How Can Universities Leverage Marketing Automation?
Universities have a wide audience to engage with. The biggest portion of this audience is their students. When deciding on your university’s communication plan, you should be able to provide your students with meaningful engagement and information along every step of the student journey. Hence, students are not only your current students but include prospects, and alumni as well.
Universities are often faced with difficulties regarding personalizing their communication. Marketing automation for post-secondary institutes can help you optimize your communication with the students at each stage of a student’s lifecycle.
First and foremost, your university is a brand and acquiring a strong brand equity for it should be a priority. To have prospective students considering your school, they should first hear about it. These are the foundation grounds upon which any student recruitment strategy is built on.
The greater your university’s brand awareness is, the greater the number of interested prospective students in it is. The latter is not enough though, with competition coming from other degree providers – universities, colleges, online academies – your university still has to make a lot of efforts to attract students.
Most universities orchestrate recruitment events during which they interact with a great number of potential candidates. Recruiters are encouraged to keep track of people’s subject of interest and contact details using online forms for candidates requesting more information from your institution. You can embed the latter in your marketing automation tool which will allow for an automated personalized communication with prospective students.
Also, a marketing automation software would allow you to track people’s activities on your website and record them under one profile that will lose its anonymity once the person shares his/her information with you. All of this with next to zero effort coming from your recruiters.
Marketing automation platforms also allow you to have a seamless presence on the different channels used by prospective students.
Marketing automation platforms let you score each lead based on its interaction with your university’s different touch points – website, social media channels, emails, etc. The higher the score the higher the prospect’s interest in your university. To attract people with high scores, the student recruitment staff should go a step further and engage them with more personalized content.
Once your university got students from prospects to applicants, the marketing automation platform can again be used to send out reminders of deadlines regarding the application, financial aid, and important procedures.
Your university should also engage with students during orientation week and encourage them to join varsity teams, clubs, and society. As most universities ask about the applicant’s extracurricular activities, the data collected can also be embedded in the marketing automation platform. Therefore, the latter can target the right student, at the right time with the right content and develop a more engaged community. Marketing can lessen the load of work on recruiters, but it can also offer students a better student life and campus life within the university.
Very active and engaged students are ought to be very engaged alumni. Hence, universities are encouraged to keep engaging with their students even after graduation. Their years at the university has left the school with plenty of records about them. The university can use this data to personalize its interaction with its alumni.