It's 2017 and Intead's Recruiting Intelligence is back! And we are flying forward. So glad you are with us!
2016 saw a lot of change – a new U.S. presidency is just days away, Brexit has made an impact on international relations, safety concerns have heightened, new government policies have changed the landscape across the world, and currency exchange rates have presented challenges for international student mobilization – among many other things.
Throughout it all, we have tried our best to present new research and insights, shed light on new markets, and introduce you to new tools and best practices to make your international student recruiting and marketing strategies work to meet your goals. While 2017 will undoubtedly present its own set of new challenges, we checked the analytics on last year's posts and wanted to share those posts that your colleagues found most helpful based on the readership stats.
Read on, and while you're at it, check out Intead’s new blog homepage! This is just a first step as we roll out our website refresh to make all our great content easier to find and access. Our popular e-books, conference slides, market research reports..everything you use to make your international student recruitment and enrollment plans stronger.
Did someone say "recruitment and enrollment plans?" To start your 2017 planning, come meet us in San Diego on January 29-31, at our first annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (theme: What Works Where), presented in partnership with CGACC. The conference will cover implementing effective strategies, measuring results, and determining what works where. We've held regular pricing in place through 1/25/17. It is a small venue for a highly focused gathering. Spaces are limited.
We are excited to announce our KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Safia Samee Ali (NBC, News Associate) and Paul Jensen (Weber Shandwick, President – Corporate Practices) will present on The Power of Storytelling: Marketing, News Media and the Student Experience. It is sure to be an inspiring talk from two experienced professionals well-versed in the importance of audience engagement.
Now for our Reader's Choice Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016...
10) Are Saudi Students Key to Your Recruitment Goals?
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...
Bottom Line: The reality is that many other destinations are more sought by your U.S. recruiting colleagues. African markets are less so. And therein lies the opportunity. The less traveled path represents the less competitive path. Consider how nice it would be to be among the top ranked universities at a college fair. Is that possible for your institution in Beijing? There are market opportunities and then there are market opportunities. Depends on who you are and what you are willing to put into the hunt for international students.
Bottom Line: 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.” When they check out your social media, there better be some compelling videos: Inspiring. Clever. Goofy. Engaging. Convincing.
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.
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! 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.
Bottome Line: In short, turbulence in any given country can present opportunities to those willing to stay the course. When others (competitors) flee an area because they are risk averse, those with nerves of steel and a smart, data-driven marketing approach, can find a welcome recruiting environment.
Bottom Line: We know the challenges you face while traveling. 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. You need to make sure you are converting those student leads, which is really why you are spending those budget dollars on recruitment travel to begin with.
Bottom Line: 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. And according to Higher Education Marketing, 48% of U.S. high school seniors were researching universities via Instagram in 2015. So naturally there are big questions that arise around how your university should be using Instagram to reach this audience.
Bottom Line: If you didn’t make it to NAFSA 2016 this year, you can access our slides here. We, and our partners at FPPEDUMedia, surveyed 1.2 million international students in March 2016 and in just 7 days…we received more than 40,000 responses from students in 118 countries. The survey was focused on learning about how economic and political factors across the globe influence students’ decisions to study abroad. Questions addressed currency exchange rates, safety and the U.S. presidential election.
Bottom Line: 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. We put together a downloadable Email and Audience Segmentation Worksheet to help you think about and manage this process.
It warms our hearts that you, our readers, find our blog so valuable. Stay tuned for more great content this coming year at our conference and on our blog! We’re looking forward to working with you in 2017! Will we see you in San Diego in a few weeks?