Expand Your Reach in Higher Education with Marketing Automation
By DANIEL LUISE – February 5, 2018
How can you expand your reach and compete in the admissions with marketing automation? The world of higher education is a competitive place. Top colleges and universities attempt every year to recruit, attract and admit the best and most promising young students. However, if you are an administrator at a smaller college or university, competing with those top schools can be difficult.
Ivy League schools, for example, may have little trouble attracting the best and brightest high school seniors. In fact, these top-shelf schools have the opposite problem – how to window that flood of applicants to the trickle the university can accept into each freshman class.
Smaller colleges and universities are in a much tougher position when it comes to attracting the best students. Those schools may have a great deal to offer, from state-of-the-art laboratories to amazing professors, but without the right outreach, qualified students may never even know of their existence.
Fortunately, there is a way for these lesser-known colleges and universities to level the playing field. That power lies in marketing automation, a set of technologies that allows colleges and universities to carefully target their audiences, reach out the most promising prospects, and turn them into dedicated students.
Marketing automation takes many forms, but it all boils down to engaging the interest of prospective students, reaching out to the most promising candidates, following those prospects through the admission and enrollment journey and making sure they succeed once they enter the classroom.
With marketing automation, microtargeting is easier than ever before. Microtargeting is about a marketing strategy focusing on a small group of like-minded individuals based on certain things, like demographics or interests. There are A LOT of prospective students. Utilizing microtargeting correctly can help in narrowing down a college or universities’ search efforts by targeting the right student with the right message at the right time.
When corporations want to reach a certain demographic, they may go to a conference or event, gather the attendee list or make connections lists that provide what they are looking for. The admissions offices at smaller colleges and universities can use the same techniques. You can go to fairs, conferences, events, etc. that happen each year and seek out lists of top high school students, targeting them and their parents with email campaigns and mailers and engaging the interest of those prospects.
For smaller colleges and universities, the last thing you want to do is waste time, money and resources on searching for students that don’t fit your school or have no interest, to begin with. Narrowing down your search and focusing on the right student can help in the long run.
Expanding Your Reach
Marketing automation can also help ensure those promising prospects turn into happy and successful students. By following up on their recruitment efforts, college admissions councilors can reassure those hot prospects and convince them that going to a smaller or maybe “lesser-known” school is actually a very smart idea.
Lesser known colleges and universities can also use marketing automation techniques to expand their outreach and stretch their budgets. Many smaller schools suffer from budgetary restraints that their larger counterparts do not share, and that can make it difficult to attract the best and brightest high school seniors.
Without generous endowments to fund their recruiting efforts, these smaller colleges and universities are forced to work smarter, and that is where marketing automation comes in. By employing marketing automation and microtargeting techniques, these smaller schools can make the most of every dollar they do have. With a powerful tool in hand, you do not need large budgets or resources.
For example, marketing automation techniques can make social media outreach and engagement easier and more effective. With social media inside of your marketing automation tool, posting on the platforms your students live on is not only possible but easily done on one platform.
With the right targeting, smaller colleges and universities can make the most of their outreach efforts, targeting alumni, reaching out to parents and finding the best students for their freshman classes.
The playing field in higher education may never be completely even. Even so, marketing automation can make the field a bit fairer, allowing smaller and lesser-known schools to do more with less, lowering the cost of recruitment and bringing in the best and most well-rounded students.