Are you talkin' to me? The rules of engagement are changing due to the radical shift in technology, social and cultural dynamics and the Internet. How does your brand stand out in a world of overwhelming choices and feature overload? How are you creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a prospective student? 4 ways to attract students:
#1 Engage with purpose. Engage with less. Limiting information engages the imagination which can create effective prospective experiences. Systematically create content and messaging that is unique, well-executed, and meaningful. Content messaging should appropriately balance branding with call-to-action (career advancement, fast track) to the prospect, not just facts about the school or program.
#2 Make a connection that is value enhancing. Provide value enhancing content through benefits. What's in it for ME? People care about exciting or buzzworthy news, smart ideas or real problem solvers. Add value by offering a forum for feedback or participation such as a challenge, pose a question to invite deeper levels of interaction. Tell a story that triggers emotional responses. Student success stories and testimonials are powerful magnets.
#3 Create experiences through shared user- generated context and content from blogs, Facebook, tweets, and YouTube. Express these experiences through visual impact: the power of pictures. Use social media tools to listen and understand nature of the conversation, the volume and topics that are being discussed. Tweet from the top: President, Vice President, or Dean can help set tone and personality of your brand if the top notch weighs in on the conversation personally.
#4 Build a sense of community that allows your brand to see and act on your students motivations; build communities around their interests. Build an effective platform on which to engage prospects. The platform should create loyalty towards the brand through sharing of information, validation,and collaboration.
Marketing is a process of continual improvement, informed by evolving preferences and changing landscape. Creating social value and personal engagement content will increase brand loyalty and enrollments.