When adding video to your student recruitment strategy, it's crucial to provide engaging, meaningful connections every step of the way. Developing great video content throughout the recruitment life-cycle is the best way to engage prospects, turn them into applicants, and later into admits.
The recruitment life-cycle is broken down into five simple stages, from a student's first impressions to after their graduation. Here's a look at the stages, and what content you need to leverage video in your recruitment strategy to match the student recruitment lifecycle:
The first stage, awareness, is all about making a great first impression. During this stage, students are simply skimming the surface for information. They're completing broad searches to help narrow down their options for colleges, looking for the schools that really grab their attention.
In this stage, only 10% of college-bound students are sure of the college they want to attend. This is why your school's first impression is so critical. If you don't have the proper content to grab their attention and keep them interested, they'll likely move on and find another school that does.
70% of high school juniors and seniors report that they have viewed a college website from a mobile device. On top of this, 75% of high school seniors watch video at least once a week, and the average internet user spends 88% more time on websites with video. The statistics show that students are drawn to video, so it's crucial that you provide great video content to catch students' attention and keep them engaged through the coming stages of the recruitment life-cycle.
During the awareness stage, prepare videos with high-level information. Students aren't looking for extremely specific information yet, so keep your information broad, but engaging, during this step. For stage one videos, include information regarding your campus size, location, setting (urban, rural, etc.), and major programs of study.
In the comprehension stage of the recruitment life-cycle, students begin the "deep-dive" search into colleges. They take the long lists they've compiled from the awareness stage and narrow it down to the schools that really interest them. At this point, the basic features of institutions have been solidified, such as size, location, etc. Now, they're delving deeper into the schools to find the most ideal match.
In this stage, students know the basic, high-level information about your school. It's time to show them more detailed points of interest, including the residential halls, dining options, leisure activities available on and around campus, internships, and student involvement (clubs, Greek Life, etc.). Introduce them to faculty with Faculty Spotlights, and share job placement and alumni success stories.
Students don't visit every school they research. As they narrow their lists, many of their original interests don't quite make the cut. During the comprehension stage, provide video content that makes students excited to apply and visit your school, and later enroll.
Within the third stage, conviction, students narrow their lists further, figuring out exactly which schools they'd like to visit. While the average student applies to 10 schools, they only visit three, and 93% of students enroll in a school from their "visit short-list."
During the conviction stage, you need to use video content that encourages students to visit your school. Include virtual campus tours, video testimonials from real students, and previews of welcome events that excite students about visiting your campus. Provide a sense of belonging and answer the question all students have, "Will I fit in here?"
At this stage, students have made their decisions. They've narrowed down their searches, sent in their applications, and chosen the one school they want to attend. By now, students have sent their applications and been accepted, and are ready to enroll. Your school has accepted its applicants, but the recruitment isn't completely over. Even though students have been accepted and are enrolling, it's crucial to keep them excited and engaged.
To maintain engagement, provide videos that highlight upcoming events, move-in day, and orientations. Showcase events incoming students may have attended, such as Accepted Students Day or campus tours. Reassure students regarding their decision to attend your school, and relieve any pressures about fears or anxieties.
The action stage begins in May as students begin enrolling, but continues through the beginning of classes. It takes time for young people to transition and adjust to a new way of life, different from the way they've lived before. Provide great video content to make this transition fun and easy.
The maintenance stage happens after students graduate. Continuing to engage alumni has many benefits, including increased donations and referrals to other prospective students. Videos at this stage should focus on student wins and successes, including accomplishments of both students and connected institutions, easily shared and fun nostalgia videos, and future projects.
StudentBridge, Inc., has helped colleges and universities identify, engage, and convert students around the world for over ten years. Our services include interactive campus maps, video viewbooks, production services, and more! We also offer webinars, whitepages, and a regularly updated blog to provide resources for any college or university interested in improving their recruitment and marketing strategies.