Gen Zers are set to become the best-educated generation yet. But as the first true digital natives, they're marketing-wary. This means recruiting through traditional campaigns alone is no longer enough.
And the pandemic hasn't made it any easier, with travel restrictions limiting students' access to open days, as well as the recruiters' ability to travel. It's no surprise, then, that the number of international first-time enrollments in the US has fallen. Students aren't ready to make such a big decision without knowing what's in store.
By encouraging your student ambassadors to create user-generated content (UGC) that can be posted on a range of platforms, you can reach more diverse prospective students from further afield. You can provide a clearer, more engaging perspective on what life at your institution is really like. And by connecting them with ambassadors early in the process, prospective students will be able to have their questions answered, as well as feeling welcomed by a representative of your institution. All of these things will help you improve your outreach and increase the volume of admissions during these challenging times.
1. Show real experiences
Prospective students want a true representation of life at your institution.
Ambassadors can share videos of events on social media, or of them talking about their favorite aspects of university life.
NCUK did just that on Instagram, and then cross-promoted on YouTube to reach a new audience.
But let's not forget the far-reaching power of TikTok.
By encouraging your ambassadors to do a TikTok takeover, they can produce real, relevant content for an audience other social media sites can't match.
2. Provide content for everyone
Student ambassadors of diverse backgrounds can provide a broader range of experiences and perspectives in their online content. In turn, this can help you reach a more diverse group of students.
- LGBTQ+ ambassadors could give recommendations based on their own experiences of the LGBTQ+ social scene, both on and off campus.
- Neurodiverse ambassadors could provide invaluable insider information about the mental health support and services available.
- Students from overseas could review the best restaurants around for a taste of home.
Ambassadors will attract a broader audience by posting about unique experiences, as well as being available for 1-1 chats on your digital student ambassador platform. And potential students will recognize your institution as more inclusive because of it.
3. Give a warm welcome
Did you know that Gen Zers are less likely to distinguish between friends met in a real place and those they've met virtually?
A student ambassador will be enthusiastic about your institution. And despite never having met the prospective student in real life, they'll still be eager to share their experiences and there to answer questions.
Pairing prospective students with the right ambassadors will make them feel welcome long before they cross any threshold. And it'll give them insight into what their own student life could really be like.
Boost your recruitment with user generated content
Today's students need firsthand experience of a university before they commit to enrolling. But in these strange times, physical access isn't so straightforward.
Ambassador generated content can provide a true picture of life at your institution. And, better still, it can attract a diverse group of prospective students a traditional recruitment campaign simply can't reach.
With an Experience Communication Platform, such as The Ambassador Platform, you can collaborate with students to create effective and far-reaching content.
It'll cost you less than traditional advertising, all while being easy to monitor and manage - essential when using an XCM platform for student engagement.
So while your ambassadors share content that is real, inclusive and friendly, you can still make sure it's on-brand.
Join our free webinar
Join our free, 60 minute webinar to find out how to get the most out of your student ambassador program in 2021/22.
Tuesday August, 31 (16:00 BST/ 08:00/ PT 11.00 EST)
During the webinar you will:
- Hear from special guest speakers Texas Tech University, Manchester Met University, and Marty Bennett from SMIE Consulting.
- Get the latest industry best-practice on how to effectively set-up, manage, and incentivize your ambassadors
- Get advanced access to our brand new whitepaper: 'The ultimate guide to Student Ambassador programs in 2021'.