The classes of 2022 and beyond are starting to look very different from what they have looked like in recent history. From the changing student demographic to the scrapping of standardized tests, it’s no longer good enough to simply recycle what you were doing last year to entice your new cohort. 

So with standardized testing falling by the wayside (and hopefully the classist barriers to education along with it),  the continuing effects of the pandemic and the shifting makeup of a typical freshman student, how can you ensure you’re effectively yielding the class of 2022 and at the same time, building the class of 2023? 

Spotlight on growing your inquiry pool and acquiring student names

Growing your inquiry pool is increasingly becoming more challenging, so you need to be proactive. With changes and restrictions to targeting on Instagram and Facebook, you need to think creatively when it comes to digitally attracting and identifying students. What platforms work the best depending on the target audience, grad program and needs of your school? Depending on the audience, it’ll be a very different answer. Secondly, think about where you are seeing growth potential? Is it with undergraduates, graduates, or both? Again, depending on where you’re seeing these growth markets will direct where to spend your time and effort.

Once you have spent time answering those questions and know where you’re going to target, the power is in the content. 

It’s time for strong video content online

You know what they say; video is king. And it’s true, platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok favor video content and the engagement speaks for itself. Think virtual tours, Q&A with students and professors, and digital walkthroughs of admission processes. And remember, if you’re delving into the world of TikTok, make sure your content looks native. Hand over the camera to your students and let them make selfie-styled video content for you. Having this student-led, digital-first content will go a long way to attracting students, and most importantly keeping their attention. 

Digital marketing and a strong comm flow on the backend

And once you have them interested, how do you keep up the momentum? Use the likes of Akero’s workflows to build automated comms to keep directing these students to insightful content and relevant landing pages. 

Talking of forms; driving inquiries with multi-step forms

The last thing you want to do is spend money and resources creating clever and creative content to serve across the different platforms, build intricate workflows driving traffic to carefully designed landing pages, only for students to drop off because the form is too long. Talk about devastating. 

This is where multi-step forms come in. We know from experience that fields asking about subject choices and location can cause dropoff, but are of course important information for your teams. Therefore we always suggest putting all the top-tier fields on part one of the forms (name, email address, phone number, opt in) and then anything additional on a second or third part. That way, should you lose people when you start asking more detailed questions, you’re already got their contact details which you can loop back into the comms workflows.   

Personalized recruitment tactics dependent on that particular student's interests and ‘journey map’

Once you have grabbed their attention, driven them through to the landing pages, secured their information, all while growing your inquiry pool, you must have personalized and tailored workflows ready and waiting to go. 

If they’re in the early stages of their search and inquiry, send through insightful and informative content around admissions and the courses you have to offer. For those later down the line of their search and are much more detailed in their inquiry (like the course they want to study for example), ensure your workflow and comms include takeover content from students on that course, blogs from successful alumni, and landing pages with even more information. It’s all about the personalized student journey in 2022/23.

As it’s recruitment budget planning time now for the upcoming year, this is the time to consider how you’re going to grow your inquiry pool and the platforms and tactics worth investing in. Working with the likes of Net Natives will help you evaluate ROI and build in intricate plans to make the most out of your current data list and grow your class of 2023. Get in touch today.