GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | January 28th, 2021

The power of personal connection for recruiters

The power of personal connection for recruitersIn a previous post, we explored how schools can alter admissions criteria to focus more on personal stories while typical screening methods are being challenged. As a second installment in this series on personal connection, we’ll examine how recruiting staff can use relationship building in different ways to pull prospects through the funnel.

While in-person events are suspended or re-invented, campus tours are altered based on states’ gathering requirements and safety restrictions are limiting travel that would have normally been key to recruiting, admissions staff are having to get creative. Are you searching for ways to connect with leads and prospects, but you can’t employ your usual tactics? Here are a few successful strategies we’ve seen from working with different graduate and undergrad institutions.

Pick up the phone

You may be thinking that listing phone calls as a top strategy would be obvious. But when was the last time you talked to a good friend – instead of texting or posting on social media? While many people consider themselves to be “connected” 24/7, a constant stream of emails and texts can be lonely and often overwhelming. If your prospects have signed up to take an admissions test, or started researching schools, their inboxes are full. A personal phone call or voicemail can cut through that clutter. Hearing from a real human being can make a huge difference to prospects who may be on the fence. You can be there to answer questions in real time and also provide a window into the personal side your program offers, and find ways to forge a connection with them. Tips for a successful conversation:

  • Keep it brief. You don’t have to discuss anyone’s life story, but you can stick to a few talking points and ask them if they have any questions.
  • Take notes. You’ll want to show you’ve taken a personal interest in them so you can bring it up in future communications. It can be a note about their current employer, or even their dog’s name.
  • Follow up in a timely fashion. Send answers to their questions right after your chat and take this opportunity to engage them in your CRM.
  • Focus on the real leads. Be sure to dig through your list of leads and prioritize the ones that are the most likely to be interested in your program. You can also create a re-engagement strategy for stagnant leads.

Use video to your advantage

While many videos you may be using are pre-recorded, they are still personal and can strike a chord with prospects. You can try producing video ads as well as longer-form videos for your YouTube channel. Topics can range from campus tours, student testimonials or even a look inside the classroom. To be more socially aware and relevant to today’s educational landscape, you may consider altering current videos with new footage that reflects social distancing. Or you may even post a Q+A with current students about how school is going with safety standards in place.

Webinars, podcasts and live events

You don’t have the be intimidated by podcasts, webinars and live events. In fact, creating them and leveraging them may be easier than you think. Try these tips for finding the tools you need, developing content ideas and using these digital assets in your marketing.

Be sure to engage a variety of thought leaders throughout your school’s community. Since these events are a relatively low time commitment, you can interview faculty, create a student panel, or hear from admissions directors. You can even broadcast live from a favorite campus spot to give prospects a view of the surroundings.

If you’re looking for ways to integrate new recruitment strategies into your enrollment plan, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | January 13th, 2021

New year. New strategy. Go back to the basics.

New Year. New Strategy. Back to Basics.A new year often comes with a new energy, new goals and a new mindset. While many of us eagerly awaited the end of 2020 and a fresh start, we also knew that we would likely still be contending with a complex landscape (especially in education) that would require flexibility, creativity and resilience.

Although there is still much uncertainty surrounding the virus, the market and the state of the country, there is one thing that remains steady – the need to educate the next generation and create stable leaders who can address challenges like these head on.

Armed with the learnings of the past several months, your recruiting team can begin to plan for the future, however fragmented it may appear. You may be wondering how you will generate new leads and how you will seat your classes. Although so much has changed, our perspective is to go back to the basics.

What is important to your target audience?

One of the most important pieces of any strategy, after identifying your target, is to focus on what is important to them. What makes them tick? What are they looking to achieve? How do they view their career path? By doing research and creating personas for your prospects, you may find that although their values may have stayed the same, the way they pursue their goals has changed. Although you may have created personas in the past, it might be time to update them given the current state of the job market. Since your target’s career stage, ambitions and mindset on advancement may have shifted drastically in the past year, it’s important to address these alterations by shifting your communications.

How will you find your target audience?

A qualified firm can help you determine the right strategy to uncover quality leads for your school. Right now, your prospects are spending an inordinate amount of time online—couple that with a constantly shifting digital advertising landscape and it’s hard to know where to start. Choosing the right platform is key, and it helps to start here:

  • Talk to current students – they can give you an insight into what their like-minded counterparts are thinking and where they’re spending their time online.
  • Do some research into digital trends. Find out what platforms and social media are trending for students in your demographic and decide if they are right for your programs.
  • Always buy media through reputable sources.

How will you communicate with your leads?

At the moment, your message is competing with a constant stream of news and your prospects are being barraged with 24/7 advertising and social media. While many are still working from home, they may be burnt out by the end of the day, so making sure your message cuts through the clutter is imperative. How can you focus your communications so that your target will tune in?

  • Be transparent and authentic. In the age of mis-information, your prospects want to know they can trust you to have their best interests at heart.
  • Focus on the benefits. Alter your messaging to be direct and “cut to the chase.” Showcase the strength of your programs with specific success metrics.
  • Give them something to look forward to. While the market is shifting, your target can quietly be positioning themselves for career advancement and leadership to prepare for the future.

How will you nurture your leads?

Once your leads are in the funnel, the real work begins. How you walk them through the process of applying and becoming a student may take more work this year. They may need more reassurance than in years’ past. Although your CRM can do a lot of the work for you, don’t underestimate the power of personal connection during this time. Your prospects need to know you are watching out for them, you are cheering them on and that your program will offer them hope for their future career ambitions. Utilizing a nurture strategy can help you keep tabs on your prospects, track their activity within the funnel and follow up with them if they become stagnant.

If you need more ideas on generating leads, selecting the right digital advertising channels for your target and personalizing communication for your prospects, contact GPRS today. We can help you develop a plan to fit within your strategy and budget.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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