October 23, 2012

Digital Natives, From Recruitment All the Way to Enrollment

Oct. 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM | By Amy Merhige | Comment Count

As tech goes social, the phrase “digital natives” has become a part of an admissions professional’s daily vocabulary. Whether recruiting the millennial generation or adult learners, the fact is these natives are growing restless. Finding innovative ways to market your university amongst the cybernated onslaught is becoming increasingly challenging and imperative for any successful enrollment management strategy.

hobsons_blog_digitalnativeInstitutions must be visionaries and utilize interactive technologies like personalized videos, mobile apps, and campus tours via social media to catch a prospective student’s eye. This will offer brands time to resonate with students while illustrating their campus story. The end result: keeping prospects clicking from recruitment . . . all the way to enrollment.

Here are 5 tips for making a lasting digital impression . . .

  1. Know your audience – Customized content is not only what users expect, it’s what they demand. Students expect institutions to tailor their experience to particular interests and demand content that is relevant and informative.
  2. Get personal – Talk directly to your student. If you know their name, their major, their hometown, use it! New technologies like personalized videos create “WOW” moments and convey to students that they’re a vital part of your campus.
  3. Harness your printed material – Use technologies like QR codes to direct students to mobile friendly videos, inquiry pages, and apps to continue sharing your message in an interactive format. Don’t hesitate to get creative and give them something unexpected like a personal video message from their admissions counselor. And as a bonus – it’s all trackable!
  4. Embrace mobile – Students are looking for university specific mobile and tablet apps that give them functionality not found on the typical college website. Features like application checklists or a section for capturing notes during campus visits keep student engaged with the app and your institution.
  5. Provide an unmatched experience – Interactive tours, media galleries and videos are great ways to highlight your best features, but take it up a notch by incorporating social media. Facebook, LinkedIn and other popular social media sites can be integrated into a recruitment-specific microsite. This offers students an uber-personal experience that empowers them to envision themselves enrolled at your campus campus. Check this out http://becomingextraordinary.sbu.edu to see how it works!

Interactive technologies can be intimidating. But, just like traditional media, the key is delivering the right content to the right audience. Implementing tactics that personalize, customize, and invent stories that leave a lasting impression are the difference between sinking and swimming.

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