Enrollment yield rates are higher among students who take a campus tour1 and almost a third of students count the campus visit as the most influential factor in their ultimate decision to attend.2 So if you know that you’re better able to “sell” your school when you do so in-person, how do you get those seemingly interested students to actually come to campus?
Start virtual to get real.
Digital marketing gives you such a broad spectrum of tools to connect with future students, you simply cannot run effective recruitment campaigns without it. Even if your board remains infatuated with those glossy brochures stuffed into bulging mailboxes, your future students spend more time checking digital inboxes. Or more likely, they find your institution online, coming directly to your website or following you on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. What is your current digital presence like?
Improve Your Website
Before you entice future students to your actual campus, they’ll most definitely have visited your virtual campus. Your website should be vibrant and interactive and fully representative of your school brand. Video that offers a virtual campus tour is a great way to offer the look and feel of your campus and its student body. Your site is your students’ first impression. Make it a good one. And it should constantly evolve and grow.
But the technical components of your website count too. If there are broken links or the load time is too slow or if your site is not optimized for mobile, you’ll lose potential students to more tech savvy competitor schools. Invest in solid search engine optimization so potential students find you when they look for the programs and majors you offer.
And include a call-to-action on your website for a campus tour.
Ramp Up Email
Whether it’s a purchased list or one you’ve culled from interested prospects, the names are only as good as the campaigns you create to get in touch. Email those prospective students and their parents. Do it frequently and consistently, and with information they want. Maybe you sent an email with links to your programs. If they clicked, note what programs caught their attention, track their actions, and make sure subsequent emails are personalized to fit their interests. Segment your prospects and provide them with content that seems customized—because it is.
And include a call-to-action in your email for a campus tour.
Layer in Digital Ads
Once you know who they are and what they care about, it’s easy enough to find your future students online. Use digital tools to hone in on your audience and serve ads appropriate to their needs. Find them on the pages they’re most likely to frequent. The Google Display Network has over 2 million sites on which you can place ads to appeal to would-be students.
And include a call-to-action in your ads for a campus tour.
You get the idea. If you want to drive students to your actual campus, it starts in the virtual world. For killer attendance at your campus tours, use digital marketing. Find out how.