video and audio has enhanced what a web presence can be. Putting out relevant video content allows your prospective students to get a feel for what is happening on your campus. You can also offer audio snippets of inspiring lectures by your faculty or produce podcasts about campus life. YouTube and TikTok are now the most important channels for institutions working to connect with students where they are … online and in your digital environment.
To hear more about how digital strategies fit into your overall recruitment strategy, tune into our latest webinar, “5 Digital Best Practices for Enrollment Management.”
By Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Senior Enrollment Strategist, Capture Higher Ed