A well-designed prospectus is perhaps the number one tool to attract new student applications for universities, colleges, and high schools. It has the power to engage, inform, and persuade future students that your educational institution is the right place for them.
Getting your prospectus in front of more of the right people - potential students, their parents, and teachers - will increase future student applications and improve your recruitment efforts.
The process of new student recruitment is continuous, potential future applicants are already considering their options for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years. Even with a well established marketing plan already in place to target these individuals, you’re likely under pressure to innovate and meet ever-increasing targets.
Helping you to stay ahead of the competition, we’ve shared 5 easy marketing ideas you can implement to increase the reach of your prospectus in 2022 and beyond.
If your prospectus is currently print only, you have a huge opportunity to grow your reach and engage potential applicants by going digital.
This new generation of future students are digital natives, spending their entire live immersed in technology. Moving your prospectus online will allow you to meet them in the space they call home. Helping you stay relevant and continue engaging and capturing their interest.
A digital prospectus will open the door to new channels and significantly increase your reach, these include:
- Search engines - Google and Bing
- Social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter
- Third-party referral websites
- Text message and instant messaging
A digital prospectus also increases reach by offering access through desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Offering potential applicants the ability to access and read your prospectus anytime, anywhere.
Queens University of Charlotte are a great example of an institution successfully shifting their prospectus into the digital realm.
The idea of going digital may seem daunting, but converting your print publication into a digital version is simpler than you imagine. If you can export the print design of your prospectus as a PDF, you’re 90% of the way there. Here at YUDU Publisher, we can take this PDF and turn it into a digital publication in a matter of minutes.
Build partnerships with local high schools and colleges
It’s likely you already have a well established network of local high schools and colleges acting as a feeder system for new applications. Double down on these local partnerships and build new ones.
Identify and connect with educational institutions sharing your ideals and subject specialisms. Nurture these new and existing relationships equally. Connect with the teachers and create awareness by offering careers and university admissions guidance for students. You might even consider supporting and developing these institutions though financial investment.
Done well, you will convert 100s of teachers into ambassadors for your university. They will amplify your presence and actively share your prospectus with students to boost reach.
Create a YouTube video to announce your new prospectus
After Google Search, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. The platform receives more than 2 billion logged-in users per month. Every day, 1 billion hours of video are consumed by its users.
Creating a simple video announcing the release of your latest prospectus is a quick way to begin connecting with your audience through YouTube. Cumbria University are a great example of this with the announcement of their 2021/22 prospectus, making sure to include a link in the description to direct interested individuals to the right page.
YouTube is also an excellent platform to showcase your institution's credentials with your complete range of video assetsfor student recruitment.
Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Utah use YouTube to share their campus tours. While over at Texas Tech University and University Canada West (UCW), they’re leveraging the power of YouTube for their student testimonials.
If you want to optimize your video for YouTube Search and get the best visibility, make sure to follow this guide from HubSpot.
Use QR codes
QR codes have been around for decades, but only in the last few years have marketers begun to wake up to their potential. It was a case of all the stars aligning, today, everyone has a smartphone, QR code readers are built into their cameras or available as an app, and access to high-speed internet is rumoured to reach 90% of the world's population.
Used effectively, these matrix style barcodes have the potential to significantly boost the reach of your prospectus. QR codes are incredibly versatile and create a seamless offline to online experience. For maximum impact, below are some ideas on how you can use QR codes and where to place them.
You could create a QR code to:
- Contain a PDF version of your prospectus for immediate download
- Direct users to a web form to request a copy of your print or digital prospectus
- Send interested applicants to a webpage where they can view your online prospectus or request a digital download
- Automatically create and share a post promoting your prospectus on social media platforms
- Send users to Google Play or Apple’s App store if your prospectus is available in app format
- Create a pre-written SMS or Email with a link to your prospectus (or request form) that can be easily shared
While most effective used in an offline setting, QR codes can be placed virtually anywhere. This can include:
- Print media - newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers and other forms of print media
- Outdoor advertising - billboards and posters wherever you choose to place them
- Pop-up banners - for open days and careers events
- Direct mail - for any correspondence sent to prospective students, promoters, or advocates
- Clothing or accessories - promotional t-shirts, wristbands, tote bags
- PowerPoint presentations - for when you present at careers events
Gloucestershire University are a great example, receiving national press coverage for the innovative use of QR code wristbands that direct users to their digital prospectus.
Remarketing is an incredibly powerful tool to re-engage visitors to your website and promote your digital prospectus.
Adding a remarketing tag to your website allows visitors to be added to an audience with browser cookies. You can curate segmented audiences that can be targetted with highly relevant paid adverts through your chosen display network or social media platform.
Remarketing is amazing for improving branding and re-engaging potential applicants who might otherwise never revisit your website. Ads can be used to direct users to a landing page where they can request a copy of your print or digital prospectus, or another source to inform and engage.
The following platforms support remarketing:
Used effectively, remarketing will offer significant benefits across your marketing strategy. Increasing brand recognition, driving repeat visitors, boosting conversion rates, improving time on site and much more.
Not sure where to start with remarketing? The Google Display Network (GDN) and Facebook offer the greatest potential reach for your remarketing campaigns.
Today, the GDN reaches 90% of internet users worldwide across a network of more than two million websites, 65% of whom they reach every single day. Meanwhile, Facebook has more than 1.6 billion users, over a billion of whom logged in yesterday.
Wherever you’re at in your student recruitment efforts, these 5 simple marketing ideas will breathe fresh life into the strategy. Helping you drive more traffic to your digital prospectus from new and existing channels. Whether it’s a new marketing medium, or device access, all of this will combine to drive increased student applications.
So, the question is, what are you waiting for?
August 21, 2023