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Recruiting Intelligence

Explain Digital Marketing To Your Colleagues (to justify your budget)

Your focus these past few weeks been a bit off? It’s not just me?

There have been a few more distractions than usual as we all try to get our work done. Still, there are important decisions to be made and the reality is, in our line of work, we truly do make a difference for a heck of a lot of people. Not quite on par with our amazingly dedicated healthcare providers and food supply chain workers. 

Still, helping students adjust to the academic experience that just went kablooey has its place.

The Intead team has been offering a lot of very specific perspective and advice to salvage enrollment numbers and stabilize institutional revenue streams. These are the underpinning of your faculty doing what they do, so that your students can do what they do. We are all connected.

This post has a lot to do with building collaborative teams and advocating for your department budget.

We hope you are taking time to read our recent blog posts and finding some good food for thought in there to support your student marketing initiatives. Now is definitely the time to innovate. And since so much of that student recruitment work is going to be digital, we thought it might be helpful if we gave you a great shareable infographic that simplifies the whole digital marketing process.

Sometimes, we find that the broad university teams we are working with includes colleagues who are not steeped in the digital marketing processes that we swim in every day. We thought you might find yourself in that situation more often than you’d like. Use the graphic below in your reports, in your slide decks, in your emails to those who approve your budget...

Read on for our practical ideas to help you stay focused and build broad team collaboration (and perhaps help you justify the budget request to make your digital marketing succeed).

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Go with the Flow: The How of Nurturing Leads

The first day of spring, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, is only 15 days away (not like we’re counting or anything.) Those few extra minutes of sunlight and that fresh feeling in the air got us thinking…about gardening. Taking our minds off the non-stop Coronavirus news.

With much of the spring international education conference circuit on hold, you just might catch us spending a bit more time in wide-brim straw hats with a gardening trowel. ; -)

But there IS something about the art of gardening — selecting the right plants, planting them in the right soil, providing them with the appropriate sunlight, water and food, that strikes a chord in our little marketing hearts.

Yes, we’re talking about nurturing.

If we consider your student leads as your fledgling flowers, how are you tending to them? Are you providing them with individualized care tailored to their needs? And, most importantly, are you guiding them towards a pathway to growth, or in our case, enrollment?

We’ve already discussed the power of segmenting your pool of student leads on this blog, as well as outlined different methods to segment in order to effectively develop content strategy around prospective students’ areas of interest. These posts are a few of our most read over time, getting consistent new readers each month.

Now, an important aside about email marketing...if you are among those who say, "Email is dead. Students don't read email." That may be because you are not putting any content in your email worth reading. We ALL delete useless sales emails on sight.

Reality Check (based on data): When a student prospect is engaged, they read your email. The onus is on you to engage them.

Segmentation is the first step to nurturing effectively, so make sure you have those defined audiences in place before you focus on today’s article: The How of Nurturing Leads. We’ll be offering you concrete suggestions for structuring email nurturing campaigns, as well as how to efficiently strategize your email topics and deliverables. Read on. 

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Is Your .edu Part of The IT Crowd?

A few years back, the business world faced an onslaught of new domain extensions. Companies formerly satisfied with their .com addresses suddenly had new options to choose from: .info, .biz, and the like. Even .cool made the scene. 

While the gold standard for academic sites has always been .edu, alternatives such as .college, .degree, .education, and .university present a new, distinctly 21st century challenge: how can you protect your institution from copycat sites?

More importantly, is it just brand management at stake, or does the availability of these domain names put your students’ privacy and online safety at risk?

There seem to be more #EdTech issues emerging every month. We're here to help make some sense of it all. When it comes to protecting your institution’s digital footprint in today’s ever-changing tech landscape, a bit of research and a thoughtful game plan can save you a great deal of headache. Today, we look at these digital hazards and make some concrete recommendations. Read on. 

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Your Most Influential Recruiter Is Right in Front of You

A bustling campus: backpacks slung over shoulders, coffee cups and water bottles in hand. These thoughtful, exuberant, media-savvy students filling your hallways, classrooms, and online portals, THESE are your most powerful recruiting influencers.

Last month, Intead teamed up with Unibuddy and Northeastern University to present our research on Peer-to-Peer platforms as student recruitment tools at the AIRC Conference. The discussion was lively. So many questions and ideas emerged. And now that research, and the guidance it offers, is available to you.

Consider this: When deciding where to apply for university,

  • 57% of students said online conversations with an institution’s student ambassador were their most helpful resource. 
  • 47% said friends and family were their most helpful resource.

Read that again.

Current students were more important than friends and family.

First-hand student experiences established trust and that came through loud and clear in these conversations. This student connection is SO significant to the recruitment process.

Read on for more insights and to download the full report…

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Online and on LINE: Japanese Social Media Platforms

There are a lot of things at Intead that excite us: new developments in EdTech, tracking the latest student mobility trends, watching our marketing predictions come to fruition, or better yet, watching our digital campaigns for our clients convert leads into enrolled students … And, one of our absolute favorite things is hearing from you, our blog readers.

Back in 2014, we wrote a piece about Japanese social media platforms to help with your international student recruitment. Remember 2014? (sigh).  Well, recently a reader, who is a digital marketing specialist in Japan, got in touch with us about updated insights that may change how you target potential Japanese students.

Why does it matter? According to Open Doors data, Japan was the eighth leading sender of international students to the U.S. with over 18,100 students in the 2018/2019 school year. Despite a 3.5% drop from 2017/2018 year figures, the country’s appetite for study abroad experiences overall remained steady, especially for short and long-term English language studies.

The Japanese Association of Overseas Studies attributed this increased interest in language studies to the growing English proficiency requirements of Japanese companies looking to expand globally.

With appetites for English language studies on the rise, there's no time like the present to re-evaluate your Japan recruitment plans.

Read on to find out what is new in the Land of the Rising Sun and where you should be focusing your enrollment marketing efforts. Hmmm, do you think it might be digital/social?

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Insights from AIRC & ICEF 2018

This week, we are just returning from the whirlwind Florida adventure that is the annual AIRC and ICEF conferences. This is our 9th year taking this trip, connecting with colleagues, sharing ideas, presenting new data and working together to drive innovation.

There was much discussion around emerging digial marketing techniques, assessment of our current global political situation and the students who are at the heart of it all. As with all higher ed conferences, we find ourselves loving the swirl of new ideas, invigorated, encouraged and looking to share our experience with all of you. 

I invite you to have a quick read through some of the insights from the two conferences and scroll down to enjoy a brief video we produced with several industry friends and colleagues who each have a deep and unique expertise in areas including: launching global brands, innovating, connecting people around the world and crunching data.

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Selecting a Marketing Agency: What Makes an Effective Team?

You know your organization needs to do a better job of recruiting in key markets, but how do you find the "right" marketing team? This is a complex question, but from our experience, there is one clear answer. 

Exploring an array of works by strategic thought-leaders including Brene Brown, Jocko Willink, Reid Hoffman, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, comparing and contrasting a range of theories and approaches, strategic and tactical advice about creating effective teams – a pattern begins to emerge.

The answer: When you are evaluating vendors, consider team culture carefully. With global marketing, there’s a lot that can go sideways quickly, and you want the right group of people by your side to launch effectively and adjust when needed.

Will your agency adapt to change with grace and thoughtful expertise, and still deliver results given the new reality on the ground? Will they have the global network that identifies the need to change and share it with you on the spot? Or will it become apparent later, after the campaign funds are long gone?

The "right" team is hard to find. We know that truth from experience. Read on for a bit of wisdom from one of our clients about choosing the team that will move your institution forward. 

But before you click on: Last Chance for a free pass to today's Intead Plus webinar, "What's A Muslim Student to Think?" with my guest, Wajahat Ali, Journalist, CNN Talking Head, NYT Op Ed Contributor and all around thoughtful, analytical, humorous guy. Starts at 11AM DST. You won't be disappointed.

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Hearing it Straight from the Students

You can’t do international student recruitment well unless you get (as in understand) international students. Given the diversity of this population (we’re talking millions of unique individuals from all around the world, after all!) — really getting international is easier said than done.

The longer you do this kind of work, the better you understand international students’ motivations, goals, and experiences on U.S. campuses. That understanding can shape your international personas, which should in turn shape all of your communications. 

Knowing your market is a career-long pursuit—you never finish learning as markets continually change. We are in a changing market environment right now. Student mobility is shifting. Canada is hot. The US is strong as a destination but seeing declining numbers. More countries are investing in recruiting activities (Germany, India, China, Japan, Russia, to name just a few). Ensuring your international student recruitment strategy incorporates the voice of the international student is more important now than ever.

This is what it is about right now: Disseminating believable messages of student academic and, more importantly, career success is vital to your recruitment efforts.

There’s no better source of authentic information than the students living and learning on your own institution’s campus. And what better source than students studying business communications and journalism?

This week we share the thoughts of three talented international student columnists to follow for extra insights. On this American Independence Day, we figured you might enjoy something you can read while lounging poolside, lakeside, with an ocean view, or in the shade while waiting for the grill to heat up.

Consider this: who will you share this marketing insight with on your campus to get your institution's brand a bit more global attention?

Kudos to these three journalists. And happy reading!

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List Purchase vs. Lead Generation

So many international student lead generators….so few real conversions. The challenging truth is that there are no simple fixes to global marketing, though many companies pitch them.

List providers and university search sites offer an understandable allure to over-worked and under-resourced student recruitment professionals: thousands of leads, obtained with the swipe of an institutional credit card. But like everything else that sounds too good to be true, there’s a catch. Kind of a big one.

Give this week's post a read and consider the value of unique lead generation campaigns – and then attend our session at NAFSA to learn how you can pitch the idea and build internal support for all of your international recruitment efforts. Join us at our session: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment" on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm with  Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. 

Valuable information follows. Read on...

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NAFSA 2017: Presentation Slides Now Available

For those of you who were at Nafsa (that was already a week ago!), we know you are still struggling to catch up with everything now that you are back (at least we are!). We hope you are taking time to enjoy an iced drink and breathe instead of getting caught up in the usual frenzied pace (we are trying on this end ;-).

We recognize that many of you were not able to make it out to LA this year, so we want to make our insights available directly to your inbox.

This year we were pleased to present two main sessions—the first with FPP EDU Media (see link below) on our latest prospective international student research on the influence of US Executive Orders and Brexit. This research will result in our next Know Your Neighborhood report – our team is hard at work on that already. The second presentation, with Megan Prettyman from Montana State University, was on best processes for selecting and implementing a CRM System for your institution.

Read on to see key insights from the presentations and download the session slides… 

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