Converting qualified prospective students into enrolled students is what conversion marketing is all about. Every tool, resource, and communication in the enrollment arsenal need to be optimized for conversion. Even before any new channels of investment can be added to the mix, education institutes and solution providers are stressing more on the present channels of engagement such as a website, social media, content or data. They have to make sure that each of these tools is working hard for a higher conversion rate.
In enrollment management, a conversion can be the number of prospects who filled out an inquiry form, completed an application, attended an orientation event, clicked on an email, or contacted an advisor and all such actions which ultimately leads to establishing a solid client is the ultimate goal of conversion marketing. Enrollment management plan is successful with a higher conversion rate. This also helps to monitor the performance and hence ensures that wasteful spending can be eliminated, resources are maximized and finally, a roadmap can be drafted for maximum enrollment.
Building the company’s Persona to target the most actionable Students
Similar to buyer personas in conventional business terms, many of the educational institutes today are pursuing “student personas” that target their most valuable and sought-after audience segments. A tailor-made student persona enhances the strategy for student recruitment and ongoing engagement. It should be based on real evidence without emphasizing on non-relevant characteristics.
In order to present an authentic and actionable persona, the Education Solution Providers need to address all the elements that comprise personas. It will reveal the student buyers in the context of the decision the Education Solution Provider companies want to influence while eliminating irrelevant data and reducing the number of student buyer personas. For this the companies need to define motivations and goals, identify pain points or perceived roadblocks, isolate search behaviors or key steps in their decision-making journey, clarify background information such as age, location, the current level of education, professional status, parental status, financial situation, etc. and identify important influencers.
The insights that are gathered through direct student surveys can give the Education solution providers the information about who needs to be persuaded within the student’s community, what information are required by them to make an enrollment decision, when are they most receptive towards any forwarded message, where to reach them, how to create a persuasive argument for purchasing any solution and how it fares when compared against peers.
Care should be taken to avoid going overboard with a flood of personas. It is not necessary to represent every single group or segment of the student population, hence aligning with the specific goals of the student enrollment strategy. The research and development of any company’s persona have to be periodically evaluated as per the changing campaign, while also being vigilant about unhelpful assumptions and misguided conclusions.
Digital Marketing for an accelerated enrollment strategy
In today’s Digital World, everyone turns up to the internet for answers to their questions. So, the website of any Education Solution Provider has to behave as a front door to prospective clients. It should be able to inform them about the cost, about the duration and also the probable perspectives of the course in the real world i.e. the availability of careers.
Another factor to be well noted is penetration into the world of mobility. With smartphones gradually increasing their customer base, building a website, mobile friendly seems to be a viable option. Keeping the competition in mind, special care should be taken about the user interfaces, accessibility, navigation, load times, cross-browser and cross-OS compatibility.
With the increasing accessibility of the mobile internet, social media has also found an increasing number of users across the world. It showcases the brand, personality and unique content to the prospective students.
Video Content and Social Media: Key to Creative Marketing Strategy
There are many schools that consistently rely on Facebook and YouTube to share updates about activities, programs, and events. It drives conversations, which leads to various actions and it is the job of the SEO analyst and the in-house developers to make sure that it turns into a positive conversion. Special care should be taken to attract and retain as many followers on the social media. This can be done by constantly nurturing the followers with rich information about the programs offered, about the faculties and the current client’s experience.
In today’s age of networking, SMO’s (Social Media Optimizer) play a vital link between the company and its clients. They have to make sure to keep themselves competent with many of the social performance-tracking tools that are currently there and are going to be available. Some of the tools that are already available today are Hoot Suite, Bit.ly, Google Analytics and Google Trends. However for all this to work together in consensus, key performance indicators have to be set for social media objectives.
Many of the Education Solution Providers stress a lot on the video content. The fastest mode of a dispensation of information is video. The title, description, and thumbnail are the most important ranking factors for video in a search result. Each video should have its own unique page, which gives it a unique URL to share on social media. It also acts as an added advantage for onsite links and for email marketing campaigns. It can also aid in creating a video sitemap and allow Google to index the URL as a video page. It is essential that the videos are optimized as per the social media platforms in order to generate more student inquiries from video content.
Some of the key metrics that need to be considered for converting applications to admits are, Click to Lead, Lead to Application, Application to Admit and Admit to enroll. Identifying a problem is essential as it helps to troubleshoot them proactively and efficiently.
With these methods, any of the marketing and enrollment efforts would be more effective and efficient.