What is it and why does it matter?
Integrated marketing is powerful because it purposefully touches strategic points along the student journey (the lifecycle of a prospective student). It uses all available channels to communicate with your prospective students — including digital, offline, organic searches, and direct marketing. Where the power of integrated marketing is most effective is when cohesive content is streamed across channels. Cohesive content includes consistent messaging that is reflected on your website, your print ads, and in your digital marketing.
How to unify your presence?
Start with a goal. Are you interested in creating brand awareness, increased engagement, increased exposure, or targeting a new market segment? Once you start with a goal, list your communication channels, and then determine your content. Modify the content to fit the tone of each channel, and schedule it to post on each platform.
Where do the channels fit along the student journey?
Let’s say you’d like to promote two scholarships to increase awareness of your school. At the top of the funnel is awareness — making your audience aware of who you are, that you exist, and why your program matters. Students in the top of the funnel are at the beginning of their journey. To reach students about your school and the scholarships, use print ads, interactive brochures, print brochures, website, your Study in the USA profile, social media, Live sessions, and sponsored content. Let them get to know you. Create your content with the intention of promoting your scholarships while simultaneously introducing your school.
In the middle of the funnel is engagement. While previously you’ve been promoting your school, now you need to create content to engage students. Keep in mind that at this point you’re engaging your audience for lead generation. To promote the scholarships, add an incentive, a question, or a good call to action (CTA) to generate interest. Email blasts, social media with video or photo, Facebook or Instagram Live sessions, and peer-to-peer chats are all good engagement sources. You want students to fill out an inquiry form. This is where you start connecting.
Starting from the top of the funnel and traveling to the bottom, your audience is making a decision to apply or not to apply during this journey. If you’re at the bottom of the funnel, connecting with students and letting them know about the scholarships via personal email, phone calls, and text can make or break a student’s decision. You’re the connection, and what you communicate at the bottom is key.
Want to engage in an integrated, omnichannel marketing plan?
Here are the channels that Study in the USA offers: