Even before the pandemic hit, more and more options were being made available digitally, for everything from seeing a doctor to enrolling in school.
For private schools and higher education institutions, digital marketing efforts are more critical than ever to make important information available to potential students.
There are a variety of ways for private schools, colleges, and universities to drive admissions and enrollment and remain relevant. Incorporating them into your marketing plan can help you turn your contacts into applicants.
Want to know more? Keep reading for the best tips for generating increased admissions.
All About Applicant Generation to Increase Admissions
Lead generation is a method of marketing that uses branded information to attract potential customers. The purpose of lead generation, or applicant generation for educational institutions is to bring awareness to the organization by defining and targeting buyer personas - your ideal applicants and others involved in decision-making, such as their parents, guidance counselors, college advisors, etc.
Because private and higher education is expensive, prospective students, family, and friends, frequently request as much information as possible. To capture information about potential applicants, you can create gated content (content that requires an email address and other information) with valuable, relevant information.
Before you decide which method of applicant generation might suit your needs best, it's a good idea to consider how your organization can assess them. Lead scoring is helpful to gauge the relevance of incoming prospects. This process helps you assign the readiness of applicants by giving each one a point value. (See a helpful template from HubSpot) Ones with a higher lead “score” are more engaged and perhaps ready to reach out more directly.
Try Lead Ads
College-aged people and parents of younger children are avid social media users. It makes sense, then, to use these channels as a way to reach potential students.
Lead ads, specifically, are a powerful way to get your school's name out there while also saving time and money. Most of the major social media channels offer lead ads. That includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Lead ads prevent having to redirect users to a new site. With a lead ad, users can easily submit a request for more information right on the platform, allowing you to download their response and pass it along to your admissions department.
Get the Most Out of Your Website
You already have a website in place, so make good use of it to generate leads for admissions. It starts with optimizing the amount of traffic to the site. Use a program like Google Analytics to help you get a sense of who is visiting your website.
With that data, you can then tweak your website based on the demographics of the potential students and other buyer personas looking at what you have to offer.
Another important consideration of using your website to drive traffic is the use of SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization. SEO entails using carefully considered keywords - ones that people will be searching for to give your site a higher search ranking.
It's also vital to use conversion events on your site that engage your visitors. A conversion event is anything that requires interaction between the site and the visitor. This can be a live chat box, request forms, e-books, newsletters, and interactive videos. The more interaction your site offers, the higher the chances of attracting prospective applicants. Make sure that some of these conversion events include a way for you to get information on your site visitors, generating concrete leads.
Your website is also the prime place to offer consistent information through blog posting. This encourages visitors to interact and keep coming back to your site, boosts SEO, and makes you more memorable when they start applying.
Offer a Virtual Tour
A virtual tour is a great idea anytime, but especially now, as we continue to navigate a pandemic. The purpose of a virtual tour is to give prospective students a look at the campus without having to visit in person.
This is typically done using a 3D software program. The purpose is to make viewers feel as if they are on campus by showcasing housing, classrooms, and other important parts of your institution.
You can use a virtual tour as a standard part of your website. You can also make it part of a virtual open house event. This kind of event allows potential applicants to meet faculty in addition to viewing the campus.
It's essential to follow up with anyone who takes a virtual tour. This improves the odds that they will apply, helping increase your enrollment.
Give Paid Media a Try
Paid media is a viable way to increase your higher education admissions generation. There are no tricks, and it’s all just strategy.
Paid media allows you to follow your prospective applicants to other sites they may visit by placing digital ads on these sites. With strategic reminders to your target audience to come back to your website and enroll.
The main goal of this method is to keep the enrollment process at the top of your potential student's minds. At the same time, it keeps your school, college, or university at the top of their list when choosing where to apply.
Tips for Using Applicant Generation to Increase School Enrollment
Generating applicants for admissions is a vital part of boosting your enrollment numbers. Now that you have some digital methods at your fingertips, you're ready to get started.
It's a good idea to create a schedule, starting well before the next school year, so that you can get your name out there to students and parents who are deciding where to apply.
It would help if you also kept an eye on the success of each of the tactics you try. That way you can make changes as needed to keep your name at the top of their search list.
Using more than one method tends to result in the most successful admissions campaign. Try out several and then optimize those that seem to be generating the most applicant leadsi.
Getting Ready to Use Your Admissions Leads
Now that you have some context on generating applicant leads and how to go about it, let us help with our 30-minute marketing assessment. Your school or college/university will be ready to use your newfound applicants to promote a positive experience and boost your overall reputation.