Let’s face it: high school students are inundated with college recruitment options. Top-tier students are bombarded with e-mails, direct mail pieces and even the occasional phone contact. Even lower-performing students are getting three to five direct mail solicitations every week as well as at least one email each day. Higher education marketers are pressured to continue to execute new ideas (preferably with low-budgets) to stand out in the already crowded mailboxes (virtual and literal) of prospective students.
Here are a few ways you can keep your collegiate marketing fresh and, hopefully, stand out in the minds of students.
1. Don’t be afraid to be funny. Or punny. Collegiate marketers do have to walk a fine line between “let’s get their attention” by being a little different and “our higher education options are prestigious” to justify the rising costs of higher education. In your recruitment efforts, it’s certainly OK to use a little bit of humor as you write. Just keep it along the lines of, say, highbrow humor like The New Yorker as opposed to the more raucous and raunchy MAD Magazine. People respond emotionally to humor and emotional responses are often a key factor in whether they buy the product you’re selling.
2. Spice up your grounds pictures. Yes, your buildings are gorgeous and your campus is immaculate. But, if we’re being honest here, grounds pictures all seem to run together from college to college. Of course you want to include your iconic images and you But keeping things fresh means you should try some artsy angles or a whole new perspective. Add some Warhol-style colorations. Or frame the pictures in different colors. Or add cartoons into the serious sweeping picture of the Quad. Just take a look at the pictures with a different frame of mind and see if you can inspire your graphic design team to push the envelope a bit.
3. Use “fun facts.” Maybe your campus consumes more ice cream per capita than any other campus in the country. Or maybe the gopher that lives just outside the fence of Williams Residence Hall is purported to be over 40 years old. Whatever your fun facts are, use them in your marketing efforts. You could send out an email once a month with the subject line of “Fun Fact #4,567 About Your Future University” and check out the open rates to see if it works with your audience.
It’s not an easy task to be fresh in marketing to college students. They are exposed to so much messaging, it’s easy to wonder if your stuff is making a difference. Sometimes, it can help to hire a marketing partner who can help you spice things up. Or, use digital marketing software to hammer out creative workflows to reach the students who are actively engaging with your outreach efforts.
We know you’ve got this. You’re wrapping up yet another recruitment season and the numbers look great. Just keep it fresh until those deposits start rolling in!
Topics: Higher Education Marketing