In the past two years, digital marketing has proven to be quite an influential and important part to any business’s success, whether small or big. All international colleges needs a solid digital marketing strategy in order to grow, specially since their target audience consists of students part of todays exponentially growing digital world.
For more insight on how you’re international college can implement their own digital marketing strategy to reach out to students all around the world, start off with a consideration of the steps below:
- Determine the impact of your current social presence
In order to set goals (long and short term), it is important to realize how big your current success is. Every business has its own goals dependent on what they view as their next step towards climbing the ladder of what they set as their required accomplishments. A CRM report should be made indicating the different social media platforms that your institution uses along with its analytics.
2. Set your objectives
Every digital marketing strategy caters towards trying to achieve your objectives. Thus, use the report that you have for your institutions current standings and determine what you wish to gain from the implementation of your digital marketing strategy. The objectives should be practical and focused towards one specific goal.
3. Create a dedicated position to keep your digital presence consistent
It is very important to understand that implementing a digital marketing strategy is not just enough to main the success of your institution. Students loose interest very fast and if their interests aren’t maintained, it won’t take them long to move on towards finding something else that keeps them interested. Constant engagement and an active digital presence/footprint should always be concentrated on aside from following the implementations of the digital marketing strategy.
Some important information to keep in mind for your international college is as follows:
- Perspective audience: Students
- Goals: To increase as many international followers as possible as well as any engagement with social media accounts that are based off of the area/city that your institute resides in
- Focus: Create relationships with multiple international agents from all over the world in order to help increase awareness of your international institution
How you should be keeping an active social presence through the following marketing methods:
- Go ahead and get a list of your international agents that already exist and start following them on as many of your social media platforms as possible. Make sure you stay active on your social media by liking and commenting on their posts that would insinuate any good to your institution, but ensure that you avoid liking any posts that may look bad upon your institution as well (for ex. any posts advertising your rival colleges put up by your agent accounts). Repost any posts that mention your college in them, try and make some sort of agreement in regards to a beneficiary marketing that could give you exposure to your agents followers, which would mainly be your target audiences, while you give them exposure to your existing following.
2. Spend some allocated time daily writing back to your student inquiries, whether it be your DMs, comments, or emails. This can be done through the Facebook Business Suite allowing you to access all of your Facebook and Instagram comments/DMs in one. It also allows you to view analytics on your existing posts and schedule any future posts to both your Instagram and Facebook accounts. This ensures that your potential audiences that are interested in your institution stay interested and are guided towards your ultimate goal, which would be getting them to fill out an application.
3. Ensure that your website is as easy to ready and follow along as possible. It would be great if your website included a feature that allowed students to translate its contents into their preferred language, considering the fact that 100% of your target audience will be from all around the world, with English not being their primary language. Allowing an easy time interacting and discovering information on y our college, keeps students engaged within your institution and eliminates the possibility of having them seek for more options elsewhere.
4. Use your dedicated team member assigned to keep your socials active to post new things every few days to ensure the attraction of newer students and keep the attraction of the existing ones as well. Student testimonials would be a great way to market the college as showing students that someone like that/someone they can relate to is happy with your college and therefore, so can they. Posting things to showcase the city that your institution is in is a great way to have international students interested in choosing to study abroad at your college. Student Q/A’s, Instagram Polls, and daily stories are a great way to keep your socials active and engaged.
5. Using effective hashtags when posting on your social platforms is a highly important marketing strategy to implement when fishing for more prospective students. Your hashtag strategy catered towards your international college can be implemented using the information provided as follows:
The importance of Studying Abroad
- Students get to experience a whole different country, culture, and environment in which they can be a lot more independent and responsible for their own selves away from what can influence their decisions on a day-to-day basis
- A better form of education is one of the top reasons why students choose to study internationally as education abroad is always looked as being more reputable than local education
- Better scope of job opportunities and an increase in earnings attracts international students to studying aboard as it allows them to picture a better life with greater “luxury” compared to their scope of making a living within their own country
Reasons for International Students to Study in Canada
- Canada is one of the most popular countries for international students to seek education in
- Academic excellence: Students find that a degree from a Canadian University/College acts as a huge plus point in terms of the credibility of their educational knowledge/skills, which allows them to dream bigger and get exposed to higher opportunities upon completion of their studies
- Affordable: Being able to study abroad is quite expensive for international students and thus finding universities/schools that can offer an affordable tuition to students is extremely important. When compared to other universities around the world, Canada is cheaper and when considering applying for scholarships and part-time job opportunities, studying in Canada is a lot more affordable and within the budget for international students.
- Safety: As an international student traveling alone to a whole different country in which everything and everyone is unknown to you can be extremely scary. Students and their family like being reassured knowing that the country in which they are studying in is safe for them. Canada has consistently been ranked one of the safest nations in the world alongside being diverse/multicultural and inclusively accepting of all international students, allowing the process of wanting to study in Canada seem a lot more secure, peaceful, and smooth
- Immigration Opportunities: Most students look towards studying internationally to end up spending the rest of their life there/making a living within the country. Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows students to stay and work in Canada for up to 3 years after competing their graduation. This means that international students have the opportunity to gain work experience within Canada and eventually apply for residency
Trending/Effective Hashtags to Use
- The focus when advertising to international students would be to push all the reasons above and highlight them within the university
- Top International Students Hashtags:
- #internationalstudents – 40%
- #studyabroad – 13%
- #students – 7%
- #education – 7%
- #canada – 6%
- #studentlife – 6%
- #internationalstudent – 5%
- Trending International Students Hashtags:
- Popular International Students Hashtags:
6. Using Instagram Giveaways in an effective manner, is a great marketing strategy that helps attract more followers on your social platform. It is important to note that your giveaway is conducted proficiently so that you are not attracting any ghost followers. An example of an effective giveaway for an intentional college is as follows:
7. Keep up with your competition. Make sure that you are constantly checking in with your rival colleges and the marketing strategies that they seem to be implementing. If something seems to be a trend for your targeted students, put a spin on it and have your college advertise your material using that trend. It is important to come across to your students as a college that they would want to study at and would be considered “cool” to be studying at.
8. Check your analytics consistently and implement changes accordingly. Make sure that you check in with your post analytics to ensure that you are heading in the right direction. If you host any webinars or live events, make sure you use a CRM software (such as salesforce) to understand your analytics and determine a direct correlation with your social advertising and the actual results. All business plans are made similarly and your college can do the same according to the data that you analyze.
As an international college, it is not enough to be established, have an average amount of social presence and admitted students. In order to grow and be known, implementing a digital marketing strategy is extremely important. Helping your college get recognized amongst the vast amount of students that are seeking to study abroad at an international college can be very beneficial for your college. Highlighting what sets you apart and how you can ensure that your prospective students feel safe when applying to your college can only be done through effective digital marketing and in todays world 99% of students from this generation solely rely on judging your institution based on its social presence.
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”– Joebhai Chernov