Peer-to-peer student marketing
Investing in student ambassadors to give a real feel of what university life is really like is a no-brainer. Ambassadors are at the heart of part of peer-to-peer marketing, a strategy that should become a staple for higher education institutions.
When universities struggle to remain authentic, communicate with wide groups of potential students, and create digital communities, student ambassadors save the day.
What is Peer-to-Peer Marketing?
In short, peer-to-peer marketing (also known as P2P marketing) happens when peers recommend products and services to each other. In the education world, student ambassadors are the face of P2P strategies, although there is usually a marketing team behind the scenes.
Related article: What is a Peer Recruitment Platform?
Peer-to-Peer Student Marketing Tactics
University Review Sites
Every year, thousands of students go to forums like The Student Room and Student Edge to ask questions about higher education courses, campus life, and all sorts of other topics. Past and present students reply to their messages and share insights from their insider perspectives.
These kinds of forums have become part of the fabric of student recruitment, so much so that many of them have 'official channels' that institutions can manage. An astounding 83% of Gen Z and Millennials trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and Gen Z thinks that reviews with videos are more important than any other generation before them.
Forums are the perfect opportunity for internal marketing teams to harness the power of student ambassadors:
- You can train them to respond to common questions and link to certain articles and webpages
- You can ask them to post reminders about both in-person and virtual events that are happening soon
- They can link to social media accounts and nudge students to sign up for a personalised mailing list
- You can match specific ambassadors with visitors who are interested in the same course
We are certainly biased, but The Ambassador Platform is a great way to invest in content that will stay on your website forever by embedding an FAQ section into your website. The feature allows multiple ambassadors to answer the same question, meaning prospective students can get insights from different (and authentic) perspectives!
There's also another handy content feature, which looks a bit like an Instagram feed and lets you share videos and images created by your ambassadors.
Student influencer marketing is another no-brainer strategy (we'd be surprised if some of your enroled students didn't have a Youtube channel showcasing their experiences at your university!).
Young adults understand traditional marketing strategies and they are increasingly sceptical of institutions. Only 2 in 5 adult members of Gen Z trust universities in the U.S.
Like influencers in other fields, student influencers bring a sense of authentic advocacy that's missing from most enrolment marketing tactics. When your students post selfies on campus, TikToks about the best burger spot, and vlogs that show a day in their life, prospective students listen a little closer.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) jumped on influencer marketing in 2018. They hired a social media ambassador called Sonali to contribute to the Youtube vlog series 'The Campus Knights'. Sonali created lots of vlogs, like 'Perks of being a UCF student' and 'Top 10 study spots', which translated to more followers and a boost in brand awareness for UCS.
Student-generated content can take many forms, and with our platform, you can take advantage of all of them! The creation and publishing processes are separate, so your marketing team has absolute control. Apart from that, the sky is the limit.
Here are a few features that you can use to optimise and improve student-generated content.
- Content Groups - Plan different content campaigns and delegate them to your ambassadors
- Content Library - Organise and store your content efforts for future campaigns
- Content Planner - Schedule content requests in advance and stay on top of your social media calendar
- Edit Content - Edit captions after publication and add relevant tags to make content searchable
- Simple Publishing - Publish your content with just one click
- Integrate with Socials - Cross-post on your social media platforms, and make the content go even further
Personalised Marketing Materials
Gen Z is more interested in personalised experiences than any other age group. 22% of Gen Z say they are much more likely to choose a company/brand over others if that brand provides a personalised experience, compared to just 11% of Boomers (yes, twice as many!).
Gen Z is the only age group that has grown up alongside social platforms, so it is no surprise that they expect institutions to use their data for their marketing. Here are just a few of the ways that universities use The Ambassador Platform to create personalised experiences and special connections between ambassadors and prospective students.
Once you have a few bits of key information about your prospect, you can create super-tailored email campaigns. We're not just talking about, 'Hello, [firstname]' - we're talking about bridging the gap between distrust and interest.
The University of Adelaide created profile cards for 11 ambassadors from five different countries, and sent out emails matching prospective students with one of their ambassadors based on their background. As a result, a staggering 66% of offer holders who engaged with the Feed enrolled at the University of Adelaide.
Like any social media platform, The Ambassador Platform allows for direct messaging. The chat has multi-language capabilities, in-built safeguarding, and automatic alerts that will inform your marketing team when an incoming question goes unanswered. It's a safe space for younger generations to communicate with current students and develop a sense of community.
Prospective students know that there is a big difference between speaking to faculty members and speaking to other students just like them. They can develop a trusted relationship with an ambassador, and get their take on university life, campus visits, and other topics that matter to them.
Direct conversations are especially important for international students, who have a wider range of concerns and need more peer input than local students to make an informed decision.
The Ambassador Platform: Ideal for Enrollment Marketing
If you aren't thinking about peer-to-peer marketing, you could miss out on a lot of prospective students. Give us a shout, and start building communities and showcase your unique university experience.