THE FUTURE OF EVENT MARKETING: At the end of December, Ben Hindman, CEO at event marketing platform Splash, predicted that the coronavirus pandemic would lead to a shift away from massive industry events toward niche, “bite size” gatherings. Splash followed up the opinion piece with a report, “Online, Shorter, and Here to Stay: An Outlook on Virtual and Hybrid Events in 2021.” Splash reported that 43% of companies surveyed transitioned all of their events to a virtual platform and are hosting more digital events than they had initially planned.
Why you should care: If you’re a graduate enrollment manager or an admissions counselor and you’re hoping to participate in in-person college fairs this spring, you may want to think again. While so much remains unknown right now, it would be prudent for enrollment marketers to think creatively and critically about how to continue running alternative, engaging, virtual events. By using platforms like Rume and Social Hour, you can kiss Zoom fatigue goodbye.
START, STOP, KEEP — YOUR GUIDE TO SEO IN 2021: In 2020, many SEOs predicted that “voice search” would account for 40-50% of all searches. And while this prediction didn’t quite come true, there were myriad noteworthy changes in 2020 to both search behavior and how search engines like Google index content that will have a bearing on your 2021 SEO strategies. We stumbled upon this great piece by Aleyda Solis on the SEO strategies and tactics brands should stop doing, start doing, and keep doing in 2021.
Why you should care: Solis says that “the ultimate goal is to become the most comprehensive and authoritative answer that provides the best experience and fulfills your relevant audience’s search needs, independently of the location, device, connection, or format.” This notion is so important for enrollment marketers as it is a reminder to double down on just a handful of key topics, terms, and phrases that align with your school’s unique value proposition and correlate them to the questions and concerns your target audience has.
THE INFLUENCE OF INFLUENCERS: Influencer marketing is on the way to becoming a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022. According to one survey, 63% of marketers plan to boost their influencer marketing budget over the next year. Brandon Perlman, Founder and CEO of Social Studies, Inc, predicts, “2021 is the year we believe influencer marketing will be seen as its own media channel outside of tactical ‘problem solving’ or ‘nice to have content’.”
Why you should care: The idea of including current students in the “sales process” of enrollment management within the context of ambassadors is not new...but the power of peer-to-peer influence over a major “purchasing decision” in 2021 is stronger than ever. In a moment where travel and traditional college fairs are stalled, this spring could be the moment to consider a more formal student influencer program. Institutions of higher education must approach this strategy carefully, but enrollment marketers would be remiss not to map out a strategic plan to reward select students who source new, qualified inquiries and applicants for their schools.
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Each week, The Enrollify Podcast equips you with insights into how the latest trends in marketing and technology are affecting enrollment managers. Every episode is designed to inspire new, creative ideas for how to optimize the resources you have to generate the results you need.