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The Glacier TeamSep 27, 2023 11:33:15 AM3 min read

How Digital Ads Boost International Student Recruitment in Canada

In Canada’s ever-changing landscape of postsecondary institutions, international student recruitment has become both a challenge and an opportunity. Recent developments, such as the housing crisis, have added complexity to an already intricate process. As institutions seek innovative solutions to attract and retain international students, digital marketing emerges as a pivotal tool in addressing these challenges.

Understanding the current landscape is key. The housing crisis is one of the pressing issues that institutions face in international student recruitment. Limited affordable housing options can deter prospective international students from choosing certain institutions, impacting not only their experiences but also their decisions on where to pursue their education. Recruitment strategies and efforts are more important than ever as international students are incredibly valuable to Canada. They help further economic development and promote stable growth. They contribute over $22 billion per year to the Canadian economy. This is why the Canadian government has been trying to expand its Student Direct Stream to more markets and to quicken the processing of study permit applications.


How Digital Advertising Can Target International Students

Digital advertising is a vital component that seamlessly complements other strategies, like using recruiters. Recruiters can establish personal connections, offer guidance, and build relationships with prospective students, while digital advertising extends the reach and precision of outreach efforts, ensuring that tailored messages effectively resonate with a global audience. Together, these strategies create a powerful synergy, enhancing an institution's ability to successfully recruit and engage international students.

Recruiting students internationally poses geographical challenges. This is where the digital advertising world makes its full impact. There are a variety of ways you can garner attention over the Internet, and there are a variety of strategies postsecondary institutions can employ that have been proven to provide the best ROI when it comes to international recruitment.

When it comes to international student recruitment, paid social media advertising should be a strategic pillar in your marketing arsenal. By leveraging platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and more, you can precisely target and engage prospective students with tailored messaging. For postsecondary marketers, this means the ability to strategically align your advertising with specific demographics and interests, ensuring that your campaigns resonate.

Paid social media advertising offers the advantage of real-time performance measurement, allowing you to allocate resources effectively and optimize campaigns for maximum impact. In a digital age where engagement is paramount, paid social media advertising empowers you to strategically inform and recruit prospective students, guiding them towards informed decisions about their educational journey.

Another growing opportunity for postsecondary marketers is programmatic advertising, which represents an opportunity to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment efforts. This data-driven approach utilizes automated technology and algorithms to target specific audiences across digital channels. The result is advertising that creates an impression with individuals most likely to be interested in your institution. In a competitive landscape, programmatic advertising grants you the ability to efficiently connect and make an impression with your target audience, optimizing your recruitment efforts to attract qualified international students.

Moreover, another powerful asset essential to your toolkit is a well-crafted paid search campaign. Search campaigns offer a strategic advantage by capturing prospective students at the point of intent. These campaigns position your institution prominently in search results when students are actively seeking information. This makes sure that your programs and offerings are visible to those with immediate educational needs. Importantly, search campaigns also provide valuable insights into student intent and interests, allowing you to refine your messaging and resources to better align with evolving student preferences.



International student recruitment faces challenges, but with the right strategies, institutions can adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape. With the strategic use of digital advertising, institutions can navigate complex challenges, reach global audiences, and foster a vibrant global academic community, making it a vital tool for today's postsecondary marketers. Digital advertising offers a powerful set of tools to attract and engage prospective international students. At Glacier, we specialize in digital advertising and can help your institution use these strategies to achieve its recruitment goals.

Are you ready to elevate your institution's international recruitment efforts through digital advertising? Contact us today to explore how we can tailor our expertise to your institution's unique needs. Together, we can navigate the challenges and unlock the potential of international student recruitment in the digital age!