Yes, it’s true that times are tough, and the pandemic has made it difficult for many US universities to reel in international students, thanks to not-too-convenient travel and vaccination guidelines. However, this too shall pass, and soon enough, students from other countries will want to test American waters for better education and a brighter future. Hence, it is important to know how to recruit international students easily and in greater numbers. Digital marketing, undoubtedly, is the way to go, as it transcends geographical boundaries and can level the playing field among all kinds of institutions. So, here are 5 tips you should try:
- Understand what your potential students want – One of the top tips to recruit international students is to start by understanding what they want. You can use analytics tools to check where your website visitors are coming from, what are their search terms, their demographic details, which pages are they spending the most time on, etc. This will help you get an idea about their common queries or doubts, whether it is related to majors, placements, scholarships, financial aid or facilities. You can also create a survey for your current international students to find out why they have chosen you or what do they like most about your college.
- Make your official website perfect – If you are wondering how to recruit international students easily, the answer lies in a website that is informative, easy to understand and navigate, and attractive. So, keep these pointers in mind:
- Use simple language and a clean format that is easy on the eye.
- Make sure a student can access the information they are looking for with minimum clicks.
- Provide exhaustive and accurate contact information and make it easy for a student to send an email, text message or WhatsApp message. Include a chatbot on your site to answer common questions even during off-office hours.
- Provide clear and crisp information on majors, facilities, residential provisions, visa application, financial help and so on.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, so that potential students can explore it on the go and on any device.
- Make sure your site loads fast, as time is precious and the attention span of internet users is short.
Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment
- Maximize the power of visuals – To recruit international students smartly, use lots of visuals. If you can tell a story through images, videos or virtual tours, don’t waste words on it. Well-shot images, engaging or fun videos and realistic virtual tours can help them compare your institution with others and make informed decisions. College virtual tours especially will keep a site visitor hooked for longer and reduce your bounce rate. Through these, you can talk about your college’s history, heritage, culture, facilities, community and the life one can look forward to. You can also weave in short snippets of your current international students talking about why they love your institution, as this will provide credibility. Simple and bright infographics can also convey the importance of stats like enrollment rate, placement rate, number of extracurricular clubs you have, which majors are popular, and more. You can also use memes to lend a light-hearted vibe.
Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy
- Promote actively – Promote your college on social media platforms and through emails, as much as you can. Share updates on interesting events, exam results, any new addition (be it a building or a program) or what you are doing to make post-COVID life on campus safe. Use images, videos or virtual tours while posting anything, be it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Get creative by creating simple polls or surveys that encourage potential students to respond or engage. Collect the data and use it to understand what kind of marketing will bring you more international students. Make sure that social media buttons are easy to find on your website and make your posts easy to share.
- Get your SEO game right – No matter how awesome your website is, remember that successful recruitment of international students depends largely on where and how you rank on Google search results pages. And for that, you need a powerful SEO strategy. In other words, your website content must include keywords that potential international students usually use while looking for that ideal college in the US. “Best college for international students in USA” is an example of that. Also, try to use long-tail keywords as short-tail keywords will be extremely competitive and only the top colleges might appear against them. Also optimize your alt tags, meta descriptions and image descriptions with the right keywords, so that Google can rank you more easily on the first page.
All in all, to recruit international students despite the impact of an unprecedented pandemic, keep the above tips in mind. And if you need help with visual marketing, which is critical for your digital presence and promotion, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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