When it comes to gaining new enrollments for your educational institution, you can’t depend on referrals.
The reason? It's too easy! "Waiting until you're remembered" isn't a strategy that will allow you to reach as many potential international students as possible.
As a result, as each enrollment cycle begins, you start your marketing process from scratch, not understanding what has worked in the past. That's because you don't understand your conversion pattern from the Buyer’s Journey, which means:
Visitor > Lead > Qualified Leads > Customers
Instead of starting your marketing process from square one each time, learn from what has worked in the past.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your marketing using Inbound Marketing techniques. Use these tips to gain more control over the results of your marketing initiatives.
Content marketing: How to transform your educational content into marketing content
The idea of marketing content is to give a student a proof of what you have to offer, to educate them to want to be part of your institution before they even know they need it, while evolving your target audience along the buying journey.
Step 01. Adapt and test innovation formats
The educational market is in a time of transformation, innovating by using different technologies, betting on the growth in demand for distance learning, and taking risks in new class and course formats. And, for those who are still unsure about testing some of these formats, the first adaptation may be for content marketing.
One of the great advantages of digital marketing is that actions in the online environment can be tested, measured, and remade with a much lower expense than in the offline environment.
Thus, using educational material in a new format, such as microlearning videos, delivering it as marketing content to your institution's leads base, and evaluating potential students' receptivity and feedback can be a thermometer in deciding whether or not to use this format in classes and courses.
Step 02. Capture contact information
You’ve had the experience of entering a store, and when the salesperson asked what you would like to see, you replied, "I'm just looking around!"
That's exactly what's happening with your website and your social networks. Your visitors enter, look, and exit through the door. So why not capture their contact information so you can continue communicating with them later?
Many parents visit the websites of different institutions when their children are choosing a university. But the information that would convince them to choose a particular school is not always available. Similarly, they may be swayed by another institution simply because a friend or family member went there..
What materials to use?
To resolve this issue, establish ways to capture contact information on your website or social networks. This way, you can continue talking to your website visitors even after they leave.
For this, you can even use materials that work with your internal audience, offering them through landing pages:
These materials can be inserted into your Instagram bio. You should also mention it on your Instagram timeline and in Stories. Add forms and pop-ups to your site where visitors can fill out their information to receive materials.
It is worth investing in paid media to promote your landing pages if you want to capture more contact information from those who don't yet know your educational institution. Consider Facebook or Google ads as a starting point.
Pre-qualifying your contacts for enrollment
By using forms on landing pages, you can ask questions to understand who this person is who is interested in the materials. The idea is to discover a little more than just their name and email.
For schools, for the next step it will be important to understand what year of school the potential prospect is in. For colleges, ask when they would like to start attending college or if they already have a course in mind.
With more information about each prospect, you can act more assertively in the next step.
Step 03. Start communication to lead the student to enrollment
We know that, when choosing a place to study, trust in the institution is a very important point. So, start working the relationship with this new contact through direct email communications.
You can start by showing how your educational institution is a leader when it comes to knowledge about education, providing relevant information for the development of students.
After developing this first relationship, you can start talking about your school or college. Show your history, how many students have graduated, how many of them pass the entrance exam, or how many leave college employed.
The point here is for you to be able to communicate with each prospect according to what they need to know. Use the information they have given you in exchange for materials to provide them with valuable content.
When it comes to making their decision, the goal is for the student to remember everything you shared so they prioritize your educational institution!
Step 04. Turn this relationship into an enrollment
Grow this relationship with the information you already have from the lead. Send an automated email marketing sequence to accelerate your results.
For this, let's look at an example. A parent, who is interested in a new secondary school for her daughter, responded to a form on your website. You asked what year the girl is in at school, and the parent marked “High School.”
With this information, you can highlight what sets your school apart from the rest of the market.
Start a series of emails, thanking them for their interest, and offering more information on the subject, showing your school as a leader. A few days later, send another email indicating what your school has to offer, like courses, mental health support, etc.
Finish with an email with more data about your school, such as the approval rate for the entrance exam. In the end, you can invite them to visit your school, either in person or online.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Content marketing attracts international students
By emphasizing the essence as a differentiation, digital marketing will make educational institutions more organized, more profitable, more attractive to students, and more visible for their positive effects.
Adopting digital marketing tools is an essential way to address the needs present in schools, colleges, distance learning institutions, and open courses. Since each institution is unique, each strategy to attract international students is different.
Educational institutions that invest in technology to improve their management and efficiency in attracting students, closing enrollments, organizing projects, among other activities, have already experienced better results as they differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
Do you need help attracting international students to your institution?
If you need assistance creating content or planning a marketing strategy, we can help connect you with the students you'd like to reach.
As the biggest producers of educational content in institutions, we can provide materials that attract a range of the students you intend to reach.