Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | October 20th, 2021

Four ways to ramp up your marketing strategy during another unique recruiting year

Four ways to ramp up your marketing strategyAlthough you may be staring down challenges to your planning process that include financial pressures, demographic changes and adjustments to rapidly changing technology, it’s important to realize that the opportunities that have arisen for the higher ed industry over the past year and a half have encouraged innovation and reshaping the admissions process. Whether you’re just starting to develop your projections, adjusting your enrollment goals, or creating your supporting marketing strategy, here are four ways to prepare for the next round of recruiting in the midst of another unique recruiting year.

Assess your current marketing strategy

Let’s face it. A lot has changed. Your pre-pandemic marketing plans (or even tactics you used last month) may no longer be relevant. Tools, technology, and even your prospects’ mindsets are evolving rapidly. If your marketing and recruiting teams are feeling a collective feeling of “whiplash”, it may be time to assess your current strategies with an enrollment growth diagnostic. When you dissect each element of your strategy with an objective viewpoint, the outcomes can help you develop a roadmap to continued growth and sustainability. Learn more.

And while your marketing department is determining how best to support your new enrollment goals, you may be wondering if you need to request more funds, how to justify more dollars and how to accommodate for constant goal shifting. Addressing these budgeting challenges is the first step in developing a sound digital marketing plan. Learn more.

Address your stalled leads

If you’re like many schools, you’ve got a group of stagnant leads that you’re wondering about. Did they decide to pursue another program/school/path and forgot to let you know? Or is it possible that they may emerge from a black hole as a stealth prospect and raise their hands, magically giving you that last push across the finish line of filling your class? Stagnant leads are tricky for many reasons. Here are a few ideas on what to do with them. Learn more.

The key with stagnant leads is that you can only re-engage them if you know why they stopped interacting in the first place. And a CRM gives you all of the data you need to find out why your leads stopped engaging so you can develop a plan to get them back on board. Learn more.

Set up tracking early

When you track your program inquiries back to specific marketing campaigns, you can powerfully optimize your spending and match your enrollment data back to your marketing efforts to prove ROI. But the tracking needs to start with your very first campaign to be successful. Learn how to measure cost-per-click, cost-per-lead and how to optimize them during the recruiting season so finding your return on investment isn’t a daunting task at the end of the year. Learn more.

Once you’ve determined what you will track, and your systems are in place, your data will begin pouring in. But what you do with that data is more important than how you collect it. When you can attribute your key metrics back to leads and seated students, you can identify what worked and what didn’t. And when you have benchmarks that you can track year over year, it allows your team to develop strategies, make important decisions and allocate resources for your next round of recruiting. Learn more.

Find a qualified partner

In most retail or consumer goods businesses, a good digital agency will be successful in helping meet revenue goals. But finding a firm that has experience in education and enrollment marketing and may even be able to help you keep up with your leads via a qualified contact center is taking it a step further. Higher ed is a definite “niche market” and working with a firm that is both qualified in digital advertising AND has graduate education expertise is key to success.

During a time where many schools are stretching their marketing and operations dollars, you may be looking for creative solutions to meet your enrollment targets. A new approach could be seeking out a shared risk relationship with a firm that gives you more freedom, not more restrictions. A Program Investment Partnership™ with GPRS may be what your school needs. Learn more.

As you’re refining your marketing, determining the right cadence for connecting with your leads, and working on ways to track your ROI, having a trusted partner by your side can enhance your success. GPRS has worked with many schools to create, deploy and optimize their marketing and recruiting campaigns. Start the conversation today.