There is a cold rush of excitement in the air as we power through early application season into the regular application period! The weather has changed, clocks have been set back, and students are becoming much more aware of the looming deadlines before them. But with this shift, they are becoming more focused on their feelings around the idea that they're about to make some life-changing decisions in the next few months.
So how do we take this emotionally charged season and make sure that the right students have access to and are engaging with the right content? How can we make sure that they are on the right path towards your college or university?
Try these four tactics to encourage greater engagement with your prospective students!
1. Show, Don't Tell: If you can write it, you can put it in a video.
Students who watch video content retain 95% of that information as compared to the 10% information retention rate when presented with static text and still images. So if possible, convey as much information as possible via video.
However, we don't throw text copy out the window just because we want to focus on videos. Accompanying your video with a transcript or general descriptor not only directs students towards the right videos but also helps solidify the message you wanted to convey.
Sometimes video content is difficult to film and edit in-house so you may need to outsource your video production to professionals. But you can still make a big digital impact using .gif images, Boomerangs, short interviews caught via your phone camera, or even screen share videos with voice-overs.
2. Read Your Audience: Spread the right message on the right platform
Each of your marketing channels should have a specific strategy targeting different audiences. For instance, your main .edu site has to cater to a wide range of audiences such as prospective students, corporate partners, parents, and faculty. This range reduces the ability of the .edu site to be as effective as dedicated sources can be.
Target different audiences with different messages on different channels. If possible, use your homepage as your traffic cop, directing individuals directly to the content they need. Check out LSUA's website navigation bar; it appears on every page and immediately sends your audiences to their respective content hubs.
If you can't alter your current home page, look to dedicated channels such as microsites to not only streamline the process of engaging prospective students but to also cut out any potential distractions. Video Viewbooks are the perfect examples of marrying dedicated microsites and video content.
3. Create Strong Conviction: Motivate them to make the right choice through actionable CTAs
Don't let your perfectly catered content go to waste by not creating a convicting Call-To-Action (CTA). Be specific, timely, and consistent. Stay honest with your intentions by not creating "clickbait" or misleading CTAs. Additionally, make sure that CTAs are visible and easy to access at all times; never lose a conversion based on convenience.
For example, a video interviewing an admissions counselor could have a CTA that tells students to "make an appointment today" or "find your counselor." A video tour of campus could have CTAs that say "book a tour" or "connect with a student ambassador." These types of CTAs direct students exactly where they need to go without the chance that they fail to find the right resource or find the CTA content to be irrelevant.
4. Reassure and Remind: Increase your yield potential before application deadlines
Enrollment is not a sure thing just because a student has applied to your school. You are most likely one of several schools that students applied to. So you want to reassure students that they are making the right choice and continue to remind them why as they continue to research and apply to other schools.
Starting yield-related strategies early on can help strengthen your chance to be chosen. Push out content related to student-based opportunities such as scholarships, study abroad programs, cultural diversity and inclusivity initiatives, and peer testimonials to help applicants imagine themselves as a part of the student body, joining the culture of your campus.
There are so many themes, concepts, and strategies as we near the holidays so take advantage of the application season to maximize your recruitment efforts!
StudentBridge can offer you a free content audit and consultation to see if your efforts align with your goals today! Contact us for more info!