WHAT ATTRACTING QUALITY APPLICANTS AND YOU FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP HAVE IN COMMON: It's the central question on every CEO and marketing professional’s mind — what do my customers want? Answering it quite literally involves finding the key to unlocking your best business outcomes. It all boils down to customer experience, which recognizes that it is just as important to focus on how an organization delivers to customers as it is to focus on what it delivers (just like my favorite coffee shop knows my order and serves it with a smile). To improve customer experience, focus on moving from touch-points to journeys. This can be done in three simple steps: by observing, then shaping, and finally performing. At the end of the day, your customer wants to feel understood, which is what this three-step process helps you to accomplish.
Why you should care: As prospects go through their applicant journey, one of the biggest difference makers is their experience. If applicants feel heard, understood and have pleasant experiences navigating your website, speaking with admissions professionals, and attending events, they are much more likely to submit their application. What’s more, improving your prospects’ experience doesn’t have to be a one-time big overhaul. Rather, it’s more effective to constantly keep that question (what do my prospects want?) in the back of your mind and reevaluate frequently. One concrete way you can do this is to look at data you have collected through advertisement or content campaigns and to use that data to inform your future decisions. Tailoring your offerings to provide the best prospect experience is one thing that can help convert prospects from “might apply” to “submit”.
the "queen of the internet" does it again: The Internet Trends report, an annual slide deck complied by Mary Meeker, is back and it did not disappoint. Every year since 1995, the Bond Capital founder and former Kleiner Perkins general partner has given a presentation highlighting the most important statistics and technology trends on the internet. While her slide deck is enormous (read 333 slides), there are several important trends she touched on including slowed growth in e-commerce sales, increased internet ad spending, data growth, as well as the rise of freemium subscription business models, telemedicine, photo-sharing, interactive gaming, and the on-demand economy — to name a few. This annual document is highly valuable to a wide variety of industries, as it can help inform business owners, marketers, and other executives on the best decisions for their organizations that year.
Why you should care: There is no way you can pour through the monster slide deck that is the 2019 Internet Trends report (or maybe you can? Challenge accepted.) So, to help you out, here are two major takeaways we think would be worth focusing your time and attention on in the coming year. First, incorporate more multimedia on your social accounts. Meeker’s report found that “more than half of Twitter posts are getting traffic because they have a photo, video, or another visual type of content.” Her report also noted the success of multimedia incorporation across other social media accounts as well. One easy way for enrollment marketers to address this trend is to focus on incorporating multimedia content (photos, videos, infographics, etc) in all of their social media ads. Second, as increasing numbers of marketers turn to digital advertising to acquire customers, the costs associated are going up. This means you will need to get creative with your digital advertising strategy. Consider branching out from the ad giants (Facebook and Google) and spending some of your ads budget on smaller platforms (like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Amazon) which offer a lower cost and less competition.
WHY YOU SHOULDN'T OVERLOOK LINKEDIN ADS: Since its debut in 2003, LinkedIn has set itself apart as the premier online professional networking platform. When ads were first introduced to the platform in 2005, a whole new world opened up for marketers to reach their audiences with targeted messaging. Since its birth, the ads platform has undergone many changes including introducing sponsored content in 2013 (the most popular type of ad on the platform to date), launching account targeting in 2016 (which boosted the effectiveness of account-based marketing programs), incorporating video ads in 2018 (increasing marketers’ storytelling power), and debuting interest and look-a-like targeting in 2019 (giving marketers even more ability to target accurately and effectively).
Why you should care: Since virtually every working professional is on LinkedIn, the platform’s ads offer admissions professionals the ability to connect with and target-specific audience segments. This is an especially powerful tool when it comes to graduate enrollment marketing. LinkedIn’s consistent history of quality updates to its ads platform leads us to believe that this valuable tool is only going to get better with time. If you are not already using LinkedIn ads to reach your professional audiences, we suggest hopping on that train right now! Your next applicant could be on LinkedIn. Begin with some simple sponsored content to run native ads in the LinkedIn feed and target your prospective student personas.