Recruiting Intelligence

Engaging Parents of International Students on Social Media

In many countries where you are currently recruiting, parents and families are an important part of the study abroad decision-making process. In some European and Asian countries, parents play an especially vital role in helping their children decide where to study - especially at the boarding high school and undergraduate levels. And they play a pretty influential role at the graduate level as well (though the students would have you believe otherwise).

Though it may be a bit more challenging to reach parents with your marketing, this influencing audience is so important. Facebook, live chats and online forums are great places to engage parents and bring them into the decision-making process. Of course, China needs a different approach. China always needs a different approach!

Bottom Line: We discuss segmentation a lot. By demographics, geographics, programs of interest. Academic marketers segment their student audience in many ways. Parents are another segment of your overall recruiting plan that you should be considering. They need specific messaging about safety, quality of academic programs, job prospects (outcomes) and other factors when deciding to send their child abroad. And, Pro Tip 1: they like institutions that are close to large international airports with major metropolis shopping nearby. Pro Tip 2: local language (nuf said!).

Finding online communities where parents are active is a great way to make sure your influential messaging gets to them.

Meet us in D.C.! Intead is off again to AIEA in Washington, D.C., next week from February 20-22. We’ll be participating in a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5pm: Harnessing Language Schools as University Pathways. Niagra University and Salem State University will share their plans to take their language instruction programs to the next level and we will offer our perspective on how to align global marketing plans with language program recruiting efforts. We would love a chance to speak with you one-on-one! Let us know if you will be there.

Read on for tips on how to engage international parents online...

Read More

WhatsApp and Facebook Rule When Connecting with Kuwait

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.

Read More

5 Ways Your Current International Students Can Help You Recruit

Did you know that, even in the digital age, the most effective marketing strategies for universities involve direct interaction with prospective students? In 2014, Hanover Research released results of a survey that showed just that. This is big news! Why? Because even with all the online and print promotion that you are doing, one-on-one connections still drive recruitment! And not only that, they really work.

Now you’re probably thinking--that one-on-one contact is really a lot of work and hard to scale! We get that. Reaching out to students one by one can take a lot of time and effort. But remember all of those international students you worked so hard to recruit and admit to your school? Hanover Research suggests “mobilizing alumni networks and current students to become your brand ambassadors.” This is just one approach to maximizing your student recruitment opportunities.

Bottom Line

You have a wealth of knowledge about and great connections with your target populations right at your fingertips. Are you wondering how you can start utilizing your resources? We’re going to introduce you to 5 ways you can use your new institutional ambassadors to spread the word about your institution, get their network talking and keep prospective international students engaged. We're certain there is someone on your staff who would value this post, so share away!

Special note: Intead is once again honored to present our latest insights at the NAFSA Region XI Conference (Newport, RI, October 18-20). Our session, A Mystery No More: Successfully Engaging Students in China and Beyond, will reveal the results of our international student mystery shopping experiments of your peer institutions. Best practices, with a focus on digital marketing, will be explained for prospective international students from initial contact through enrollment. We'll place special emphasis on social media factors that affect student recruitment in China. We would love to meet you and see if our experience can help you address the challenges you’re currently facing. 

Read More

Snap Up Potential Recruits with Snapchat

By now we all know that teenagers come with phones permanently in the palms of their hands. They snap, chat and app like it’s their job. In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed mobile messaging usage among young people before, and the numbers are impressive. If you haven’t already, it’s time to give in to the trend because more and more social messaging apps are popping up all the time. Snapchat, the free picture and message app, although not new to young people, is starting to shape its platform to allow business and universities to reap the benefits of this app.

Pro-tip: We hope you are sharing this post with your social media team. Don't let all these great ideas and resources fade like some 10-second Snap.

Universities are starting to use Snapchat more and more to reach current and potential students alike. But is adding another social media app to your list to manage really worth it? Well, four hundred million pictures, or snaps, are shared every day via Snapchat. Yep, 400 million. And, if you think that sounds surprising, how about this? That number is larger than the number of images shared via both Instagram and Facebook. Estimates even show that the combination of images shared on Instagram (approx. 50 million) and Facebook (approx. 350 million) is about the same as those shared on Snapchat. Thinking maybe it’s time to consider using this app to get in touch with students? We do, and we’ll tell you why.

Bottom Line: According to Pew Research Center, half of smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 29 use messaging apps. Snapchat is among the most important of these apps for student recruiting. It has around 100 million active daily users and the majority (71%) of these users are below the age of 25. Universities are using it for various purposes and share mostly positive responses. Below we can give  some specific examples of universities doing this well. If more direct engagement with your potential students is your goal, Snapchat may be the answer. 

You can find more information about messaging apps on our Virtual Communities Messaging Applications worksheet. For now, let’s dive into Snapchat and find out why “snapchatting” is a verb that might be on its way into Webster's Dictionary. Well, at least if young people have anything to say about it.

Read More

Compelling Content for International Recruitment

Have we talked enough about telling compelling stories lately? If we haven’t, here is a friendly reminder. Compelling content is key to engaging your target audience. And as a university, your target audience happens to have some of the most tech-savvy people on the Internet today…and not because of their technical training, simply because of their age. Seems like they were all born with a cell phone in hand.

What we’re saying is, your prospective domestic and international students spend a lot of time online and on social media. They visit university pages to find out more information about academics and programs, and they visit universities’ social media pages to learn more about the culture, campus, the surrounding area and student life.

They want to know, “Will I fit in here?” and then they go online thinking, “Let’s see what their social media feeds look like.”

Here’s the Pro Tip: When they check out your social media, there better be some compelling videos: Inspiring. Clever. Goofy. Engaging. Convincing.

Let’s check in with Emily who found some excellent (totally worth the click) examples to point us in the right direction. Congratulations to both of our winners: two more universities have won the coveted Intead Award for Creative Engagement. 
(Framable certificates are on their way!)

Read More

Are Saudi Students Key to Your Recruitment Goals?

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...

Read More

Creative, Personalized, Digital Marketing, Because: Sharing

 

With digital content as the driving force behind international student recruiting, it is essential to be innovative with your content strategy. Certainly, there are challenges to this. There always seem to be new tools, digital platforms and social media options available. How to keep up?

Well, at Intead, all of this stuff is critical to our work; it's far too important to us to fall behind. That is, in part, why we write and share this blog. We all need to stay current.

So for those without the time for the amazing link at the end of this blog…

Bottom Line: Capture their interest and lead them to the deeper decision making content. This is creative digital marketing’s mantra. What do most universities do? Lead with boring emails and web pages that offer the deeper decision making content. And that makes you just one of many out there doing the same, tired thing. If all the options look the same, mostly students just hit delete.

In this weeks blog, Emily tells us why that is doubly awful. Because: sharing.

Read More

LinkedIn University Finder: Advantage For Lesser Known Schools

In last week's post, we gave you an international student's user perspective of LinkedIn’s University Finder tool (thank you for all the positive feedback by the way). 

For those of you wanting more digital marketing perspective... Join us in Miami at the ICEF pre-conference Global Marketing Seminar for Education Institutions. We hope to see you there.

This week, we check back in with our international marine engineer, Steven, to see what is driving his decisions about graduate study. Steven is looking for international and US universities with a master’s program in engineering and project management. His LinkedIn search yielded an intriguing list of institutions. In this post, we share Steven’s thoughts on the functionality of the tool and the effectiveness of the universities’ LinkedIn pages that he visited.

Bottom Line: International students seeking to study abroad have far too many choices and need tools like LinkedIn to narrow the field and focus their decision making. Your institution needs to be represented well here to take advantage of the free marketing LinkedIn is providing. Little known universities stand to gain the most.

Read More

LinkedIn University Finder: The International Student’s Perspective

 

LinkedIn is known here in the US and globally for its career connections. About a year ago, they launched University Finder. We've written about it and the value of LinkedIn to universities before (Intead LinkedIn Blog Post, March 2015) and wanted to check in again since this social networking tool is a bit unique.

We scanned the internet to find relavant statistics for you and found a few that are important. Of LinkedIn's 380M global users, 13% are 15-34 years old. In the US, 15% are 14-17 years old. Prospective students anyone?

Forbes reports that 48% of LinkedIn users are on there for 2 hrs/wk and 18% are on for 7 hrs/wk. Here's the thing: LinkedIn users are not watching cat videos and just idling away the hours (Pinterest). They are researching specific things, looking for opportunities. This is a work zone!

So we checked in on the university search tool to see what kind of user stats we could find and came up entirely empty. We'd really like to know what kind of traffic this school search feature is getting one year after launch. As we continue to look for that important data, we asked our international blogger, Emily, to take the tool out for a spin and see what it produced.

Bottom Line: The most common university mistake on LinkedIn is making your "company" page focused solely on alumni. This social media channel can be a strong recruitment tool.

Come learn more at our Global Marketing Seminar for Education Institutions at ICEF Miami [INFO HERE].

Now, digital marketing insights from Emily to help you get inside the head of an international student searching for just the right academic experience...

Read More

You Speak SEM? 38 Digital Marketing Acronyms - Do You Know Them All?

You know by now that digital marketing and student recruitment go hand-in-hand. And as those industry tech terms and acronyms get thrown around at meetings, it helps to be in the know. Here's a useful primer to keep you in the loop when everyone starts talking alphabet soup.

Read More

Know Your Neighborhood

eBook Know Your Neighborhood

35,000 International Students responded to our survey in 2 DAYS! That’s engagement!

Download Now

88 Ways to Recruit
International Students

A compendium of the many ways your peers are innovating to increase and improve their international student recruiting.


Download