The trend of today is to be inclusive. Yes, maybe it is true that everyone should have access to education and that you don't turn someone away that is qualified, but if you try to 'market' to everyone - you will get lost in a sea of the masses. Unless of course you have a billion dollars to target your advertising to 'everyone' and do it better than all those schools also targeting 'everyone'. If you don't have a billion dollars, don't waste your money on 'everyone' marketing.
So how do you start finding a group of prospective students that you can afford to market to and have reasonable expectations of conversion?
Step 1: You need to know what makes you unique.
What is different about your school? Don't say good education, good professors, fun experience as those are what every school will say (even if it's not true - if you don't believe me, just go sit through the presentations at the Ontario Universities' Fair in September and you'll see that all schools claim to have just that). So...
Experience is key. Departments First. Social Burn out. We need to pass the torch. This presentation was presented at the annual marketing conference I run for our staff and faculty at Queen's as a intro to where we are in the world of higher ed marketing and what I have learned so far. So much more to learn.
I am constantly surprised to learn how many marketing teams in higher education do not integrate with the recruitment funnel very often. And even more surprised when the teams say they don't really need to work together as they 'play different roles'. It's like they think the two are oil and water. Yes it is true - marketing is one set of skills and recruitment is another - in the private sector, recruitment would be the sales team I guess. But they should both be working to the same set of metrics - bums in seats. But not just any bums. The best darn bums out there. Bums that serve the brand long-term, not just fill the vacant seat today. Every day I am looking at our 'bums in seats' analytics, not just Facebook likes and social shares, and at least once per month I am on the road participating in some event related to recruitment. I couldn't do my job as effectively if I wasn't.
The marketing teams should be on the recruitment floor - at least some times. So they can hear the question...
Public relations has changed... but you know that. We have less control now, but it doesn't mean you can ignore it or try to control it. It's a chance to show you're human - that there's a person behind that logo. Here's some do's and don'ts on how to handle public relations on social media.
Advertising is one thing. Content Marketing is another. And when you're trying to reach an 18 year old market, that are smart, savvy and on their way to being highly educated - they are very skeptical of advertising. And they also have short attention spans.
So, what can we do about it? Listen. And respond - quickly. Be relevant.
Listen - not to staff, administrators, faculty, but to the students themselves.
Do an influencer analysis of several students - the ones that you target. (1 hour)
First figure out who 10 of your top AND average influencers are. Look for people that are active with you and have INFLUENCE – followers, favourites, klout.
For us, for example, we scoured our UGC community page for the incoming class on Facebook (Facebook 2019). And came up with a few profiles that ‘represent’ the class.
When "Elizabeth" posted anything, she got lots of comments, likes, etc. She has a large number of friends and when her demo info was overlaid she represents one of our...