Lead generation is a marketing term that refers to the process of generating consumer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale. In the context of Higher Education, lead generation means arousing the interest of prospective students through different marketing strategies.
When well-executed, a lead generation plan can yield a high return on investment, as well as boost your institution's brand in the eyes of the students.
Why should you plan your lead generation strategy?
Since colleges and universities need to recruit new students every year, they are continuously seeking new ways to produce leads that may be fostered, qualified, and finally converted into enrolled students.
The challenge increases when you understand that all universities are competing against each other to enroll students. When it comes to higher education, students have a lot of choices, which is why it's so important to make your school stand out.
Is it better to develop and share content with your marketing resources? Should you spend all your money on sponsored advertising? Maybe you've contemplated fully overhauling your website to make it more capable of attracting new leads.
When you have so many options to attract students, it can be hard to decide where to invest your limited budget on. But don’t panic just yet, I’m sure the rest of the article will help you decide where to begin!
Lead Generation Strategies for Higher Education Institutions
Before I give you a list of the best lead generation strategies for Higher Education, please remember that no two lead generation strategies will look the same, as there are no two institutions that are exactly the same.
Your institution’s strategy should be unique. And the ideal lead generation strategy includes several moving pieces that can assist you in achieving your goals.
With that being said, here are the best lead generation strategies you can use in your institution.
1. Develop an intuitive website for your University
70% of the buyer journey is covered without the user having contact with an institution. This is only possible because we have the internet as the main search and learning engine.
In this sense, it is vital to build a good reputation online and, in addition, a consistent communication strategy with your students and prospective students.
As the website is the center of all your institution's interactions with users, it is necessary to invest in it. First, with a responsive design, that’s easily adaptable to any device. After that you need to have a good information architecture. Is your website intuitive? Is the information easily found? How long does it take to charge? Is it possible to read all the information and interact with menus and buttons on mobile?
The site navigation experience must be comfortable, pleasant, motivate the visitor and go from one page to another without stopping, while obtaining more and more information. Don't forget that in order to generate more leads for your educational institution, you need to have calls to action that indicate the next step.
While having a good, well-structured website is the foundation for everything that I will mention next, you still need to gather prospects' information so you can contact them after.
One of the most common, and also one of the most effective ways to do this is by offering an ebook.
The value proposition you have has a lot to do with generating qualified leads. It's critical that the students understand the advantages of providing you with their information.
The ebook provides students with additional in-depth knowledge, making it a unique opportunity for the lead to move forward in the sales funnel. Furthermore, because the content is more comprehensive, a position of authority on the subject is established, which will increase the student’s trust in your institution.
When sharing the ebook, emphasize the advantages that will be gained. Create a one-of-a-kind landing page that is optimized for search engines and demonstrates the value of establishing a relationship with your Higher Education Institution firsthand.
3. Program Brochures
Every program your university offers is an opportunity to get prospects' information.
You can compile all the information relevant to a specific program and make a brochure.
On the website, you can have various tabs with information about the program but on the brochure the student will have access to all the information needed in just one PDF.
Tip: Some universities usually leave one piece of information about the program only available in the brochure. For example, in the program page you have access to the schedule, program coordinators, and program fees, but then to have access to the program modules you’ll have to download the brochure.
4. Create Tailored Landing Pages
A landing page is a page on your website that can be reached by following a link from another site. They're sometimes used in conjunction with paid ads to ensure that users who click on ads are directed to the correct page on a website.
For example, If you create an advertisement for your Undergraduate Degree in Digital Marketing, you wouldn’t want those who click on it to be taken to a page on your website about a Master's Degree in Human Resources. A tailored landing page ensures that your leads are directed to the page of your website that is most relevant to their needs.
5. Use LiveChat
Your Institution's website must have several conversion touchpoints that entice users to explore more. Allow students to communicate directly with an admissions professional to create a more engaging experience. This has traditionally been accomplished through the use of a contact form, however, Live chat boxes, are growing increasingly popular as they allow students to get immediate answers to their questions.
The majority of students is already used to utilizing chat in their daily lives, whether through Whatsapp, Instagram DMs, or Facebook Messenger, thus adopting chat as a communication channel is an effective method for institutions to interact with the younger generation.
6. Personalize communication
According to research, 80 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences.
The same can be said about the university admission process.
The warmest leads can be turned cold by generic or irrelevant communication. Personalization is essential, and segmentation is the first step.
Segment your email lists as finely as possible for the best results. Sort leads into what stage they're at in the application funnel, as well as categorizing them by the field of study or interests.
7. Be a source of information
Your mission is to educate, right? But the education process goes far beyond the classroom. You can start by helping students to pass their college access exams and choose the right course and career. You just need to start blogging.
The institution's blog aims to share useful and relevant content, attracting more visitors to its website. It is the center of your Higher Education Institution content strategy.
In addition to attracting more students, it also helps to position your website on Google, showing the relevance of your institution to topics that involve education.
By answering students' main questions regarding higher education, you have a large number of topics you can cover on your blog and every entrance on your blog can then be redirected to your offers.
If you need help turning your Institution into a lead generation machine, don’t hesitate, talk to us.
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