Zero to Intense Doesn't Work

Posted by Ben Waxman

Feb 3, 2016 5:30:00 AM

Been at the gym and seen people working out for what is clearly the first time in a very long time? Have you seen them put the machine on some ridiculously high setting right out of the gate? Disaster waiting to happen, right?

Our regular blog subscribers have heard us talk about testing your digital marketing to international student markets before setting the dial to “intense.” I thought I’d take a moment to explain the rationale and the approach.

Bottom Line: Small marketing tests—that look at the combination of distribution channel, timing, message, content and design—are going to lead you to large scale success if you take the time to do it. To do this well, you need an innovation budget to allow for failure. Yes, failure. Why? Because you learn from failing and when you fail fast and cheap, you achieve success with confidence. With digital, this is the way of things.

What you really want to know: How many clicks? And importantly: How many conversions (applications and enrollments)?

Read on...

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Topics: International Student Enrollment, Digital Marketing, analytics, marketing test, small budget

Are Saudi Students Key to Your Recruitment Goals?

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Jan 27, 2016 5:30:00 AM

How many mobile devices do you have? You got your cell phone, your tablet… Turns out in Saudi Arabia, a heck of a lot of people have more than one mobile device, too. We Are Social reports that the number of mobile subscriptions as a percent of total population = 173%.

Yes, More mobile subscriptions than there are people! So, we’ll ask you again, as we have in so many of our posts, is your international student recruitment content mobile friendly?

Let’s get to the point of this post: Saudi student recruitment. In the last few years, students from Saudi Arabia have certainly left their mark on international higher education. With the growth of government sponsored scholarship programs, such as the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program (KASP), the number of students from Saudi Arabia studying in the U.S. for the 2014/2015 school year jumped to just about 60,000. That's an 11.2% increase from the previous year, according to the International Institute of Education (IIE). With numbers like these, you should be paying close attention to this market.

And most of you are. Paying attention that is. In our conversations with our colleagues at many institutions, we hear concern. A strong reliance on Saudi Arabian students to help meet recruitment targets might be leaving institutions vulnerable. Not unlike the reliance many schools have on Chinese or Korean students. When the political or economic winds blow, it affects a significant swath of your international student population.

You are not alone in this vulnerability. So we asked Emily, our international blogger, to dig into the international student recruitment scene in the land of Saud and let us know where and how to focus our recruitment efforts. As usual, she did a great job and found some really interesting research.

BOTTOM LINE: Potential changes being enforced by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), are affecting how many Saudi students are studying abroad and the funding available. However, many Saudi students are able to pay their way, independently. When recruiting in this particular market, it will be essential to brush up on your Saudi cultural knowledge and reach out to prospective students online. Mobile phone apps, YouTube content and targeted landing pages will put you ahead of the competition and help you meet your recruitment goals. There's a lot of information in this post, read on...

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, International Market, YouTube, Saudi Arabia

The Global Allure of Middle America

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Jan 20, 2016 5:30:00 AM

The heart of America seems to be catching the hearts of more prospective international students. A blog we published in 2013 highlighted the fact that Ohio universities have been growing their international student population twice as fast as California or New York universities for the four years prior to the article. (There’s some good data there; that blog post is worth a look.)

Since then, many Midwest institutions are stepping up their investment in world class international recruiting efforts that focus on core differentiators: affordable tuition and living costs, great international student services, a perception of a “safer” environment and American students who speak English without an accent (yes, that is a selling point). 

So here’s the pro tip: universities in the middle of the country interested in attracting international students need to play up the academic programs that make them strong and different and not always go head-to-head with competitors on the coasts where touting business and engineering is always the thing. Consider agribusiness and water/environmental science. Why, you ask? Emily is about to take us through the rationale — and the data tells the story. With so much to consider, I hope you know that we are here to help you figure all this stuff out.

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, International Student Enrollment, Research data, market research, Ohio

8 Online Listings — Are You There?

Posted by Emily Henry & Jacqueline Roodbaei

Jan 13, 2016 5:30:00 AM

We talk a lot about digital marketing content that makes waves. No matter what your message is, it can’t inspire prospective international students unless it is noticed.

Here’s the thing, when international students search, will your institution come up in the results? Depends on where and how they search, right?

With digital marketing, there are many ways to get your message and content out there in front of those student searchers. And get this, some of the ways are absolutely free.

Yes, there is a set of international websites that will list your academic institution for free.

Bet you wish someone would gather those sites up into an easy list with some summary information. Heck, why not add the global ranking and unique visitor counts while they are at it? Who would do something like that for you?

Why, Intead of course!

We tasked Jacqueline Roodbaei, our fabulous international student intern from Hanze University in Groningen, Netherlands, with the assignment. Lucky for you, she’s been working in our Boston office researching all kinds of things for us since September and this project was a no brainer for her.

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Academic Information, Intern, Free Resource, University Websites

Intead’s 7 Most Read Blog Posts of 2015

Posted by Ben Waxman & Jennifer Thayer

Jan 6, 2016 5:30:00 AM

2015 was a strong year for international student recruiting. And looking back, our blog was filled with many new insights, guest writers, and the important research and trends in international enrollment marketing. As we dive into 2016, we wanted to take the time to showcase what all of you told us was most valuable: our 7 most read blog posts of 2015. 

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Topics: International Student Recruitment, Conferences, Recruitment Strategy, Digital Marketing, Student Mobility

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Ben Waxman

Dec 21, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Happy holidays to all of our blog readers!

If you are wondering how that might go in the Volta Region of Ghana where many speak Éwé, you are in luck. As a small display of how interactive stuff can be fun and shareable, please enjoy Intead’s WHEEL OF HOLIDAY FORTUNE.  

And spread the holiday greetings around .

Click the IMAGE  to play. 👉 New Call-to-action

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Topics: Digital Marketing, International Market, holiday, 2015

Intead AIRC and ICEF 2015 Slides Now Available!

Posted by Ben Waxman

Dec 16, 2015 5:30:00 AM

 

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Topics: Student Recruitment, college marketing, Conferences, AIRC, Mobile Marketing, Education, WeChat, ICEF, China, Middle East

Puzzling Together Recruitment in Colombia: Part II

Posted by Ben Waxman & Emily R. Henry

Dec 9, 2015 5:30:00 AM

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the potential of recruiting students in Colombia and statistics reported in the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors report (find IIE’s report here). Although the country’s current economic state is unfavorable due to the peso hitting record lows against the dollar, Colombia’s government has placed more focus on education and as a result, more students have gained access to financial aid and scholarships.

However, even as we warm up to Colombia’s attractive demographics and international interests, there is another common issue Colombian students face when looking to study abroad. The English language remains a problem for the majority of Colombian students. But, like many other Latin American countries Colombia is working hard to help more young people become bilingual which is where marketing your English language program can help you stand out to this group of prospective students.

Bottom Line: Young Colombians seem to have a drive to learn the language that will help them improve their futures. Employers here are eager to find English speaking staff to help them do business around the world. Academic recruiters seeking Colombian students will do well to focus on pathway programs and the career opportunities a degree will foster. Finally, since university rankings are less important than affordability here, lesser-known institutions that can prove their value can do well.

Emily is ready to wrap up this two-part series with additional perspective to help you with your international student recruitment plan.

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Topics: Student Recruitment, Higher Education, English Proficiency, Living and studying abroad