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Blog_Header_How to Attract Prospective Students
Jamie PragnellMay 1, 2019 10:44:25 AM3 min read

Higher Education Marketing: Attracting Prospective Students

- 3 min read -

Blog_Header_How to Attract Prospective Students

Higher Education Marketing: How to Attract Prospective Students

Most higher education institutions have the same ultimate marketing goal; to increase applications and enrollments. But what methods can get you there?

Glacier is here to help--as leaders in high school and student advertising, we understand Gen Z better than anyone. Read on to find out our tips for converting prospective students.

The Glacier Process

Glacier uses a 3 stage marketing funnel to convert prospective students.

Blog_Ads Gen Z_Advertising Funnel

Stage 1: Awareness

The first step to converting leads into applicants is awareness. If students do not know about your university, they won’t apply. Getting noticed and spreading your message is vital for increasing enrollment.

Stage 2: Engagement

Once a student is familiar with your institution, the next important step in higher education advertising is engagement. Students have a wide variety of options; they need to see what makes you special.

Stage 2: Conversion

In the final stage, potential students become applicants. In this stage, we can measure the results of the advertising campaign and see our ROI.



Leading to Conversion

Everybody wants students in their seats, but this doesn’t happen overnight.

Attracting the right students to your school is like finding a life partner. Would you walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to marry you? Of course not. You need to meet them, learn about each other, build a relationship, and determine whether the two of you are a good fit.

Likewise, you need to build a relationship with students and show them what sets you apart.

Attracting Prospective Students

High school students do not wait until their senior year of high school to determine their ideal schools. By the time students hit their final year of high school, most of them already have a top list of colleges and universities that interest them.


Spreading the message of your institution is crucial. In our studies of digital advertising, only 12% of seniors and 26% of juniors clicked on ads for institutions they didn’t know.

That number increased by over 100% when students encountered an ad for a school they had already seen advertisements for in the past.

With those statistics in mind, Glacier works to place your ads in front of students in multiple online mediums to increase exposure. The more times students comes in contact with your institution’s name and message, the better.

Tips for Awareness and Engagement

Glacier’s targeted youth marketing campaigns can help increase awareness and engagement to bring potential recruits to your door. But here are some tips for other things you can do to spread your message as well:

Have an Informative Website

High school students use online research and enjoy getting information quickly. If they are unable to find what they are looking for, they will lose interest. Thirty-six percent of students seek out a competitor if they are frustrated with an institution’s site. The number one reason for their frustration is not having enough information.

Make Yourself Easy to Find

Ninety percent of website traffic originates from a search engine. Optimizing your website for search engines can drive website traffic greatly. SEO efforts result in an average 25% increase in clicks.

Tips for Conversion

So what if you are promoting efficiently and students are still not applying? What steps can you take to boost conversion?


Focusing on retargeting an audience with a higher intent to enroll at your institution is an effective technique for drawing in interested students.

Platforms for retargeting include websites, apps, and social media.


Face-to-face engagement with recruiters remains the number one preferred method of contact with the Gen Z audience. Use open houses and campus visits to your advantage.


Ensure that your content is informative and readily available. Students need access to good information about your institution in ads, social media and websites; your message must be clear across all channels!

Remember to focus on long-term results! Don’t get discouraged if your numbers don’t grow right away; each year a whole new batch of potential students are graduating.

If you are ready to take your marketing to the next level and lock in those prospective students, we can help! Contact Glacier to start your new higher education marketing plan today!

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.