AN ESSENTIAL 2019 CHECKLIST FOR COLLEGE RECRUITERS

With an increasing number of higher education courses, the market has never been so competitive. Year on year, digital transformation is the term championed throughout universities; But colleges shouldn’t be any different. To ensure colleges champion digital in 2019, we’ve put together a checklist of ideas to sample within your college student recruitment strategy.

Students need clarity when deciding the college for them. Many articles like this, will summarise the end of year marketing antics, advising on branding positioning, messaging and content. This article talks about the power of channels and selecting that right channel to fit your communication.

Try something new in 2019 to build on your existing marketing tactic plan. As well as the recruitment process that will not only increase the number of students applying, but also their engagement with your campaign.

1. CHATBOT

A Chatbot, aka a piece of software that generates automated-conversation with anyone who visits your website, has become more and more popular within the marketing sphere. As a chatbot tries to mimic a human voice, the aim is to simplify the conversation and ease the recruitment process.

The possibilities of using chatbot creatively are endless, whether it’s there to answer most frequent questions, navigate through your website or entertain the applicants.  Even though chatbots are still in their early stages, it is already obvious that applying this method will help you be more prominent, as it develops a personalised tone, in addition to being cost efficient.

2. INFLUENCERS

When it comes to influencers, think more on a personal level. Who are the people that can make a positive impact on your potential students? Whether they are micro-influencers or feeders, targeting these audiences needs to be part of your marketing tactics.

Moreover, feel free to utilise students who are already studying at higher education courses and are media savvy enough to share their personal experiences, too.

3. HYPER-LOCAL TARGETING

Utilising smartphone’s GPS data to geographically target audiences and show them ads to the context of their physical location is a cost-effective way to engage with your potential applicants.

There are various types of hyper-local targeting, predominantly based on the type of data you are looking for. Whether it’s down to demographics or based on a geographical radius, hyper-local targeting can be extremely effective, for instance during open days or school visits.

4. GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Knowing how long students stay on your website, what device they are using and which channel they used to access your courses can be immensely valuable for your recruitment strategies.

The Google Analytics place a code provided by Google on each page of your website and help you to track data about each user, ultimately making your marketing plan much more coherent based on the hard data as evidence.

5. AR AND VR

It is important to think about your audience that will be most likely from the generation Z. Having grown up solely on the internet, marketing tactics should employ as many visual and immersive learning opportunities as possible, including augmented and virtual reality.

The possibilities are truly endless. For example, you can use AR or VR as a practical tool to show campuses to international students or applicants with disabilities as an alternative to open days.

6. VOICE SEARCH

Voice searches, aka Apple’s Siri or Amazon echo, are becoming a popular search engine. Undoubtably linked to the increase of mobile search, students are using voice to research everything, including their education and prospects.

Voice searches are based on geographical information – Only “near me” searches are local, the GPS on the device’s applicants are using. Therefore, location-specific websites are more likely to appear first in the search engine results pages of Google and Bing. Utilise this to attract potential applicants to visit your website and increase your overall image.

7. CANDIDATE RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

CRM, aka managing and improving relationships with future or potential students, helps with the candidate experience and overall perception of the recruitment process.

Positive experiences can lead to not only re-applying in some cases, but also potentially referring your institution to other students who might have originally not been interested. The purpose of CRM is to prevent a bad reputation, and therefore a potential loss of applicants.

8. MOBILE BRANDING

Mobile searches have been dominating the recruitment process. For this reason, it is essential to adapt your content for a mobile version that is concise, digestible and integrated with your branding.

Find a voice that is authentic to you (as being too polished discourages the creation of a trustworthy relationship) and use it in your communication channels on platforms where your audience predominantly is.

Developing your own brand over social media is not only a powerful marketing tactic but will also help you to stand out among other colleges and make your institution more memorable.

TOP 8 TAKEAWAYS

  1. Apply chatbot to your website to engage with the audience.
  2. Don’t forget to feature influencers in your tactics.
  3. Try hyper-local targeting to approach people that are in your area.
  4. Set up Google Analytics to learn more about your applicants.
  5. Have fun and think outside of a box with creative pieces of software, such as AR and VR.
  6. Prepare your tactics for voice searches.
  7. Make sure students have a positive experience throughout the recruitment process.
  8. Utilise mobile and social media for your own branding.