How to recruit prospective students using Omnichannel Marketing
Because of a lack of variety in their marketing strategies, universities often find it difficult to recruit the right students. In an age where digital marketing is the new normal, there are numerous opportunities to engage with prospective students through online mediums. This blog will discuss how institutions can use Omnichannel Marketing for effective recruitment.
Education has evolved into an omnichannel experience. eLearning has shown to be beneficial in allowing college and university instructors to maintain their students' academic momentum as they attend both in-person and online programs. Prior to the epidemic, students relied on cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers to study and do assignments. Through multichannel interactions, students may now register for classes, stay up to date with on-campus activities, and even pay for parking.
Omnichannel interactions are at work already before students are admitted to a university. Students will most likely visit websites, social networks, blog posts, and promotional materials to discover about a college or institution and what it has to offer. When all of these channels operate together efficiently, prospective students can create a clear image of the university in their minds. They may receive customized material based on their academic interests as they progress through the application procedure, as well as gain a first impression of the school and the kind of digital experiences they'll enjoy as a student.
A completely integrated network of data and technology powers a smooth omnichannel experience. With these linkages in place, higher education teams can guarantee that their technology platforms are in synchronization and remove any information silos that impede an institution's ability to provide seamless cross-channel experiences.
Omnichannel Marketing puts the end-user at the center of a seamless unified experience.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel Marketing is the integration and cooperation of the various channels organizations use to interact with consumers so they can create a consistent brand experience. Unlike the name suggests, Omnichannel Marketing doesn't involve implementing one method that can be employed to increase the student recruitment percentage. A wide variety of methods must be amalgamated to bring about a change. Services like Mobile Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Pay-per-Click, and many more can be combined to create a strategy that can help educational institutions reach their prospective students where and when they browse.
Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
Adapting to Omnichannel Marketing strategies can seem hectic at first, but with smart planning and consistent effort, the end result is predicted to be entirely satisfactory. Here are some of the significant benefits of Omnichannel Marketing-
- The user experience is elevated to a much better and more consistent level.
- The brand strategy becomes unified and cohesive.
- Omnichannel Marketing increases the student enrollment ratio and, consequently, the revenue.
- Attribution data on individual students can further help in student segmentation when planning for student success.
What is the difference between Single Channel and Omnichannel Marketing?
Following are the differences between Single Channel and Omnichannel Marketing-
|Single Channel Marketing
|It can be defined as one marketing channel used to promote its products and services.
||It can be defined as a combination of numerous marketing channels used to promote products and services.
|It is cost-efficient as it uses only one channel for promotion.
||It is pretty expensive as it uses numerous channels for promotion.
|The customer reach in this method is relatively less.
||The customer reach is quite extensive.
|It is simple to operate.
||Because it uses several channels and strategies at the same time, it needs to be managed by experienced personnel.
Recruit more students through Omnichannel Marketing
5 Omnichannel Marketing strategies
1. Get prospective students' attention faster
- Advertisement plays a vital role in attracting prospective students to universities. There are numerous ways in which institution’s can promote courses, including billboards, pamphlets, television, newspapers, social media, and many more.
- However, one of the most important and influential mediums of advertisement that universities seldom consider is Mobile Programmatic Advertising.
- Programmatic Advertising is the purchasing and selling of inventory using an automated bidding mechanism. Algorithmic software is used to manage the placement, bidding, and purchase of online ad impressions in a split second.
- Programmatic Advertising is much more effective for both advertisers and publishers, as it is more transparent and quantifiable and provides advertisers with greater targeting options, hence enhancing the digital media purchasing experience of the end-user.
- Mobile Programmatic Advertisement can be implemented by creating licensed mobile IDs for different target groups and propagating messages and ads customized to their interests.
2. Deploy personalized marketing strategies
- Geofencing is defined as a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. Using this concept, universities can attract potential students within their local area.
- Defining a particular area by drawing a boundary around the vicinity can help institutions identify the high-traffic places from where prospective students can be recruited.
- This would allow them to deploy personalized marketing strategies known to result in higher conversion rates.
3. Establish consistent messaging
Email has the ability to do what many channels can’t—imparting a valuable personl touch at scale.
"Never forget-Social Media is for reach, but email is for revenue" - Bryan Eisenberg
- One of the biggest mistakes committed by most universities is underestimating the potential of email marketing.
- Email marketing is a compelling strategy that can help the universities build a strong brand message and attract more prospective students.
- Building a system that delivers consistent, powerful, and personalized emails to the right target audience can increase student recruitment numbers exponentially.
4. Shape inquisitive minds using social media
"Marketing is about telling good stories. Social Media Marketing is about getting your customers to tell them for you." - Corey Eridon
- Maintaining consistency in Social Media Marketing can be one of the most challenging yet powerful tools in the repository of an institution’s marketing strategies.
- Prospective students often visit a university’s social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn to gauge its environment and see what others are saying about it. This gives them an idea of whether the university offers something that interests them or not.
- Following are some ideas through which universities can add more value to their Social Media Marketing strategies-
- Creating optimized content to boost student engagement
a. To the marketer, the target demographic, their motives, and where they hang out may seem apparent, but these factors are critical and should be paid more attention to as they guide every aspect of a campaign strategy.
b. There is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" approach. A marketing technique can vary greatly based on what an institution is promoting and on which platform.
c. For example, it makes more sense to concentrate efforts on LinkedIn for an MBA program and on Instagram and Snapchat for undergraduate courses in Arts.
- Posting content that increases brand awareness
a. The familiarity of the target audience with the university's brand is referred to as brand awareness.
b. At first, the majority of an institution's social media material should be focused on generating brand recognition.
c. Because there are so many institutions and programs available, it becomes vital to stand out among competitors so potential students may feel attracted to pick your institution.
d. There are several methods to express this via social media channels. To begin with, institutions can consider some of their flagship successes and distinguishing features.
- Starting a WhatsApp group
a. It is the most popular mobile messaging app worldwide, boasting over two million monthly users in late 2021.
b. Because of WhatsApp's fast-paced nature, Generation Z prefers to use it as their primary mode of communication.
c. Instant messaging is not only more personal, but it also uses fewer resources.
d. Unlike social media and email, this channel does not need a large amount of material, photos, and so on. As a result, the messages are typically more potent and effective.
- Introducing key members of the university community
a. If the university has a smaller student population, this can be the perfect way to showcase a tight-knit community.
b. Universities can introduce new resident assistants for the school year, new faculty members that join their university, new peer leaders, social media interns, and many others as prospective students progress through the marketing funnel.
5. Use the content generated by alumni
- Alumni testimonials are the primary reasons students join any university course.
- An institution’s promotional activities should include a healthy dose of alumni word-of-mouth content in the form of features, live broadcasts, and webcasts that feature conversations about the programs’ perks and helpful pointers for prospective and admitted first-year students.
- Here are a few tips and tricks that can be used while creating alumni testimonials (it’s best to prepare for the alumni interview and not use a script)-
a. Building solid relationships with prospective students is the key to success.
b. Keeping the testimonials brief and to the point allows students to watch the video with more focus.
c. Including illustrations, messages, and contact details on prominent websites can increase brand visibility and credibility.
How to optimize omnichannel recruitment strategy using AI?
A well-integrated network of data and technology provides a smooth omnichannel experience.
Here are the three steps through which universities can optimize their omnichannel recruitment strategies using AI-
Step 1: Investigate and enhance the current approach
- In addition to monitoring the performance of each platform, it is vital to ensure that the messaging fulfills the main objective and is constantly evaluated for uniformity.
- Thus, messages must be delivered seamlessly so that potential students acknowledge the university's brand and find each interaction pleasant.
- It would be easier to move on to the next step once it has been ascertained that all communications are coherent across streams and play an influential role in the enrollment siphon.
Step 2: Boost ROI by adding more channels
- According to Olsen Metrix, a five-channel campaign outperforms a single-channel campaign by 35%! Thus, the next step in developing an efficient omnichannel enrollment approach is to build an integrated channel.
- Many universities and colleges have begun to embrace this strategy, seeing truly remarkable outcomes.
Step 3: Use assertive prompts to instill a more robust connection
- We all need a little boost now and then. Incoming university students are no exception, especially because applying to, enrolling in, and starting college is new and foreign to them.
- Consider first-generation students whose parents have never been through the college application process, breaking the mold and pursuing higher education. How would they know what to do?
- While one cannot provide a human advisor to every student, it is possible to develop a friendly AI bot to supplement a vast visitor base.
- Giving students this virtual assistant allows them to ask questions and receive answers 24x7 and to receive proactive, encouraging nudges that will keep them engaged through every step of the journey.
Omnichannel interactions are at work from the moment a student first interacts with a university.
- The key to better marketing is maintaining consistency across multiple platforms and channels and ensuring that prospective students have a positive brand experience, regardless of whether they enroll or not.
- Omnichannel Marketing helps marketers connect and engage with their target audience more effectively by putting students at the heart of the marketing strategy.
- We at iSchoolConnect would be happy to assist you in developing a marketing strategy and discussing additional opportunities to reach and enroll prospective students.