What’s Caught Our Eye in University Marketing & Recruitment in August
The end of August means that we can say goodbye to 2020-21 (for better or worse) and prepare for whatever 2021-22 has in store (hopefully just better). For many postgraduate students, the new academic year will mean a return to the classroom, possibly for the first time since early in their undergraduate degrees. For marketing and recruitment colleagues, 2021 may see physical events being considered again.
Wherever we find ourselves in the next few months, we can all agree that the hard work of marketing and recruitment teams around the world has been a constant over the past year. Here are five examples that caught our eye recently.
Bringing university research to life can be a challenge, but it’s particularly important for prospective Masters and PhD students who are seeking to join in these activities. A recent initiative from the University of Kansas Research, achieves this by sharing stories from the fieldwork their researchers and students are working on over the summer. Using the hashtag #KUFieldWorks, they have shared the series on Twitter and their website. The topic provides engaging content which showcases the real-world environment and impact their research is having, and will appeal to a range of stakeholders, including prospective researchers.
We know firsthand how much time goes into promoting and running a virtual recruitment event, but we also know how much great content they can generate in advance and on the day. With that in mind, it was great to see the University of Kent ensuring people who missed their Postgraduate Virtual Open Event could catch it on demand and using Twitter to communicate that. A good example of how you can maximise the impact and ROI of your virtual event.
Whilst we are talking about virtual events, we loved Macquarie University’s alternative approach to promoting their Postgraduate Online Open Day. They shared a video on LinkedIn which featured prospective students (and a puppy!) to explain the benefits of attending an online open day. Who better to promote the virtual event, than the target audience themselves (we’re not suggesting universities arrange study fairs for pets, but, well…)!
With the start of term fast-approaching, focus has turned to enrolments. The information and systems used to convert offer holders to enrolments are vital, but they’re typically hidden from applicants further up the funnel. However, Dublin City University has made their postgraduate offer page public and we saw it being shared on Twitter. The bonus of this approach is that, as well as using other channels to reach offer holders, prospective students will also see the support available which will help reassure them and help with prospect to applicant conversion.
On a similar note, it’s great to see a university making more content available to interested students. ‘Value-add’ material such as postgraduate-specific guides and prospectuses are often hidden behind a sign-up gateway. This is great for lead capture, but it can also deter some people and mean missed opportunities. What we liked about the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s approach is that they have provided their Postgraduate Guide as a download on their website, with clear call-to-actions to request more information, apply online and book a taster session. This immediate access to information and booking systems, simplifies the process for the enquirer, and encourages engagement and conversion.
We see hundreds of postgraduate marketing campaigns and continually gather data on engagement with our own websites and emails. Contact your Account Manager or email [email protected] for advice and support with your campaigns and we'll be happy to help.
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Here’s a summary of what our Pulse data shows us segmented by PGT & PGR, STEM vs. AHSS, continuers vs. returners, and international students.