Chat Us, Snap Us or App Us: Connecting to International Students with Messaging Apps

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Apr 27, 2016 5:30:00 AM

In the international student recruitment landscape, we all know the importance of the Internet, digital marketing and connecting to your target audience (at least, we hope you do!). Part of the awe of the Internet is its ability to connect people from all over the world. And now, with more and more messaging apps, that connection can be fostered in real time.

In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of using social media as a virtual community. Determining which social media platforms are used in your target countries is important to reaching the students you want to recruit. The same is true for messaging apps, which can be an even quicker way to keep up with correspondence.

In today’s blog, Emily will share valuable information about these messaging apps (think WhatsApp, WeChat and others). And for a side-by-side comparison of these apps, download the worksheet below.

By the way—are you going to NAFSA in Denver? We will be presenting our latest research on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad—you don’t want to miss this! And schedule a time to chat with us while you’re there!

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Topics: WeChat, international recruiting, virtual communities, WhatsApp, global digital marketing, social media strategy

Are Facebook Users Really 3X Smarter Than Instagram Users?

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Apr 20, 2016 5:30:00 AM

We have another valuable digital marketing tool available to help you with your international student recruitment plans. Some of the statistics might be a little surprising on the surface. And we all know that statistics, on the surface, are not always what they seem.

For instance, did you know that based on Hootsuite user data, 74% of Facebook’s user base has some level of higher education while only 24% of Instagram’s user base claims that? Think about that for a second or two. How could that possibly be the case?

Our conclusion: Instagram users don’t feel the need to report their university level on their profiles. It’s just not that kind of platform. So while the statistic remains accurate, the story the data tells requires a bit more thought. Instagram users are not less intelligent. Seriously, some of our best friends are Instagram users. And we think they are quite smart! (Shhhh, we have to say that. They subscribe to this blog 😉).

With today’s blog, Emily used a Hootsuite report to develop a comparison of some of the global social media platforms by age of users, education level and global location among other key stats. The information is both thought provoking and helpful as you roll out your student recruitment social media/digital marketing strategy in key regions.

Be sure to tune in next week as well. We will share more information on virtual communities focusing on messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, and even SnapChat.

Meet Us in Denver @NAFSA 2016: Learn from our latest research on how current global economic and political events impact students’ plans to study abroad. Schedule a time to chat with us during the conference.

Please read on for the link to our downloadable Virtual Communities Worksheet…

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Topics: Mobile Marketing, international recruiting, Instagram, virtual communities, social media marketing, global digital marketing, social media strategy

Find Your Niche Market:Recruiting Outside of the Top 10 Cities

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Apr 13, 2016 5:30:00 AM

Of all the cities across the globe, more than half of international students studying in the U.S. between 2008 and 2012 on F-1 visas were from 94 different cities. This is a staggering fact. Think about it.

As we studied the SEVIS data, it certainly got us thinking: why do we only ever hear about the top 10 cities in recruiting? Aren’t there student fairs worth going to in other cities?

There are plenty of great cities out there where talented and eager international students are looking for options. And the opportunities to recruit from these second tier cities are clear for lesser known institutions. In this blog, we look at why and how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Bottom Line: Many of our clients are seeking to accomplish two recruiting goals: 1) enter new international markets where they currently have little or no name recognition among international students and 2) increase student recruitment from their current international markets against growing competition.

The only way to achieve these goals is to build local relationships (this takes longer than you think) and look at second and third tier cities as a way to capture markets that are strong but less accessible (meaning less competition).

Meet Us in Denver: We will be at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference in May presenting new data about the impacts of current economic and political events around the world on students’ plans to study abroad. Schedule a time to chat with us at NAFSA in Denver. We’d love to learn about your recruiting plans and share our latest research with you in person.

Now, our intrepid blogger, Emily will take us along a few roads less traveled

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Topics: international recruiting, Tier I,II,III Cities, F1 international students, marketing strategies, international student fairs

Advertising to Students with Instagram

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Apr 6, 2016 5:30:00 AM


Should Instagram be one of your student recruitment tools?

Here's another question more to the point: Are you prepared to ignore the 50% of high school seniors searching for university options via Instagram?

Sure, go ahead and put your marketing budget into those slick mailers that cost $10+ per piece. You do know that they go straight from the mailbox to the recycle bin, right? Trust us, we have 17 year olds at home and watch it happen each week. Sorry, harsh but true.

In last week’s blog post we introduced you to all of the great things Instagram can offer to universities: ease of use, engaging content, targeting younger student groups, providing a glimpse of life on campus. All of these things are great for your digital marketing initiatives. And Instagram is constantly updating and evolving both their phone app and website to make the platform even easier to use.

In addition to those free features Instagram offers its users, the platform recently added advertising options. In this week’s post, Emily will introduce us to the how's and why's of advertising to students on Instagram.

QUICK SIDE NOTE: Can We Meet in Denver? We will be at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference in May presenting new data about the impacts of current economic and political events around the world on students’ plans to study abroad. Use this link to schedule a time to meet with us at NAFSA in Denver. We’d love to learn about your recruiting plans and share our latest research with you in person.

Now, on to Emily's take on Instagram...

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Topics: Digital Recruitment, Instagram, Advertising, marketing strategies, social media marketing

Using #Instagram for International Student Recruitment

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Mar 30, 2016 5:30:00 AM

For your top 2016 international student prospects, using Instagram is second nature. These teens and young adults #instadaily like total pros. But, Instagram isn’t just an entertainment or social networking application. Not really. Not any more.

In September 2015, Instagram opened its doors to advertising for all businesses, big and small. That same month, Instagram hit another milestone when it beat out Twitter in active monthly users. Instagram’s website reports 400 million active monthly users. This is big.

So naturally there are big questions that arise with advertising opening up on Instagram. What is Instagram marketing? Should your university be doing it? Short answer: Yes.

Why? This is where your prospects are spending their time. Your digital marketing needs to adjust to the changing social media landscape. Hard to keep up? Hard to staff it? Of course. Want to beat out your competition? Right, of course, again.

Oh, and this from Higher Education Marketing: 48% of U.S. high school seniors were researching universities via Instagram in 2015. BAM!

No whining about how you can't find a way to do it. Let's get down to how to do it.

This week and next, Emily will share our thoughts and tips on why and how.

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Topics: Student Recruitment, Digital Marketing, Digital Engagement, higher education marketing, Instagram

Get The Most Out of Student Recruitment Travel

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Mar 23, 2016 5:30:00 AM

You know the saying: you can do anything, but not everything. It applies to all aspects of life and work. And it really applies to those in the international student recruitment industry who travel.

Traveling for recruitment is a whirlwind. There is advance planning, the many activities, meetings, fairs and visits that you have scheduled for your trip. Did we mention the long days on your feet at the booth while struggling with jet lag? Best not to mention that part, right?

And then, of course, the most important part of recruitment travel: following up with leads. Wasn't the whole point of the trip to find prospective students and ultimately enroll them?

It is quite a lot to take on. And last time we checked, you only had two hands, one brain, and 24 hours in a day.

Of course you can do it, but not all at once. We know the challenges you face while traveling, we’ve talked to your peers in the industry and we hear you. So, to help with that most important part--the lead follow up--we’ve created a “Getting The Most Out Of Travel” worksheet for you to, quite literally, keep in your back pocket. 

The Bottom Line: making sure you are converting those student leads, which is really why you are spending those budget dollars on recruitment travel to begin with.

Setting up a plan is key. To effectively market your institution while traveling, you have to have a clear strategy in mind and a step-by-step process to reach your end goal. This downloadable worksheet might be just the thing to share with your team as a helpful checklist as you fly forward...

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, Recruitment Travel, Digital Marketing, marketing strategies

Audience Segmentation Worksheet for International Recruiting

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Mar 16, 2016 5:30:00 AM

If we said it 1,000 times—and we probably have —it still wouldn’t be enough. Audience Segmentation is the fuel that drives your email and digital marketing to the next level. By segmenting your prospective international students based on geography, academic interest, TOEFL scores and other demographic information, your creative content will engage them in a way that stands out from your competition.

Here’s the thing, of the 4,000+ universities and colleges in the U.S., only a handful are doing this level of marketing. So, if you are wondering if you should make the effort…uhm, YES!

So the Intead team has created a worksheet that spells it out in 9 steps. Want to download a copy to share with your staff? Read on...

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Topics: Digital Marketing, email marketing, email segmentation, international recruitment travel, international recruiting, marketing strategies

Recruit International Students in Your Own Backyard

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Mar 9, 2016 5:30:00 AM

What if recruiting international students was as easy as looking in your own backyard? OK, maybe not literally in your backyard. But, there is certainly a lesser-tapped market that is closer than you might think. (And we found this beautiful photo of a typical American front yard and really wanted to use it  ;-)

In 2014, the Institute of International Education reported that 73,019 international students were enrolled in secondary schools in the United States. And of those students, 67% were seeking their secondary diploma. Exchange students, as well as domestically-based international students, are an important target group. They have knowledge of the culture, language and education system in the U.S. and they are easily accessible in the high schools just down the road from you!

Bottom Line: There is plenty of potential for recruiting international students from within the U.S. secondary school system. These students typically have a much easier time adjusting to post-secondary education in the U.S. at a university. But, recruiting them is different than the process your recruiting team might use when attracting domestic students. If you are using your domestic student marketing approach with the international students in your backyard, you are not reaching this target market effectively. Emily can add to your perspective here and share a few tips you might want to pass along to your domestic recruitment team.

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, Recruitment Strategy, International Market, domestic student recruitment