University marketing and recruitment strategy. Recruitment strategies in higher education are undergoing a major change, thanks to increasing opportunities for student engagement afforded by social media and other digital communications tools. As a result, college and university marketing/communications offices can, and must, play a significant role.

University marketing and recruitment strategy

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University marketing and recruitment strategy. Recruitment strategies in higher education are undergoing a major change, thanks to increasing opportunities for student engagement afforded by social media and other digital communications tools. As a result, college and university marketing/communications offices can, and must, play a significant role.

University marketing and recruitment strategy


At some point, you may find yourself needing to promote a certain program more than others. By singling out one program, zeroing in on its key strengths, and developing a program-specific target persona, you can reach out to prospective students more effectively, and move them through the funnel towards conversion and enrolment.

Perhaps you may have added new elements to your curriculum or improved your facilities and want to capitalize on these changes. You may even run seasonal programs, such as summer courses, and need to increase your recruitment efforts at specific times of the year. Whatever your reason may be, there are several important considerations to keep in mind when creating a strategy for marketing your course.

Depending on your needs, you may have an overarching target persona for your entire school or specific personas for different demographics or age groups. Strategic marketing for student recruitment in particular courses, however, may include formulating new personas that are designed to target the ideal student of that program.

Some questions to consider when developing program-specific personas include:. While more general student personas are often more concerned with school facilities, amenities, financial aid, and broader information about subject choice, personas for individual programs must look more closely at the prospective student and their interest in the specifics of that particular program. You also want to make sure that all content promoting the program is conveying the right message.

You can draw these key messages directly from the persona you created. If you want to increase enrolment in a particular program, featuring it on your homepage is a good way to increase awareness and point prospective students towards the program page.

The content addresses several important points including internship opportunities and the ability to develop a portfolio, which would both appeal to personas looking to begin a promising career in make-up artistry. You should also pay particular attention to the program page of the specific course you are trying to promote. This may also attract substantial traffic from students searching for particular courses online, and needs to be as detailed and enticing as possible.

Your persona research may reveal some general points that are important to include here, such as careers that past graduates have been successful in, practicum or internship opportunities that are included in the program, specific course content, scheduling, and course delivery. Blog posts are another excellent way to promote a specific program.

Blogs offer more flexibility in terms of how you present information, whether you want to speak about a program directly, or write a blog on a general topic related to it. By mentioning a course more frequently on your blog, you can generate more awareness amongst your online audience. CultureWorks, an English language school in Canada, promotes its EAP Program in a blog post that outlines the curriculum of the program.

If you want to promote your program in a more subtle way, discussing general topics that the persona would find valuable and interesting is a great way to generate awareness and provide prospective students with useful or interesting information about that field. Integrating carefully selected keywords and links throughout the blog will also help your course rank higher in search engine results. Social media is another channel that can be useful for promoting individual programs, allowing prospective students to engage with your school directly about the course in fun and interesting ways.

Instagram, for instance, can be particularly effective when it comes to finding more visual ways to promote what you have to offer. Posting photos or videos of current students participating in the program will provide potential recruits with a valuable look at what the courses are actually like. Falmouth University promotes its fashion program on Instagram. If you are looking to fill remaining spots in a program right up to its start date, you can also use social media to raise awareness, creating posts that include information on application deadlines, availabilities, contact information, and even links to encourage prospective students to seek more information.

The post includes a link, contact info, start dates, and relevant hashtags. Email campaigns can also be vital to raising awareness of a specific program you want to promote. There are many different types of campaigns; from newsletters and promo emails, to extensive lead nurturing campaigns, all of which can help to increase applications. Newsletters, whether they run biweekly or monthly, are a great option for getting information about your program on the screens of potential recruits.

They can be used to talk about a program directly or as a means of distributing other content, like related blog posts. Lead nurturing campaigns are also an excellent addition to any higher education digital marketing strategy for student recruitment.

Nurturing campaigns are designed to deliver highly targeted content at optimal points in the user journey to move a prospect down the funnel. Using a customer relationship management CRM system, you can create smart lists to segment potential leads based on what program they have shown interest in. This allows you to create more tailored, personalized communications that highlight specific aspects of the course, while focusing your efforts on those who are most likely to convert.

By crafting insightful emails with important information prospective students would want to know at each stage of the user journey, you can help move them towards enrolment.

This will help ensure the content is not only timely, but relevant. While organic practices like blogging, SEO, and social media are effective, paid advertising is optimal if you need results in a short period of time.

Employing a program-specific pay per click PPC campaign on search engines like Google or Bing will help ensure that your course appears near the top of search results when prospective students search for related terms.

A well-designed landing page should provide enough information to entice users to provide their contact details, so they become a formal lead and you can follow up with them in an effort to move them down the funnel. When the ad is clicked, the prospective student is taken to a landing page with some details about the program, as well as an above-the-fold form that prospective students can complete to receive additional information. When it comes time to promote a specific program at your school, the tips in this blog will prove quite handy.

Above all else, ensuring the content, message, and style is well-suited to a program-specific persona will help you achieve results. Narrowing in on just one program presents the unique opportunity to be extremely specific and targeted with your messaging. Strategic Marketing for Student Recruitment: Promoting Individual Programs Date posted: Target the Right Prospective Students Using Customized Personas Depending on your needs, you may have an overarching target persona for your entire school or specific personas for different demographics or age groups.

Some questions to consider when developing program-specific personas include: What is the age range, location, and socioeconomic background of a typical student in this program? Does it differ from your main target audience?

What concerns may the prospective student have about enrolling in this particular program? What is motivating the student to enrol in this program?

Who are your main competitors for this program? What advantages does your course offer over other schools? What outcomes do typical students in this program expect? Are they hoping to find a job, learn a particular skill, or progress to further study?

Strategies for Promoting Specific Programs on Social Media Social media is another channel that can be useful for promoting individual programs, allowing prospective students to engage with your school directly about the course in fun and interesting ways. Using Email Campaigns to Promote Specific Programs Email campaigns can also be vital to raising awareness of a specific program you want to promote.

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