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Blog_Findings from eduWeb 2018
The Glacier TeamAug 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM3 min read

eduweb Digital Summit 2018 Sheds Light on Improving Student Recruitment

- 3 min read -

Blue Blog Header_Findings from eduWeb 2018 for Glacier advertising

Thanks to eduWeb Digital Summit, higher education institutions gain insight into improving student recruitment with share-worthy content.

Higher education institutions gain insight into improving student recruitment at eduWeb Digital Summit 2018

Higher education professionals from across North America gathered in San Diego from July 23-25, 2018, for the eduWeb Digital Summit, discovering how post-secondary institutions can advance their engagement—thereby improving student recruitment efforts—in the communications field.

A major theme of the summit dealt with content creation and how university and college marketing departments can create compelling creative work to attract students looking to enrol in post-secondary education.

Polaroid picture of Glacier at eduWeb Digital Summit 2018

Choose the right social media platform

But it’s not simply a matter of creating high-quality content. Like the old real estate adage goes – “Location, location, location!” – it’s essential to get your content where your audience is spending time. Otherwise, they’ll never see the great content you worked so hard to create.

This brings us to an important point raised at the summit: different platforms host different kinds of content which users interact with in different ways. What works on Instagram doesn’t necessarily work on Snapchat, and vice versa. Knowing which platforms your audience is spending its time on will help your marketing department focus and tailor content to fit the medium that makes the biggest impact.

Speaking of Snapchat, a sobering subject at the summit concerned how few universities and colleges have a presence on it. Meanwhile, many high school students spend a lot of their time on it, representing a crucial missed opportunity.

Why colleges and universities aren’t on Snapchat

One of the major obstacles lies in university and college marketing departments’ uncertainty about the ROI of a Snapchat presence. Another factor panellists brought up was that users can’t be logged into two Snapchat accounts at the same time on one device – Instagram, on the other hand, does allow this.

However institutions deal with this Snapchat issue, the conference highlighted how they can approach it as an exciting opportunity. Best of all, the key lies in working with people you already know. By leveraging your marketing team and, most importantly, your current post-secondary students to help build your social presence, it’s possible to take advantage of these opportunities.

Influencer marketing

The students who currently attend your institution know it best, making them the ideal brand ambassadors. Plus, they’re very likely on the social media platforms prospective students are on. Existing students can share their current experiences, bringing relevant, credible insights to high school students interested in applying to your college. High school students want to know what their whole experience at your school will be like – the classes, the campus, the social life – and they’re more likely to listen to people who aren’t far removed from their own high school days. Tap into these shared values, shared perspectives and, most importantly, these shared media spaces, and you'll stay relevant in the high school student conversation.

Make a strategy and work towards your goal

For any higher education institutions concerned about their ability to follow through with a comprehensive content strategy geared toward recruiting students, keynote speaker Amma Marfo closed the summit with a video of This American Life creator Ira Glass talking about THE GAP between one’s taste and the sometimes discouraging work it takes to meet the level of quality you aspire to. Every step you take in developing your content brings you closer to creating the same level of quality you have in mind.

Photo of THE GAP by Ira Glass

Use the insights, develop a strategy, and stick to it. That's how to improve student recruitment results.

P.S. Follow us on LinkedIn for tips, tricks, and industry updates.

We collected insights from 1,700 high school students on their media preferences for higher ed advertising. Access Report.