October 18, 2013 debbie.m

Recruiting Needs a Digital Refresh

As college admissions directors worry about enrollment, digital marketing is more important than ever. Young Americans — those tech-savvy teens that colleges are trying to reach — are heavy users of mobile and social media. That means higher ed marketers need fresh digital techniques to connect.

What has universities and colleges so worried? A recent survey shows that this year, only 41 percent of admissions directors achieved their new student enrollment goals as of May 1, according to the Inside Higher Ed “2013 Survey of College and University Admissions Directors conducted with Gallup Inc. research.

To bolster admissions, university officials reported increasing recruiting of minorities, transfer students and full-time students. Schools are stepping up their international recruiting too.

Universities are also revisiting how they offer courses and degrees. According to the survey, 85% of schools are increasing enrollment of their online degree or certificate programs (asked only of respondents from schools with online degree/certificate programs) and 32 percent feel the online programs are very important to their institution’s total enrollment.

To reach these prospective students, higher education marketers need effective digital marketing tools. At Sanmita, we have deep experience working with higher ed clients. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Craft a social media plan rich with interactivity
  • Fine tune your mobile products, including apps and responsive web sites
  • Analyze your search engine optimization (SEO) and Search engine marketing (SEM) strategies
  • Consider social media marketing and SMS text-based marketing
  • Review your website materials and make sure content is fresh and engaging
  • Plan content for your website, mobile and social media that connects prospective students with current students and alumni, such as chats, tours and interactive maps