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Improve Student Enrollment

5 Effective Ways to Improve Student Enrollment at Your College

If you are looking to improve the student enrollment rate at your college in 2021, especially after a pandemic that forced everyone to stay at home for so long, taking the digital route is a no-brainer. So, it’s no wonder that even the smallest of colleges these days have websites or social media pages (in other words, online presence) to compete with the ones in the big league. However, that is not enough. You need to have a few more tricks up your sleeve to actually get more students to apply. Here are 5 tips to improve student enrollment that will work if you don’t give up.    

  1. Prepare your site for search engines – Have a beautiful website with great content already? Well, it will only work if Google, Yahoo or Bing ranks your site on the first page of the search results or higher than others. Because that is the only way prospective students will land on your website. So, make sure your site is search engine optimized or the content uses the right keywords that students usually use while searching for a college like yours. Also remember that unless you are a top-ranked institution, using long-tail keywords will work better than short-tail ones. For example, “best colleges for science majors in Dakota” might be more effective than “best colleges in Dakota”. Consider hiring an SEO agency if you think it is too much for you to handle.  

  2. Get the basics right – If you are wondering how to improve student enrollment, make sure your website is informative, easy to read, and has an attractive design and layout. Jazzy colors, too small or too large fonts, lack of enough white space or structure are a complete no. Make sure the site loads fast, is easy to navigate, and clearly indicates tabs like “Majors”, “Admission”, “Contact”, “About Us” and so on. Call to action buttons should be placed strategically on each page to drive students to take a decision. Buttons like “Apply Now”, “Email Us”, “Call Us”, and social share icons should be easy to spot. Most importantly, your website should be easy to view across different devices.   
  3. Harness the power of visuals – One of the best ways to improve student enrollment is to use visuals. A picture speaks way more than a thousand words, as the popular adage goes. And if you use videos or virtual tours, the impact can be greater. College virtual tours especially are wonderfully interactive, realistic, immersive and grab attention in seconds. You can get professionals to create one for your college as per your exact specifications. Videos can show current and past students talking about what they like the most about your campus, the opportunities you provide or how they have been able to chart the perfect life for themselves after graduating. You can also experiment with funny memes or GIFs on blogs or social media platforms. Want to present a lot of stats in a way that doesn’t bore your target audience? Go for infographics or bright charts. 

    Read: 6 Tips to Use Social Media for More Admissions in Higher Education

  4. Don’t overlook social media – Social media channels are used by students regularly and usually for a large chunk of time. So, not only can you promote your college through these, but can also find out more about potential applicants, understand their likes and dislikes, and tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly. For instance, creating polls or quizzes is a smart way to get responses from your target group and improve the engagement rate. Make sure you post or tweet fresh, useful and cool content regularly, so that students keep coming back for more. You can pay a small price to push your best posts or create paid ads for better reach. Just remember to craft your content based on the type of social media platform. While LinkedIn has a more formal vibe, Instagram or Facebook is perfect for sharing updates on fun events or parties. You can also try and start a hashtag trend that encourages students (past, present and future) to share exciting photos of their achievements, hobbies or favorite activities.

  5. Communicate with a personal touch – To make communication easy and improve student enrollment at your college, offer multiple channels. Include a chatbot on your website to answer commonly asked questions when no human is around or if the visitor is in a hurry. Make sure your contact information, including your exact physical location, email ID, phone number and social media icons are easily accessible. You can share separate email IDs or phone numbers for the admissions team, student counselors, financial aid team, placement cell, faculty, and the team that handles international students. While sending emails, personalize them by using the student’s name and addressing their stage in the application journey, whether they are simply browsing your site or has submitted a query or are ready to start after a few weeks. You can personalize emails or text messages based on their major chosen, hobbies or interests, and even region.  

To wrap up, implementing the above ideas for improving student enrollment can be a breeze if you let your creative juices flow and get professional guidance. And if you need help to churn out awesome visual marketing materials, get in touch with us at info@massinteract.com.

Read – 5 Tips to Recruit More International Students at Your College

6 Tips to Use Social Media for More Admissions in Higher Education

Did you know that 88% of Americans between 18 and 29 years use at least one social media network? This figure is 60% for those who have a high school degree or less and 79% for college graduates. And it’s impossible to ignore what they mean. Students eager to pursue higher education not only have profiles on different social media sites, but also spend a lot of time on them, consuming information, processing it, and making decisions. So, use social media for more admissions, if as a college or university, you wish to stay ahead of the herd. It will help you promote your brand, drive more traffic to your website, and get enquiries, leads and conversions. However, it is not enough to just create pages for your institution on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Keep these 6 tips in mind too.  

  1. Be vocal about your culture – Wondering how to use social media for college without mimicking your competitors? If your college is hosting a major tournament or festival, starting a new scholarship, adding someone famous to the faculty, or getting a well-known speaker for an event, share the news on your social media pages. Use crisp and well-shot images and videos to generate more interest rather than just plain text. You can stream discussions, events, matches, or parties, live, to create more impact. This is a great way to show what your institution is all about, what the campus spirit is like, and what students can expect when they sign up for a journey with you.

  2. Use a virtual tour – A college virtual tour is a fabulous way to promote your neighborhood, grounds, facilities, lecture and residence halls, and crucial information, like the admissions process, majors, scholarships, financial aid, placement rate and more. When executed by professionals, a virtual tour can be super realistic, engaging and immersive. You can include fun videos, memes or graphs in the tour too, to make it more informative. Plus, you can allow students with VR headsets to enjoy a virtual reality version! Just take a screenshot of the best part of the tour and share it along with the URL on your social media page. Viewers will start flocking to your site in no time.  

    Read – Top Ways to Make College Virtual Visits Meaningful

  3. Show what you believe in – When it comes to using social media in higher education, remember that your institution is not just about the programs you offer, the swanky buildings, or a stunning amphitheater. If you want to get more applications, try to connect with students at a deeper level. So, if you believe in diversity, LGBT rights, wildlife conservation, going green or tackling social issues, make sure your social media pages showcase that. You can share pictures of live classes from the pre-COVID era to show that your students come from all backgrounds and cultures. Share visuals or videos of campaigns or charity events that you have conducted or snippets of rallies you initiated for a major cause like groundwater preservation. This will make your social media followers trust and respect you more.  

  4. Focus on victories – Remember that every student will look for a solid reason to apply to your college instead of a different one. So, your social media marketing strategy should make your wins easy to spot. It can be some pathbreaking research work done by your physics department, a bestseller book that was authored by an English professor, a state-level basketball match your college won, or the fact that your institution was ranked among the top ten universities offering the best machine learning courses. Share newspaper releases, screenshots from journals or other visual proof for maximum credibility.  

  5. Let your past students vouch for you – To attract students with social media, put your alumni network to good use. Get them to create short videos where they talk about how they landed a great job from your institution, managed to launch their own business after taking your entrepreneurial program, or turned out to be a successful professional athlete. If a couple or even one of your ex-students is super famous now, get them to share their experience.


    Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment

  6. Engage in a fun way – Social media channels let you engage with potential students in a friendly and easy way, unlike websites that can be a tad formal. What you can do is create short and exciting polls and quizzes that will encourage followers to respond or share their opinion without wasting much time. You can strengthen the bond while finding out what prospective students want. On Instagram (or even Facebook), you can start a hashtag campaign that asks followers to share images of what they love doing when they are not studying, what is their favorite winter or summer activity, or what their study station at home looks like. Brainstorm and come up with a catchy yet simple hashtag to get maximum results.    

So, can’t wait to become more “social” and see more applications rolling in? Get started with the tips shared above, and for any visual marketing material that you need, be it images, videos or college virtual tours, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

College Virtual Visits

Top Ways to Make College Virtual Visits Meaningful

There was a time when selecting the perfect college after high school was a completely in-person affair. Students would explore different campuses physically, soak in the vibes, admire picture-perfect lawns, and assess the majors and facilities, before taking a decision. However, now, college virtual visits are slowly but surely replacing in-person visits, especially owing to the pandemic. Plus, it’s helping students to save time, money and energy too, since they can explore, compare and decide from the comfort of their home. So, if you want to make your college virtual tour truly meaningful, here are a few tips.

  1. Give it a professional touch – Amateurish virtual tours are completely passé, since every other college is trying out this strategy to hook applicants. Which is why, one of the best college virtual visit tips are to hire professionals to create a tour that is informative, creative and engaging. They will know what to highlight, what kind of angle and lighting to use, which lenses will be perfect, and how to edit the tour for the best impact. They will also know when to shoot your campus, after considering the natural lighting. Most importantly, professionals will have the right equipment and software solutions to customize the tour as per your taste and business objective. You can discuss the narrative or script with them too or seek suggestion on where to include other visual elements like videos, memes or screenshots.


    Read – 5 Tips to Recruit More International Students at Your College

     
  2. Prove what you claim – It is not enough to claim that your college is the best, has the top programs, or the placements are smashing. Get your past and existing students to create short videos where they actually say how they benefited from your institution, bagged a great scholarship, or job, pursued a major that is not offered by most colleges, or got the chance to play and excel at a sport they loved as a child. By inserting these videos in your college virtual tour, you can boost your college’s credibility. You can also include crucial statistics in the tour, like percentage of students who got placed last year, how many applied, how many students received financial aid, how many wins your basketball team had, and so on.

  3. Become more approachable – The ultimate aim of a meaningful college virtual tour is to get more students to apply, right? So, just having a smashing tour is enough. You need to drive the conversion as well. For that, insert buttons that let them call an admin staff, talk to a student counselor or faculty member, get answers to frequently asked questions, attend an introductory session, or sign up for emails. These buttons should be bright and placed strategically in the tour, so that a prospective student can click on one easily whenever they feel the need. You can highlight numbers for WhatsApp messaging or texting too. Make sure that your tour also gives a clear picture of your location and the neighborhood, so that if someone chooses to visit in-person can easily do so.      

    Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment

  4. Make it easy to view and share – Remember that a student isn’t necessarily at home when they are viewing your college virtual tour. So, make sure it can be viewed and explored smoothly across devices. This way, a student can get the “big picture” on their desktop or laptop when at home and get a quick idea on their mobile or tablet when they are on the go. Also include buttons for social sharing in the virtual tour, and make them prominent, so that interested students feel the urge to share the tour with their parents or peers. This will help them get a second opinion and boost your brand awareness at the same time.

  5. Promote and stay ahead of competition – A beautiful tour is as effective as the promotion strategy you follow. So, one of the top college virtual visit ideas is to make sure it appears on the landing page of your website, as well as the admissions page and contact page. Share the link and screenshots of your social media pages. When you send marketing emails, paste the tour link at the end of your signature. Also check out what your competitors are doing and brainstorm on what you can do differently. Highlight the special features of your institution, which might not mean a mammoth pool, upscale library or manicured lawns. Showcase the culture of your college, the diversity, the openness and the energy. You can share flashback images of live classrooms or bustling sports grounds or a cheerful cafeteria, for example. 

Long story short, with every other college trying to draw students with virtual tours, it is essential that you make yours meaningful and exclusive. For that, crafting a customized college virtual visit and keeping the above pointers in mind can help. So, email us at info@massinteract.com and let us know what you have in mind.

Read Also – 5 Ways To Improve Your College’s Student Retention

recruit international students

5 Tips to Recruit More International Students at Your College

Yes, it’s true that times are tough, and the pandemic has made it difficult for many US universities to reel in international students, thanks to not-too-convenient travel and vaccination guidelines. However, this too shall pass, and soon enough, students from other countries will want to test American waters for better education and a brighter future. Hence, it is important to know how to recruit international students easily and in greater numbers. Digital marketing, undoubtedly, is the way to go, as it transcends geographical boundaries and can level the playing field among all kinds of institutions. So, here are 5 tips you should try:  

  1. Understand what your potential students want – One of the top tips to recruit international students is to start by understanding what they want. You can use analytics tools to check where your website visitors are coming from, what are their search terms, their demographic details, which pages are they spending the most time on, etc. This will help you get an idea about their common queries or doubts, whether it is related to majors, placements, scholarships, financial aid or facilities. You can also create a survey for your current international students to find out why they have chosen you or what do they like most about your college.

  2. Make your official website perfect – If you are wondering how to recruit international students easily, the answer lies in a website that is informative, easy to understand and navigate, and attractive. So, keep these pointers in mind:

    1. Use simple language and a clean format that is easy on the eye.
    2. Make sure a student can access the information they are looking for with minimum clicks.
    3. Provide exhaustive and accurate contact information and make it easy for a student to send an email, text message or WhatsApp message. Include a chatbot on your site to answer common questions even during off-office hours.
    4. Provide clear and crisp information on majors, facilities, residential provisions, visa application, financial help and so on.
    5. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, so that potential students can explore it on the go and on any device.
    6. Make sure your site loads fast, as time is precious and the attention span of internet users is short.

      Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment

  3. Maximize the power of visuals – To recruit international students smartly, use lots of visuals. If you can tell a story through images, videos or virtual tours, don’t waste words on it. Well-shot images, engaging or fun videos and realistic virtual tours can help them compare your institution with others and make informed decisions. College virtual tours especially will keep a site visitor hooked for longer and reduce your bounce rate. Through these, you can talk about your college’s history, heritage, culture, facilities, community and the life one can look forward to. You can also weave in short snippets of your current international students talking about why they love your institution, as this will provide credibility. Simple and bright infographics can also convey the importance of stats like enrollment rate, placement rate, number of extracurricular clubs you have, which majors are popular, and more. You can also use memes to lend a light-hearted vibe.      

    Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

  4. Promote actively – Promote your college on social media platforms and through emails, as much as you can. Share updates on interesting events, exam results, any new addition (be it a building or a program) or what you are doing to make post-COVID life on campus safe. Use images, videos or virtual tours while posting anything, be it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Get creative by creating simple polls or surveys that encourage potential students to respond or engage. Collect the data and use it to understand what kind of marketing will bring you more international students. Make sure that social media buttons are easy to find on your website and make your posts easy to share.   

  5. Get your SEO game right – No matter how awesome your website is, remember that successful recruitment of international students depends largely on where and how you rank on Google search results pages. And for that, you need a powerful SEO strategy. In other words, your website content must include keywords that potential international students usually use while looking for that ideal college in the US. “Best college for international students in USA” is an example of that. Also, try to use long-tail keywords as short-tail keywords will be extremely competitive and only the top colleges might appear against them. Also optimize your alt tags, meta descriptions and image descriptions with the right keywords, so that Google can rank you more easily on the first page.   

All in all, to recruit international students despite the impact of an unprecedented pandemic, keep the above tips in mind. And if you need help with visual marketing, which is critical for your digital presence and promotion, get in touch with us at info@massinteract.com.  

Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

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