While increasing student enrollment was always a challenge, the post-pandemic world has made it more difficult. There’s increasing competition and more information channels for students to compare institutions. That’s why learning how to increase student enrollment should be a top priority for administrators.
School budgets depend on the number of students. If enrollment stagnates or decreases, it can negatively impact all other aspects of an institution and lead to a vicious cycle of low revenue and low impact. To prevent it, here are some proven strategies that you can use to increase student enrollment at your institution.
Using these innovative and strategic measures, institutions can ensure that their recruitment marketing will be effective and lead to higher student enrollment.
To get more students into your institution, you need to know more about your current students. Recruitment marketing begins with developing your student persona or a fictional definition of students you should be targeting.
With your student persona, you would know how to connect with them. Using the right platforms, a customized curriculum, and specific benefits, you will increase focus in your recruitment marketing. It will also increase your reach without having to stretch your budget.
Your institution may have several advantages but they have to be distilled into a unique selling proposition. This should be compelling, clear, and easy to remember. What you convey should resonate with your target audience.
What’s unique about your school? How can it make a difference in the lives of its students? What’s the first thing that students and parents say about your institution? If someone were to ask them why they are considering you, the proposition should make it easy for them to explain their reason.
This is an area where school administrators might find it difficult because they didn’t grow up using it. Social media should be the most important platform for recruitment marketing. Why? Because your target audience is already there.
The trick is to find out which social media platform your audience uses and then to be active there. Share updates about your school, student stories, extracurricular activities, and importantly, life on the campus. You only have to focus on one or two platforms. Remember that consistency is key in social media.
It’s a no-brainer that video is the fastest-growing form of content. A video doesn’t take any effort to be seen, takes a short time when compared to other media, is dynamic, and can be easily shared. That’s why more than 85 percent of universities and colleges are present on YouTube.
You can record lessons, presentations, interviews, webinars, and seminars and post them as videos on your website and social media platforms. The format also allows you to repurpose content. For example. an interview with a faculty member can be converted into a blog and shared with your email subscribers.
While social media is important, students are also searching online for courses with specific queries. To increase student enrollment, institutions should ensure that they rank high in searches. This is how you will be able to drive organic traffic to your website.
The first step in search engine optimization is to figure out where you currently stand. Does your institution’s name come up when students search for particular courses? Then, you should identify the keywords and optimize your website using those.
You should also prioritize courses on your landing page and declutter them for greater effect. Finally, local search is an area that institutions will have to invest in.
You should have an opt-in form on your website and other marketing collateral to collect the email addresses of prospective students. Once you have a subscriber base, share regular emails with information about your courses, placements, events, lectures, and stories of your current and past students.
Email marketing is an opportunity to build a community. It allows you to consistently engage with prospective students and prove why you’re a superior option to others.
Blogging is an excellent way to direct organic traffic to your website. You can have blogs for specific departments, which will further improve your visibility. Create authoritative content that students would want to read and share. Share blogs through emails and social media channels to increase visibility.
Your institution’s blog should have posts from your faculty. This can build credibility. Blogs can also be easily shared, which will increase the reach of your recruitment marketing. Interesting blogs can also be repurposed into videos and shared via social media.
Your website must be optimized for a seamless mobile experience because that’s where more than 75 percent of Gen Z is discovering websites. If the mobile version of your website is suboptimal, that will reflect poorly on your institution as a whole. Therefore, make sure that your website loads quickly and that text and images are formatted for mobile.
This is another reason to regularly audit your website user experience. How easy is it to navigate it from a mobile? Does the homepage have too many elements? Is the text readable or clunky? If you find problems, rectify them at the earliest.
A mobile-first approach in recruitment marketing also means that you have to invest in SMS. Text messages have exceptionally high open rates and are immediately seen. But make sure that you have the user’s permission before sending them SMS. And only send texts when it’s necessary or else it could come across as intrusive.
Recruitment marketing needs an objective audit, constant monitoring, and timely iterations that only domain experts can provide. That’s why administrators should consult those with proven experience in the category. With the service of specialists, you would certainly see a demonstrable improvement in student enrollment.