How to Add Value for Prospective Students
For most secondary school students today, the most daunting question about higher education is whether or not there will be a job for them when everything is said and done. Though the unemployment rate in Australia remains steady at 6 percent, according the the Australian Bureau of Statistics, students still worry whether or not they will be able to find an internship or job upon graduation.
As a higher education institution, your job is to assuage these fears and help students feel more comfortable and optimistic about their future job prospects before they enter higher education. By doing so, you empower students to excel at your institution and provide them with something positive to work towards as they attend classes, get involved on campus and apply for internships and jobs.
So how can you show prospective students that your higher education institution is of a high value? With the right content marketing and lead generation strategies, you can get students excited about your institution before they even enrol. Here’s how.
Create the best content
Your institution does so much for its students, and each department helps its students excel in different ways. Now it’s time to tap into all of those departments and look for ways that your courses help students and the success stories within each department.
To illustrate your institution’s overall value to students, you first need to create content that focuses on career direction, course information, job opportunities and internship and industry opportunities. The content should be informative and energetic. If you get students pumped and excited for their futures, then they’ll be excited to enrol and start working towards their futures.
Blogs and ebooks will be your most useful tool for this purpose. Your blog should be updated regularly and used to showcase the many different courses you offer and the potential career benefits of those courses. For example, a University that offers a Bachelor of Commerce might blog about what type of diverse business career opportunities might be available after graduation or certain interesting skill sets or connections that graduates will gain from your institution. This proves the value of the courses themselves and gets students thinking about where they might like to end up in the years to come.
You can also interview current students who are excelling in their fields even before graduating to show prospective students what it’s like to attend your institution. Enlist the help of your staff instructors and ask them to send you the names of students in their classes who are landing great internships or job interviews.
Ebooks are essential for teaching students how to do something and providing them with the necessary direction. They’re best used for gated content (we’ll talk about this in a minute), and they allow you to further elaborate on the value of a course or teach your prospective students how to do something. You might create ebooks that help high school students study or understand the future campus lifestyle that might be install for them.
Overall, the goal of your content should be to uplift your students and empower them to make good decisions regarding their futures. You want to show them that your institution is supportive of its students and has their best interests at heart. This is a trying time for any high school student, so help them out and make the enrolment process as positive as possible.
Promote your content
Now that you have such great content, it’s time to promote that content with a sound lead generation strategy. You know that your blog content should always be free and available to anyone, but your ebooks can be used for lead generation for high education institutes.
By gating your ebooks – requiring prospective students to give you their names and email addresses before they can download the content – you generate strong leads from students who are clearly interested in your material and maybe even your institution. Getting email addresses organically (without purchasing them) is a long, arduous process that takes time, but these leads are far more effective than anything you can buy.
You can also promote your gated content through Google Adwords and other pay-per-click (PPC) services. By targeting certain keywords related to the topic of the ebook or your institution in general, you catch the eyes of prospective students who might not know anything about your institution
Nurture your new leads
As you start to generate leads, you need to continue to nurture them through the rest of the application and enrolment process. Your blog will come in handy here as you promote your own content to your social media followers and email subscribers, encouraging them to come back to your site and learn more.
Your two best ways to nurture leads are through social media and drip email campaigns. You can continue to reach out and communicate with students through your Facebook and Twitter posts, asking them their opinions and encouraging them to comment, but even if your prospective students aren’t connected with you via social media, you can still use remarketing tactics to connect to them.
With Facebook’s Custom Audience feature, you can upload a list of email addresses, and Facebook will cross-reference those email addresses with the email addresses of its users. Chances are many of the email addresses your prospective students gave you are also linked to their social media accounts. Facebook will match your uploaded email addresses with the corresponding user accounts and allow you to remarket to them.
Email drip campaigns slowly feed subscribers relative information over time to build knowledge and excitement about a product or service, in this case a higher education institution. You might email them the latest updates to your blog or invite them to special events such as webinars or lectures about how to excel at a higher education institute.
Almost all students feel the same apprehension about starting at a higher education institution. This is a major life decision, one that will affect their lives forever. As an education institution looking to attract and enrol more students, you want your students to come in on their first days feeling confident and excited about their futures. The confidence and excitement starts with your content.