At the end of the day, the success of a college is largely determined by how many students get enrolled or can’t wait to get enrolled. And that in turn is something that depends on how well you connect with potential applicants, how effectively you can guide their decision, and convince them. So, to increase college enrollment or give your competitors a run for their money, you need to think like Gen Z and get pally with technology, especially digital marketing. After all, the pandemic is anything but over, and you need to go the extra mile to see results. Here are some tips that will help you.
- Don’t take SEO lightly – Be it your website, blog, business listings or social media pages, search engine optimization is necessary, if you want Google to sit up and take note of you (give you a high rank that is). For that, researching, identifying and using the right keywords in your digital content is essential. For instance, if you want students searching with “affordable colleges in Boston” to find you, the phrase needs to be there somewhere in your content. However, remember to use keywords naturally and avoid stuffing, so that search engines know that your content is useful and not hardcore selling.
- Make your website better – One of the best ways to increase college enrollment is by making your website attractive, easy to navigate, and informative. Get professional help if you want to improve the design, layout and content. Including a chatbot that can answer common questions can be immensely helpful for students who check out your site after work hours. Make it easy to find information related to courses, admission, fees, residence halls, scholarships and so on. Try and understand what are the things that motivate your students. What kind of majors, careers, or lives do they want? Provide information that can help them picture the future after they become a part of your community.
Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents
- Focus on visual marketing – Usingbrilliantly shot, crisp and relevant images, videos and virtual tours is one of the top tips to increase college enrollment. They can get the point across without an applicant having to digest a lot of text. Virtual tours are especially realistic and immersive affairs, through which you can let students explore your campus, facilities and even the neighborhood. Try and include short videos of past students who feel wonderful about your college and can share why it has helped them succeed. This will lend more credibility to your institution and claims. Infographics and memes are also smart ways to pack in a lot of information, without wasting an applicant’s time or energy.
- Utilize your social media presence – Reaching out to prospective students through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn (it’s not just for professionals) is a great way to build a bond and create brand awareness. You just have to figure out which content formats work best for which platform. For instance, posts on Facebook can have a lighthearted touch, while Instagram posts can show amazing pictures of your campus, and LinkedIn posts can be informative and targeted towards those who take their future goals and careers super seriously. Just make sure everything is easy to understand and use visuals wherever possible. Trigger words like “How to”, “Tips”, “Guide”, “Hacks” can especially encourage applicants to click and read more.
- Become mobile-friendly – Among all the ideas to increase college enrollment that you might come across, this has a special place. Students often find it easier to check out colleges when they are lazing around or running an errand. If your website is mobile-friendly, it will make things easier for them. Less text and more numbers, graphs, images and videos are recommended. In fact, by optimizing college virtual tours for mobile devices, you can encourage potential students to watch and share on the go. Apart from your website, make sure your email communications and social media posts are also optimized for mobiles. Make it easy to apply to your college through mobile devices as well, so that no one feels too lazy to prop open a laptop or head to a desktop.
Whether you try all the above tips, or a few of them, make sure to tell a story about your institution. The best way to increase college enrollment is by standing out from the others. So, let students know what your brand stands for, what your vision is, what you believe in, and what you do to make a difference. And if you want a bit of guidance with visual marketing (that’s the way to go if you want the above tips to work), shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.