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Boost Your Enrollment with This Influencer Marketing Hack

By collegemktgrp | January 19, 2021 | Universities

Creativity and innovation have always been important parts of college enrollment marketing. And now that enrollment rates have dropped by 4%-13%, they’re more important than ever if you want to stand out from the crowd.

To find students excited to enroll in your school, you’ll have to go far beyond monthly e-blasts. You’ll need to meet students where they are, which means familiarizing yourself with everything from the products they enjoy to where they spend the most time online.

Once you learn the behaviors of prospective college students and parents, you can get creative and find effective ways to catch their attention.

One tactic that seems to work for every potential student in Gen Z? Influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is one of the hottest Gen Z marketing trends. Learning to master it can be a powerful tool in your enrollment marketing strategy.

College student influencers come with many perks. They’re trusted by peers, have access to in-the-moment campus footage, and are experienced educators on campus culture.

If an influencer shows they trust your school, their followers begin to build trust with you, too.

Below we cover what exactly influencer marketing is, why college students are so receptive to it, and how to use it to boost your school’s enrollment.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing takes your social media strategy a step further by incorporating endorsements from influential people with large social media followings.

These people are viewed as experts in their niche, and can influence the purchasing and lifestyle choices of their audience.

The endorsements are where the creativity comes in. Gen Z has a good sense of when they’re being marketed too and will avoid brands who are being too pushy — especially if the content seems irrelevant to their interests.

By tapping into the brand trust and community built by influencers, your school can reach an engaged and interested audience.

Why You Should Use Influencer Marketing for Enrollment

Gen Z uses social media for an average of 9 hours a day. During their scrolling and commenting, they build and take part in online communities.

From these communities come hundreds of social media influencers producing content that caters to their community’s interests.

Influencer marketing can help improve your enrollment rates in several ways:

  • It helps you reach niche audiences that are more likely to appreciate your school’s unique culture and offerings.
  • It can help build trust between your school and interested students.
  • It can make your school’s brand more recognizable.
  • Influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing, which is shown to be 37% more effective than traditional paid advertising.
  • Influencers are more relatable and accessible than celebrities.
  • Influencers work hard to gain the trust of their audiences and become a go-to resource for information.

Types of Influencers

There are different categories of influencers, each with its own set of perks:

Mega influencers with 1 million followers or more

  • While it’s guaranteed your content will reach a lot of people, mega influencers can cost you a lot of money to engage.
  • They’re also considered celebrities, which can make them a bit less relatable to the everyday student.

Macro influencers, with 100,000-1 million followers

  • Macro influencers tend to be fluent in their audience’s desires and interests, while maintaining a level of professionalism.
  • The trick here is to make sure they have a high engagement rate, as well as followers to help determine if their relationship with their audience is authentic.

Micro influencers with 10,000-100,000 followers

  • This level of influencers typically comes with a more targeted audience, which can help you hone in on the potential students most likely to enroll in your school.
  • But they do take a bit more time to spread the word, so you might want to use a couple micro influencers at once.

How to Find Influencers for Enrollment Marketing

Building a relationship with potential students means strategically approaching them with informative, relatable, and authentic content. Finding influencers who already are already doing this can help your school get ahead of the game.

The best insight comes from students who have already enrolled in your school. Spend some time getting in touch with your campus culture, and you’ll learn there might be influencers right under your nose.

How to Boost Enrollment with College Student Influencers

Increase current student engagement while catching the eye of potential students by having current student influencers connect with followers who might be interested in enrolling in your school.

College students tend to be on top of social media trends, so let them know the goal of the campaigns and allow their creativity to flourish.

College student influencers can represent you through their social media accounts, or by doing a platform takeover one the school’s account, where they create posts under your school’s username.

Perhaps they’ll photograph “behind the scenes” footage of what campus life is like and the people students can expect to meet. Or maybe they’ll do a TikTok about the virus safety protocols so students know they’re headed to a safe place.

You can utilize multiple college ambassadors for more efficient — yet just as effective — recruitment tactics, without blowing the budget.

How to Measure the Impact of Your Influencer

Be sure that when choosing a student influencer, you take KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators into account. KPI’s are the measurements you use to These include:

How many followers do they have?

  • Typically, you want an ambassador with 1500 or more followers on any given platform.

How many comments do they get?

  • The more comments, the more likely it is they have an authentic and reliable relationship with their audience.

Number of posts

  • How consistent is their content?
  • You’ll want someone who creates posts about once a week to keep the dialogue going, but not more than once a day to avoid spamming.

How many followers have you gained?

  • Check and see if follows of your school account rise after your influencer has posted.


  • Be sure to inquire how students have heard about your school, and add the brand ambassador as an option so you have a better idea of the direct impact of the influencer’s posts.

If you notice an increase in engagement, or, even better, enrollment, you’re on the right track!

More on Marketing with College Ambassadors

Making students the face of your brand has benefits that reach far beyond recruitment. It helps build community and connections between students and shows your school cares about the individuals it’s made up of.

Colleges all over the world have launched successful college ambassador programs and seen great results.

But if you plan on joining the ranks, you’ll want to look before you leap. The most important thing you need to start an ambassador program is a way to measure the success of it once it’s rolling.

Read more on how to measure and improve college brand ambassador performance >

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