Admissions marketing continues to play a major role in every institution’s enrollment strategy. As high school graduation rates across the United States continue to decline and fewer high school graduates choose college as their next step, competition between public and private two-year and four-year institutions has become fierce.
A good strategy is the important first step to getting a leg up in this competitive market. But you’ll also need the right tools in place to optimize your messaging and get the attention of prospective students and their parents. These five tools can help you prepare your admissions marketing strategy for 2023 and create the backbone of a successful recruitment cycle.
1. An Integrated CRM System
Admissions offices tend to manage massive lists of prospective students. From SAT list buys to inquiries and applicants, each audience requires its own communications flow and outreach plan. A CRM system can help you both build and execute that plan.
Ideally, of course, the CRM system is more than just a database of prospective students. Systems like Slate and CRM Recruit allow you to send emails and texts straight through the system itself. It tracks communications to each student record so that admissions counselors always know what information the prospect has received before any personal outreach.
2. Social Media Management
Modern admissions marketing is impossible without social media. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are some of the most important ways potential students learn about your school. However, success on social media requires more than simply posting content.
Instead, it requires a thoughtful content plan so you can schedule posts to build a good mix of content. You should also build in internal review steps so everything goes out at the same time. Social listening, or the prospect of knowing what others are saying about your school online so you can respond as appropriate, is another important component that the right social media management tool can provide.
3. An Interactive Map
Interactive maps rise in relevance when prospects start to think about their college visit. At that point, the right digital campus map can become an invaluable component as you look to recruit your next class.
Use the map to offer clear and easy directions to the right parking spots and campus buildings. But that’s just the beginning. You can also leverage it to promote other physical selling points of your school, like a new building or all-gender restrooms.
Of course, the usefulness of the interactive map doesn’t end with the first admissions visit. From admitted student day to move-in weekend, it remains an essential tool in your admissions marketing arsenal.
4. A Project or Task Management Tool
Building a comprehensive admissions marketing campaign is complex. It requires a multi-channel approach of digital, print, and OOH efforts, all while aligning with the on-the-ground work of admissions counselors at high schools and fairs. A project or task management tool like Trello, Monday, or Asana can be vital to keep everyone on track.
The right task management platform ensures that everyone’s tasks get completed on time and add to a greater whole. Meanwhile, it also provides admissions and marketing leaders with the overview needed to keep the oversight of overarching recruitment goals.
5. A Virtual Tour
Finally, a virtual tour can become an essential tool, especially for students for whom a physical campus visit may be difficult or impossible. Students from other countries or states, especially, will appreciate the ability to check out and immerse themselves into your campus and its many important spots.
In addition, the virtual tour can become a core messaging highlight for all admissions marketing efforts. Social media posts, printed materials, and emails can all point to it as a way to engage students more deeply and convince them of your value.
Admissions marketing is becoming increasingly complex, but the right tools can help simplify the process and help your recruitment efforts. Ready to learn more about how virtual tours and interactive campus maps can help? Contact us to get started.