Recruitment and admissions

3 innovative marketing and admissions best practices for schools

According to the latest figures, the average person sees up to 10,000 adverts every day.

Despite this, less than 100 of them make it past people's 'attention wall' filter. A defence mechanism in a world of overwhelming information and shrinking attention spans.

So, how are you meant to rise above the noise and reach your target market? How do you convince prospective parents and students that your school is the perfect place for their education?

These are the questions on the lips of every school's marketing and admissions team.

Now, we're not in the business of easy answers. But, if you want the best possible chance of reaching your best fit students you need to innovate. And to do so, you need to provide unique, compelling messages that resonate with your audience.

We think the best way to do this is with digital ambassadors. After all, with a digital ambassador program you can convert more prospects through an authentic, personalised recruitment experience.

In fact, we've found digital ambassadors can significantly increase application rates. With some schools seeing 28 percent of all prospects turn into applicants.

So, with that in mind, here are three innovative digital ambassador best practices that will enhance the journey your school provides to families through the marketing/admissions process

1. Create user generated content to better relate to prospects

User generated content (UGC) lets you show what life at your school is really like. This can be your schools true differentiator against the competition. After all, every school will say that they have excellent facilities and an outstanding curriculum. You need to show prospects what you offer that is unique.

And who is best placed to know this? Chances are, it's not your marketing team.

Whether they are parents, older pupils, alumni or faculty, your ambassadors are best placed to create marketing content that connects. This is because they best understand the DNA of the school, and what your prospects need to know. After all, who's better to build trust by talking with a prospective parent than a current parent who understands their needs and expectations?

Expanding your marketing efforts in this way lets you market at scale while closing the insight gap on what to expect at your institution.

2. Maximise authenticity while maintaining safety and control

When using digital ambassadors, you need to ensure their interactions are well-designed and efficiently managed. But, perhaps more importantly, they need to be authentic.

If you are inauthentic, you'll repeat the same messages as your competition without highlighting what makes your institution special. It needs to be more than simple marketing messages or images from your school photographer.

However, allowing for realness and showing authenticity can have it's risks. You need to protect your school. After all sending the wrong messages can damage your brand. Ensure you have a team of trusted admins who control what content goes public.

Beyond that, safeguarding your ambassadors and prospects is paramount. You need to provide an authentic experience that talks to prospect needs all within a risk-free environment.

Here are a few top tips to keeping everyone safe when using digital ambassadors:

  • Know your representatives. Ensure that you really understand your ambassadors, and validate that you can trust them to speak on your behalf. You can do this by establishing a continuous dialogue with them.
  • Track all engagements. Whether it's running keyword detection or through archiving all direct messages, keep track of communications. These will be the first warning signs of any inappropriate or dangerous situation.
  • Train your ambassadors. To ensure privacy, ambassadors should only go by their first name. What's more, extend your ambassador training to ensure they don't accidentally share any personal information and encourage them to report inappropriate behaviour.

3. Ensure flexibility to react in real time

The best marketing strategies are flexible enough to react to every opportunity. These could be broad changes to education standards, like updated exam formats, or as simple as identifying a trend in prospects that convert to admissions.

This flexibility will give your school an advantage over your competitors. Not only can you react faster, but you can provide even more effective marketing messages that resonate with prospects.

To achieve this level of reactivity, you need to be able make decisions based on accurate, real-time data from a single source of truth.

With the right platform, you can consolidate all of your digital ambassador marketing activities for maximum effect. Using dashboards with real-time behavioural insight you can reduce unnecessary spending, adapt your strategies for better performance and boost your recruitment funnel.

The best way to find your best fit students

Using digital ambassadors is a safe and easy way to set your school apart from the competition. With an innovative platform like TAP, you can close the insight gap through authentic marketing messages. This enables you to find your best fit students and grow admission numbers.

If you'd like to open a whole new world of innovative marketing and recruitment possibilities at your school, get in touch today.