Student recruitment today is not what it used to be. A generation of digital natives expects to easily find information, but to be entertained and surprised at the same time. Naturally, university recruiters need to be alive to this if they want to remain competitive.
Here are a few tips on adapting to the new paradigm:
- First and foremost, it is important to engage. “Selling” techniques no longer work, as students will see right through them, and will feel that you are trying to manipulate them. You should actually communicate with them, show interest in them as individuals, and answer questions (pay attention to the questions you are actually being asked) patiently.
- You need to find a way to stand out from other universities – make students remember you, be creative and innovative, and take a few chances. Anything that is slightly different from the competition will garner attention – just make sure that it’s user friendly.
- When stating your university’s policies and requirements, be clear. Potential students will be turned off by vague and general information. Write honest and specific descriptions of what you offer. Prospective students with short attention spans value concise and clear information.
- You can gauge the potential success of your approach by involving those you’re actually targeting. Focus groups of current students will offer you frank feedback. You could involve current marketing students and even let them organize parts of the campaign. They might have some fresh and innovative ideas as well an understanding of your target market.
- Last but certainly not least, academic institutions are ultimately brands, and can benefit from marketing expertise – external as well as in-house. The former will be able to offer you a new perspective.
Maybe QS Digital can help you?