It's that time of year. You're setting up meetings with your team to get your college's or university's marketing strategy in order for the 2017-18 school year. But what are some key essentials to ensuring you're prepped for catering to your Gen-Z target market?
Here are some basic guidelines to gut-check your outlined college or university marketing strategy before you get too far down the pipeline.
Just having a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your college or university isn't enough anymore. In fact, there are plenty of rewards for schools that strike out on their own and try something new and different before the entire industry follows suit. Be a leader. The first handful of institutions who took a chance on Instagram and Snapchat have a lot to be happy about - after all, it's estimated that 60 percent of 2015's graduating high school class uses Snapchat daily. Active daily users shot up 50 million in just one year. There's a benefit to getting brave and branching out - especially when it involves video content.
Your first instinct when you decide your marketing crew needs to take your brand to the mobile world is perhaps to get a mobile app rolling. But this might be a good line item to excise from your planned strategy. It requires a lot of back-end work for what amounts to a relatively small payoff. According to a Chegg Enrollment Services study, as many as 72 percent of prospective students never bothered with college or university apps during the college search. Ask yourself - what value would an app bring? What makes it essential and useful to a student recruit? If you hesitate to answer, it might not be the right path for your strategy.
There's often something of a disconnect between your university or college marketing staff and the target market of high-school-age students. The truth is, while your office staff on the whole tends to use laptop and desktop computers for their day-to-day work, the newest generation of incoming college freshmen are using their smartphones to research higher education opportunities. With Generation Z poised to break the mold in terms of daily average smartphone usage, mobile responsiveness is no longer optional for a college or university website. Make your site responsive... yesterday.
Don't operate under the assumption that digital is the one and only way to go with Generation Z, however. While a recent survey from research firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz determined 55-60 percent of high school upperclassmen take institutions with strong digital marketing strategies most seriously in their college searches, 40-45 percent said the same of strong print and phone marketing strategies. There's no one fix-all for perfecting your strategy - it takes a consortium of avenues to be taken seriously as a contender and to make the magic happen.