As more states move toward performance-based funding, how should your recruitment efforts change to attract students who will succeed at your institution?
It’s vital to attract and retain students who will succeed at your school to secure performance-based funding. Schools can no longer rely on simply mailing college brochures or hoping students will come for a visit to explain the benefits in person. Today, higher-education recruiting starts before a student even steps foot on your campus.
In this three-part blog series, Sanger & Eby will share their strategies that you can use throughout your recruitment marketing efforts. We’ll discuss your website, some of the best marketing platforms to use, and new technologies to incorporate.
Strategy 1: Make the best first impression possible through your website.
Your website is often the first place prospective students (and their parents) go to learn more about your school. It also serves as the destination for the rest of your marketing efforts. If your site is hard to navigate or lacks the content they need, students are likely to move on to the next option. Make this research process simple, easy and engaging. The more information a student can quickly find, the easier the decision-making process will be.
Beyond a user-friendly design, your website needs to have the content prospective students are searching for. Talk with your admissions team — the people who interact with prospective students and families on a daily basis — to learn about the questions they’re frequently asked. Then, compare these common questions to the content on your website. Are there questions being asked that aren’t addressed through the website’s content? Are the answers to these questions easy to find, or are the buried and hidden on your site?
Do you take into account all possible audiences for your website? Students aren’t the only ones making decisions. Guidance counselors, parents, alumni and likely, members of your community all access the site and need to be served, as well. Make sure you’re taking into account all your audiences and how best to satisfy their needs with the content on your site.
Lastly, students these days are mobile. Make sure that your website is responsive, which means the design and content are easily accessible from any type of device, anywhere. If users can’t read or interact with the content on a mobile phone or tablet without pinching and zooming, chances are they’re going to leave your site and continue their search elsewhere. You want your school to be cutting-edge, modern and attractive to today’s students. Your website should communicate the same thing.
Updating your website should be the first step in your recruitment marketing efforts. Take a look at some of the recent websites we’ve developed for our client, such as St. Charles Community College. Then contact us to discuss your vision for your own website update.