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A well-crafted prospectus sits at the heart of any successful student recruitment strategy. It is the main marketing asset through which you can showcase the vibrant culture, cutting-edge curriculum, and pioneering vision, of your University to prospective students and families.

To date, most university prospectuses take the form a printed brochure, distributed at open days or included as part of a welcome pack. While this approach will always bring significant benefits, creating a digital prospectus unlocks a new paradigm in student recruitment.

Going digital brings numerous enhancements like all new marketing channels, accessibility options, and the ability to create an interactive experiences in your University prospectus. All of which combines to create a lasting impression on prospective students and drive more applications.

But we're just scratching the surface, to give you a better understanding, here are 10 reasons for your university to create a digital prospectus.

1. Improved access from any device

A digital prospectus can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device with an internet connection. Meaning, prospective students will always have your University prospectus to hand, available within seconds. It's not something that can be lost, or left on a train, it is always there, ready to be viewed which is incredibly convenient.

2. Real-time updates to content

Operating in the digital realm brings the added flexibility of real-time updates. Once your online prospectus is live, you can make updates to the content that is available instantly. Whether you want to include more open day dates, fix a typo, or add the latest campus tour video, a digital prospectus can always be edited, even after publishing.

3. Enhanced experiences with interactivity

A digital prospectus lets you bring the University experience to life through interactive content like virtual campus tours and live streams. Add hyperlinks that direct readers to additional resources, create lightboxes to add information and focus attention, and much more. Through interactivity you can deliver meaningful and immersive experiences that leave a lasting impression on prospective students.

4. Cost savings on print and distribution costs

By moving your University prospectus online, you can eliminate the printing and distribution costs associated with traditional printed materials. This isn't a suggestion to get rid of print, instead you can implement hybrid approach where students have the option of receiving a print prospectus or digital prospectus.

If only 25% of your audience opts for a digital prospectus, you can unlock significant cost savings that can then be reinvested in student recruitment strategies elsewhere.

5. Reach more prospective students

Going digital opens up all new marketing channels to significantly increase the reach of your University prospectus. Here are just a few of options available:

  • Search Engines - your digital prospectus can be indexed by major search engines and become available to a worldwide audience. Alongside this you can invest in paid advertising to showcase your digital prospectus to audiences searching for specific keywords.
  • Email - once your digital prospectus is online, it can added to an email either as an attachment or a clickable hyperlink.
  • Social media - a digital prospectus has the ability to easily be shared and accessed through social media platforms. They can also be included as part of a targeted advertising campaign taking place on social platforms.

6. Unrivalled analytics and tracking

Digital publishing platforms - like YUDU - allow your University to track user engagement and gather invaluable analytics data, such as which sections of the prospectus are most viewed or how long users spend on each page. All of this information can be used to optimise content and improve future marketing strategies for student recuritment.

7. Drive applications and open day sign-ups direct from your University prospectus

A digital prospectus offers your University the power to drive directions direct from the digital prospectus itself. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Publishing platforms like YUDU Publisher let you build a lead capture form directly into your digital prospectus. Giving prospective students that ability to convert there and then right in the content.
  • You can add content hyperlinks that direct interested parties to your main website where they can complete their sign-up process.
  • Content highlighting, such as pop-ups, focus the readers attention on call-to-action elements helping to improve click through and conversion rates.

8. Meet government accessibility guidelines

Accessibility is a critical element in the University space, and a digital prospectus created with the right publishing platform can help support you in meeting Government accessibility guidelines. This can include features in your digital prospectus such as:

  • Integration with mainstream screen readers.
  • The ability to easily adjust text size to improve readability.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for ease of navigation.
  • Plain-text versions of your prospectus.
  • Expert guidance from providers helping your content meet WCAG and ADA accessibility requirements.

9. Personalisation options

A digital prospectus that supports User Generate Content (UGC) allows prospective students to personalise their copy and create a sense of ownership. They can bookmark their favourite pages, to quickly navigate back to content at a later date. Or include annotations to add notes that are relevant to them, all of which helps deliver a unique and personal experience.

10. Promoting environmental sustainability

By reducing or eliminating the need for printed materials, a digital prospectus helps your University reduce waste paper and the carbon footprint of distribution, supporting your environmental sustainability efforts. By going green, not only are you fulfilling your social responsibility, you are enhancing the image and position of your University as an eco-friendly advocate.