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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.
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.
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:
There are different categories of influencers, each with its own set of perks:
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.
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.
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:
If you notice an increase in engagement, or, even better, enrollment, you’re on the right track!
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.