How to attract students with marketing and technology techniques?
In this third post in the series of 4 articles related to the Digital Transformation of educational institutions. We focus here on how to attract students to our organization.
Competition in the education sector is increasing every day and the educational offer available is becoming wider and more varied. Gone are those days when the students came to us, now an effective marketing and recruitment strategy is essential to stand out from the rest of the competition and attract students to our organization and have the classrooms fill.
Students are increasingly guided by their interests and personal taste when choosing their studies and less in the career opportunities. The institution's reputation and networking will also continue to be a key element, especially in the case of executive training.
Therefore, it will be mandatory to know very well the interests and trends of potential students, generating increasingly personalized content and activities that attract them, generate a connection, and a sense of belonging - sports events, environment preservation, information on professional sectors, etc.
All the content must be available on multiple channels and devices and it is convenient to pay special attention to social networks given their speed of spread, quickly identifying and managing criticisms or complaints that could affect our online reputation.
Own-created actions and content must be combined with very well segmented online advertising campaigns based on the profile categorization of the target students.
A good SEO positioning combined with Google campaigns will allow us to appear in the first positions in the search engines and attract to our site those students who are looking for terms related to our training offer.
Through Inbound Marketing techniques, that is, the accompaniment of the potential student from the beginning of the process to completing the enrollment, providing at all times the personalized content appropriate to each stage of the purchasing process, organizations will achieve a much higher conversion ratio. For this, the organization must have an integrated vision of information and interactions with all its clients: students, alumni, potential students, companies, ...
Regarding recruitment channels, it will depend on the type of studies and the student's situation. For example, Linkedin is usually ideal for higher studies and business schools.
Students are becoming more demanding and want personalized and agile responses. For this reason, it is also crucial to train the online counselors who accompany the potential students in their purchasing process, and that they have knowledge in the subjects on which they advise.
Even the involvement of the teachers themselves in the loyalty of the current students, making the ideal recommendations for their next enrollment, can mean a higher success rate and even reduce the dropout rate due to an erroneous selection by the students.
In the same way, knowing the members of the Community well (Alumni, client companies, former employees, sponsors, etc.) can allow us to design and execute personalized recruitment campaigns towards them or leaning on them.
Current technology is a lever in all these processes and the choice of a good set of technological tools will be key to their success. These tools must be correctly integrated to guarantee the efficiency of the process. Without going into specific products, we can highlight the following types of products:
1 - CMS. A good Content Manager that offers an excellent multi-channel and multi-device experience to potential students, offering personalized content according to their profile and appropriate to each stage of the process. From the point of view of organizational efficiency, traceability throughout the process is crucial, from teaching content in the design phase of the training offer to content with a more commercial language oriented to the student in the recruitment phase.
2 - CRM to manage advertising campaigns and the monitoring and support of potential students and their interactions throughout the recruitment and loyalty process, regardless of the channel they come from.
3 - E-commerce. Systems that facilitate the preparation of enrollment and payment by students. It should be noted that depending on the type of institution and training offer, the complexity of the sale can be high. For example, in regulated higher education, there are a whole series of conditions to be fulfilled before being able to enroll in a certain subject.
4 - Chatbots & Voice Assist. This type of tools will allow organizations to be more efficient in attending to possible doubts or incidents of potential students, ensuring that these are resolved more quickly and automatically in a high percentage, and when this is not possible, refer to a human agent in a transparent way for the student.
5 - Web, Mobile, & Wearables. Although the CMS must generate responsive content adapted to different devices, it may be interesting to promote the installation of an app on their devices for certain groups. With this, it is possible to increase the bonding and interaction with students through, for example, push notifications.
Today, in addition to the on-premise model, many of these market tools are available in the cloud and offer SaaS model, greatly accelerating the time-to-market, reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) and reducing the risk of making the wrong investment.
On the other hand, it is essential to have a good analytical system nourished by the information generated by all the tools and stages of the process, and the construction of a system of indicators that helps the Leadership make decisions (E.g. Cost of a potential student, Cost per converted student, ROI of a campaign, ...).
This post is the third in a series of 4 articles related to Digital Transformation in the education sector. You might have missed:
A - Digital Transformation in the Education Sector
Aspects to take into account in the Digital Transformation of educational institutions and key processes to consider. Read on "Digital transformation in the education sector"
B - Market research, design and planning the Training Offer
In this process, the strategy is defined and the educational model of our organization is designed.
Read on"How to design the strategy and educational model of our organization?"
C - Teaching and Learning
We will see how the design of the pedagogical model and the quality of the teaching will be key to the success of the organization's digital transformation strategy, as well as technological tools that will help us in this regard. (Coming soon; stay tuned).
Author: Roberto Pérez