People aren’t falling out of their seats these days when they hear that admissions and student recruitment teams are finding it increasingly more difficult to attract students. In today’s competitive market, colleges, universities, and trade schools need to establish a brand that not only attracts potential students but also accurately represents your current campus and student body.
A strong brand serves as an attention-grabber for students. Think of a moth to a flame. In this thought-provoking article, we take a look at the best practices for building a brand that resonates with potential students, and how to expand upon your recruitment efforts.
1) Define Your School Culture:
An organization’s culture is completely unique to them and is part of what sets it apart from the competition. The importance of defining and articulating your institution’s values, beliefs, and campus/classroom environment for prospective students cannot be overstated.
2) Develop Your Value Proposition:
Your value proposition is what sets you apart from competing schools. It should be specific to you, authentic, and compelling. What specific benefits, programs, and advantages do you offer? Crafting an accurate value proposition can help not only in attracting students (and parents) but also in retaining your students.
Communicate your school’s core values through various channels such as your website, marketing collateral, and social media platforms. This helps future students understand the principles that drive your school and allows them a chance to see how their values align with yours.
3) Create a Strong Student Experience:
What kind of impression are you making for potential students during the recruitment process? The name of the game is to make a positive and memorable experience for each and every candidate. Simple things like personalizing your communications, offering easily accessible virtual and in-person tours, and highlighting scholarship opportunities are some great ways to get started.
4) Encourage Advocacy:
Nobody is going to be a better brand ambassador for your school than its current students, faculty, and alumni. Encouraging your campus community from years current and past to share their experiences and success stories will help to attract the next generation of learners. Every individual who has attended your school shares a bond unique to your community, and nobody can articulate that bond more effectively.
5) Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion:
It shouldn’t be news to anyone that having a diverse and inclusive campus leads to success in attracting students, an improved and cohesive campus community, and increased student retention, just to name a few. Creating an environment where your entire student body feels respected, included, and valued leads to success in countless areas such as creativity and innovation, and teamwork and collaboration.
6) Leverage Social Media:
Social media is no longer optional for recruitment teams, it’s essential for amplifying your brand. Share engaging content that showcases your school, its culture, student success stories, and community involvement. Start connecting with potential candidates as you display your school’s personality and put your best foot forward.
7) Measure Your Brand:
Okay, so now that we’ve implemented our strategy to develop a brand. Now it’s time to measure the effectiveness of your initiatives. Some key performance indicators to measure your success will be Potential Student Experience, Social Media Engagement, and Overall Brand Reputation. Monitoring user engagements and asking for feedback from your prospects and current students will allow you to identify areas of success and conversely, areas for improvement. Let the data drive your decision-making.
Crafting a school brand that appeals to your target demographics and attracts top prospects requires a strategic and intentional approach. It will take some time for your roots to take hold, but the fruit of your efforts will be exponential. Embrace these best practices and put your best foot forward.
You can fill out the form below if you’d like to discuss your recruitment effort and goals with one of our military recruitment experts.