In case you didn’t pick up on it with the title, I am a Game of Thrones junkie. My husband and I just finished binge-watching all the seasons (my jaw is still on the floor after the last episode!), and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it a year and a half until the next one. I guess I’ll just stare longingly at the picture of Jon Snow that’s hanging by my computer…just kidding. (Maybe.)
However, my play on words not only holds true for those of us in the frozen Midwest (it’s literally snowing here right now), but everyone in college enrollment and admission as well. Travel season is starting to slow down a bit, and now the focus will shift to increasing applications, then reading applications, and before you know it we’ll find ourselves in February with May 1 staring us down. (Does anyone else feel like the older you get, the faster the years go by?)
Since February is going to be here before we know it, let’s talk about some of the digital marketing tactics you can focus on to enhance your recruitment efforts this spring.
I know some of you put your feet up and watch as the students beat down your doors to enroll (ha!), but for those of you who might have to nudge students down the funnel, I’m happy to say there are tools to help. IP Targeting and Facebook e-mail list match are great ways to utilize your list of accepted students and get right into their homes with specific and targeted messaging. Not only will your display ads appear right on their Facebook newsfeeds, but they’ll also show up on any device in the household. This means you will also be getting in front of all stakeholders (and keepers of the checkbook) in the home. Since these students are highly engaged and already accepted, your ads can have a very clear “Enroll now” call-to-action button. These strategies are not designed to be a stand-alone magic wand that will solve all your admission issues. However, they will absolutely, 100% add value and enhance what you are already doing to increase enrollment.
This is the absolute best time to start thinking about and reaching out to potential transfer students. With Mobile Footprints, we are able to draw a virtual fence around your choice of feeder locations such as community colleges and grab students’ mobile data as they access their phones throughout the day. Ads can then be served to them on their mobile devices after they are outside the fence and going on with their daily activities, including going home. Once those phones are home, using technology that allows us to match that mobile device to the street address associated with it, we can use IP Targeting to direct ads right into those homes. Now you are reaching the student on their phones as well as all stakeholders in the home with ads that talk about how awesome it is to transfer to your school! In addition, with the targeting abilities available on Facebook, you can layer in additional targeting to students who have those same community colleges listed in their profiles, as well as behavioral targeting to community college students in the vicinity of those schools. Genius, right?
High school juniors
Let’s not forget about your future! Many of you are doing some kind of outreach to juniors each spring through print and e-mail. Why not add a digital layer to that? Utilizing the same capabilities listed above (Mobile Footprints, IP Targeting, and social media), you can enhance your efforts to reach this group of students as well. Instead of loading in accepted students, you can target purchased juniors, switch out community colleges for feeder high schools and…boom. You’re a marketing wizard!
I think it goes without saying that no matter which of these groups you choose to focus on (maybe all of them), Retargeting should always be a part of your digital strategy. Being able to stay in front of a student who has visited your admission site with segmented messaging after they visit continues to be one of the best and most successful marketing tactics available in higher education.
Hopefully you are already running some kind of digital marketing campaign, so incorporating some of these tactics will be easy. If you’re not doing something to reach students online, check out our free webinars to learn how to get started. I know we still have at least three months of cold weather ahead (stop laughing Florida, Arizona, and California schools), but it’s never too late to start thinking about Jon Snow…I mean, spring marketing.