Gone are the days of mass marketing and generic replies. Marketing in 2020 is all about personalization and video. This powerful combination results in outreach that feels unique and thoughtful, dramatically increasing the likelihood that a customer will make a purchase. Hubspot found that marketers who personalize their web experiences see a 19% increase in sales on average. On the other hand, 74% of consumers report becoming frustrated when content does not meet their preferences.
While used widely across all industries, personalized videos can dramatically change the way a university recruits its students. As today’s students are constantly bombarded by information at their fingertips, any marketer who can cut through the noise with messaging that stands out will position themselves for success.
So how can you harness the power of personalized videos to increase your student recruitment efforts?
How to get started
As a university marketer, you should already be collecting data from prospective students. This may be via forms on your website, gathering email addresses for a virtual summit or fair, or from social media advertising. With this data in hand, you can use it in a way that influences the student application process.
A grassroots approach
As the time for applications nears, admissions officers find themselves busy continually answering student enquiries. Instead of replying to prospective students with stock-standard responses, admissions officers can record a simple yet personal video response. The process of recording videos can be time consuming but programs like Loom or Vidyard make it simple. These tools allow marketers to record videos and send them via email by simply copying and pasting the URL. The result is quick response times, no more long-winded text-heavy emails, and a personal touch to the recruitment process.
As prospective students are not often accustomed to receiving video responses to their emails, personalized videos like these can make your marketing stand out from the rest, delighting students, and encouraging them to take the next step.
For a wider approach, you can also run targeted advertising. Instead of simply publishing a Facebook or Instagram ad to all prospects, personalize the contents of the ad to meet certain unique attributes. Ads could be targeted to students based on their location, their interests, or whether they have expressed interest in a particular program. For example, you could create different videos for each university department with a call to action to apply for the upcoming semester. The result being that the student viewing the video will feel like the content has been tailor made for them.
Universities using personalization
Mantissa College in Malaysia used Keystone’s marketing platform to reach students from across the world including markets such as Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The College personalized its communications across email, video and phone (calls and WhatsApp) to nurture potential students. The campaign saw a fifth of leads convert to an application.
Personalization as a practice
Personalization should not just be something university marketers use when they need a boost in recruitment. Personalization is something that can be used all year round, whether in emails, social media posts, or advertising. Consider how your marketing campaigns adapt and transform for your consumer. Do your prospective students use a particular device? Do they use their mobile phone more than their computer? Where are they located? What unique information do you have about your prospective students and how can you use that to create a personal experience?
As a university marketer, you should be the first to implement new ideas that grab your consumers’ attention. Now is the time to step outside the box of traditional practices, get creative and become more personal with your approach. After all, it is the personal messaging that will help your institution stand out from the crowd and become a student’s first choice.