Top 5 Tactics for Digital Marketing for International Student Recruiting

Posted by Jen Thayer & Emily R. Henry

Nov 30, 2016 5:30:00 AM

We write a lot about digital marketing in the international student recruiting field. And we write in-depth about digital marketing. So while we’re down here in Miami at the AIRC and ICEF conferences sharing what we know in various presentations and workshops, we wanted to share our top 5 tactics for digital marketing for our readers who are still back in the office.

If you happen to be in Miami for the conferences, stop by any of our presentations to say hi and learn more about CRMs, using language programs to recruit, and our favorite topic – data, trends and how to use this information to recruit effectively.

Bottom Line: You need to get to know your audience. What works well for them? What do they respond to? Using segmentation and personalization can go a long way in communicating with a lead. Another good way to reach students online is to optimize–everything! You want to be on as many search results pages on Google, Baidu, Facebook, and WeChat as possible and your content should be shareable. But, make sure the content popping up is good content. How will you know if it’s good or not? Analytics! You should always be tracking your analytics to determine which ad, email and social media campaigns are working for you to reach the students you want to reach. Think about it, if you could only choose five things to add to your digital marketing plan to survive in the digital world, what would they be? Go ahead and make your list. We’ll see if it matches up with ours!

Read on to find out our top 5 list for digital marketing tactics…

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Topics: Digital Marketing, international student recruiting

The Struggle is Real: 27 Struggles International Students Face on American Campuses

Posted by Jen Thayer

Nov 23, 2016 5:30:00 AM

  Source: BuzzFeed.com

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Topics: International Students, International student services

So, How Do We Market US Higher Ed to the World Now?

Posted by Ben Waxman

Nov 16, 2016 5:30:00 AM

There is a new political landscape here in the US and in the UK. International student recruiting is facing some new, unexpected challenges.

Brace yourself, this is a long post and an incredibly important topic to all of us. We've tried to give some real food for thought and grist for action. As always, at Intead we try to give you the facts and figures in a concrete way. Strategic thinking that gets you to a tactical plan of action. 

I'm betting there are at least a few other people at your institution you will want to forward this post to if you dive into it. 

So, to get right into it, earlier this year we surveyed more than one million prospective international students thanks to FPPEDUMedia's powerful student database. More than 40,000 students responded immediately - that's some incredible engagement right there.

We asked them how current global, economic and political events are impacting their plans to study abroad. No surprise, our somewhat controversial question around international students' desire to study in the US based on the outcome of the presidential election has suddenly become a hot topic. For a variety of reasons, we didn't really expect to be in this place.

Now that we are, we have some new thinking to do. While the student responses we received were speculative (If someone wins, would you be more or less inclined to...), the responses were dramatically telling, nonetheless.

In case you missed it, 60% of 40,000+ responses said they were less likely to study in the US if Donald Trump were to win the election. That number rises to 80% when you look specifically at responses from Mexico. Now we have your attention, right?

So, how does our messaging to international students’ change now? How can we recruit international students who are wary of US travel and their safety here? How can we make our campuses feel inclusive and welcoming for our current (and future) international students? What about parents?

In the past week, we have discussed these topics with reporters at the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hechinger Report, The Pie News, EL Gazette and others. There are many angles to consider.

In an effort to help this thinking, this conversation, move forward with all of our colleagues in academia, we are hosting a webinar later today (Wed., November 16) at 3pm Eastern Time to consider the angles in our new, post-election landscape. We will discuss what all this means for your recruitment and marketing plans. The webinar is complimentary, but limited to 75 seats. By the time you read this, we are likely already full to capacity, so we are looking into hosting another one. Register here to be put on our waiting list.

Dive into this topic in a more substantial way: Meet Us in Miami or San Diego

We will be sharing our global digital marketing insights and discussing ways to move forward in our new political landscape at some upcoming conferences. In December, we will be presenting at the ICEF and AIRC conferences in Miami. In January, we will be hosting the first annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (2016 theme: What Works Where) presented in partnership with CGACC. Let us know if you’ll be at any of these conferences–we’d love to chat.

Read on for perspective on how we do that global recruitment thing given the new political landscape…

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Topics: US election results, global digital marketing, international student recruiting, Brexit

Intead’s Top 10 International Student Recruiting Podcasts

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Nov 9, 2016 5:30:00 AM

Podcasts can be an invaluable tool for international student recruiting professionals. They inspire new ideas, motivate us to try new things, and teach us industry secrets. And, you can listen to them just about anywhere, from your morning commute, to the coach seat as you fly to your next student fair, or just at your desk as you carve out a few minutes for lunch between all the demands of the day. Listening to leaders and experts in the field of international student recruiting discuss the same topics you struggle with can shed light on new solutions.

These are all of the reasons Intead started sharing podcasts a few years ago, and since then we’ve shared insights into everything from hiring admissions staff to innovative education models, to marketing to diverse audiences. This week, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 most listened to podcasts. Here’s what your peers found most valuable.

In all, Intead has produced 46 podcasts with international student recruiting leaders covering all the topics you grapple with all the time. At the end of our top 10 list you will find a link to Intead’s full library of podcasts. Find the insights that are most important to you. Special nod to our co-founder, Michael Waxman-Lenz, for all his work producing these industry-leading resources.

Meet Us in Miami or San Diego!

When temperatures get cold here in New England, we seek out warmer weather ;) Join us at the AIRC and ICEF conferences in Miami in December as we share our latest global digital marketing insights at workshops and other presentations. In January, meet us in San Diego at our First Annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (2016 theme: What Works Where), presented in partnership with CGACC. Let us know if you’ll be at any of these venues–we’d love to catch up over a cup of coffee!

Read on to find links to our top 10 podcasts, plus one bonus podcast you won’t want to miss. Read on...

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Topics: Podcast, international student recruiting, academic trends

International Student Recruiting in Egypt

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Nov 2, 2016 5:30:00 AM

It won’t come as a surprise to you that education is important in Egypt, the home of one of the oldest continuous running universities in the world, Al-Azhar University (photo above). But, after the political unrest of the past few years, you might be surprised to know that slowly and steadily Egypt is seeing growth in two essential areas.

Economic growth hasn’t been startling but it has been stable. In addition, increasing internet usage is linking young Egyptians to the global community more than ever before. This might be your signal to look past the Egypt of the Arab Spring and start looking toward the future of its young population. Students are interested in finding education abroad, especially if your institution has competitively low tuition rates and provides financial aid or scholarship opportunities to international students. A subset of our readers, for sure, but that is what marketing differentiation is all about. Promote your strengths where there is less competition.

Bottom Line: Interest in study abroad for Egyptian students is high but low government support makes financing these studies an issue. While the number of students from Egypt studying in the U.S. may be modest, the desire and the growth are not. The US saw a 5% increase in Egyptian students between the 2013/14 school year and the 2014/15 school year according to 2015 IIE Open Doors data. Tackling issues of finance will be key, but there won’t be a shortage of effort on the part of Egyptian students. Many young Egyptians have a good grasp on the English language and programs that help students hone these skills are essential in the region. And, if economic predictions for the future come true, starting in Egypt now will be a pay off in the future.

Meet Us in Miami or San Diego!

We will be sharing all our global digital marketing experience at workshops and other presentations at the AIRC conference, the ICEF Workshop and our latest effort to share knowledge: The First Annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (2016 theme: What Works Where) presented in partnership with CGACC. Let us know if we can schedule a coffee date at any of these venues. 

Read on for more insights into recruiting students from Egypt.

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Topics: global digital marketing, international student recruiting, Egypt

Global Student Recruiting vs. Government Policies

Posted by Ben Waxman & Jennifer Thayer

Oct 26, 2016 5:30:00 AM

Moving is such a drag! We’ve all been there. Packing up all our belongings. Having to make hundreds of rapid fire decisions. Should I bring this? Do I need that?

Intead has recently moved our offices (we are still in the Boston area; just 2 blocks from our old location). Our experience has been exciting and exhausting.

Still, our experience moving is insignificant compared to what your international students do to move half way around the world to reach your campus. With moving, it is the sheer number of big and small decisions that require and consume such energy.

We need to do all we can to make those decisions as easy as possible for our students. We need to control all those things we can control to make our international students confident and comfortable.

And yet, there are plenty of things that are well beyond our control. Today’s blog post addresses government policies and how we, as international student recruiters, must adjust how we do things as those unwieldy governments make our jobs difficult from year to year. We have some specific examples about policy changes in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, UK, Canada, and the US that are instructive for all of us.

Bottom Line: As government policies come and go, we need reliable international student recruitment systems in place to stay on track and adapt to the student mobility motivations and trends. The best and most creative among us use social media marketing to address the topics of the day in our marketing messaging. We adjust our marketing to meet the specific concerns and aspirations our prospective international students are experiencing. Want to know how your team can take advantage of the political turbulence to help your prospective students make good decisions? Read on...

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Topics: international student recruiting, Visa Policies, Government Policies

WhatsApp and Facebook Rule When Connecting with Kuwait

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Oct 19, 2016 5:30:00 AM

Can you imagine a country where the number of expatriates outnumbers the total number of nationals?

In Kuwait around 69% of the population is made up of expats and English-speaking schools are widespread. There are many opportunities for recruiting here; both international students and Kuwaiti nationals. And with the 6th largest oil reserves in the world, Kuwait is also among the top 5 wealthiest countries in the world by GDP per capita–meaning families have the funds to finance an education abroad.

Bottom Line: Kuwait is a small, oil-rich country with a diverse and interesting population. International education is a norm for the many wealthy families. Students and families in Kuwait are accustomed to international education systems and have financial support.

To account for the expanding expat population, the number of English-speaking schools is impressive. ExpatArrivals lists 11 international schools in this small country, and they are a great place to focus your recruiting efforts (see link below). There is also considerable governmental support for Kuwait nationals to study outside the country. Against this backdrop 9,034 students studied in the United States in the 2014/2015 school year, according to IIE Open Doors Data. In terms of digital marketing channels, WhatsApp and Facebook are where it is at in Kuwait.

Meet Us in Newport & Miami: We are at NAFSA Region XI in Newport, RI today! Our presentation at 1:30PM in the Vanderbilt Room is all about de-mystifying global digital marketing–stop by and say hello! (Slides available next week). We'll also be in Miami this December at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with global digital marketing presentations and workshops. Please be in touch if you'll be at any of these events.

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Topics: Social Media, WhatsApp, international student recruiting, Kuwait, Facebook

Iranian Students Seek Graduate Study Opportunities in U.S.

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Oct 12, 2016 5:30:00 AM

A lot of big news has come out of Iran this past year. With the finalization of a nuclear weapons agreement, U.S. and European sanctions have been lifted in Iran and political relations are improving, meaning there is more opportunity for recruiting international students from Iran. The numbers are looking promising for U.S. institutions.

Bottom Line: Iran’s number of university students is growing. But the number of slots available in Iranian universities is extremely limited. Resourceful Iranian students are looking beyond their borders in growing numbers. Iranian institutions want to ensure their smartest students devote their talents to Iranian ventures at home rather than abroad. There is a move to foster university partnerships where students receive only part of their education abroad. European institutions have been quick to jump on this trend and you might want to consider doing the same. But, if you are going to break into this market, you’ll want to focus on graduate level STEM programs and you’ll want to get to know the culture before you devote your resources.

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI next week?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. We'll also be in Miami this December at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. Please be in touch if you'll be at any of these events--we'd love to meet you!

Read on for more perspective and some interesting stats about international student recruiting in Iran…

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, social media marketing, Iran