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Recruiting Intelligence

The More Things Change…The More We Need to Figure Out

So, ICE tells all the online international students in the U.S. to go home and Harvard tells all students to go online for Fall 2020 (without lowering tuition). That’s quite a news day.

From day to day, the landscape continues to shift, sometimes dramatically.

If you’ve missed the past few months of Recruiting Intelligence posts because you’ve had other pressing priorities (we get it), then you may want to take a scroll through it all.

Read on for a quick summary of all the things we all need to figure out. (Spoiler alert: we've already figured out a lot of them).

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Quick Hit Digital Campaigns: Performance Benchmarks (2)

Listening to a radio interview this past weekend, I heard a fantastic analogy from a recording artist describing why she collaborated with others on her most recent album:

When you go to the playground and bounce the ball off the wall by yourself, you know how it will bounce back to you.

Collaborating with other talented people produces more than you can produce by yourself. And it often produces the unexpected bounce that takes your project to the next level. Today we will look at a digital marketing case study for a campaign we ran in India, Brazil, and the U.S.

This is our second post in our enrollment management series addressing the question of how much of a media budget do you need to succeed with your digital student recruitment campaigns?

The answer: Benchmarks are the signposts to improvement and success. When you run campaigns, you capture the data that tells you how to improve. Collaborate with us and we will help you get the desired campaign bounce (not bounce rate – that’s something entirely different ; -)

We are providing our community with case studies offering a level of detail you simply do not find out there. We look at case studies offered up on other websites and often we are perplexed by what their definition of “case study” is. What we are providing: actual campaign results to help you know if you are doing things right.

Our recent enrollment marketing campaigns for a range of institutions have targeted student audiences in Kenya, South Africa, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, France, India, and of course, the US. Campaigns on the horizon will target recruitment stalwarts: China, India, and South Korea as well as Australia and Canada.

Pro tip: you’ll want to share these posts with your team. Better yet, get them to subscribe to our blog.

And here is a link to last week’s Intead Blog and Case Study about Kenya and Ecuador in case you missed it.

Read on for perspective on the talent and budget needed to make your next digital student recruitment campaign even more successful.

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Quick Hit Digital Campaigns: Performance Benchmarks (1)

How much of a media budget do you need to succeed with your digital student recruitment campaigns?

The answer: Benchmarks are the signposts to improvement and success. When you run campaigns, you capture the data that tells you how to improve.

For the next few weeks in this enrollment management series, the Intead team will share what marketing agencies rarely, if ever, share publicly: real campaign results to help you know if you are doing things right.

Just looking at some of our recent enrollment marketing campaigns for a range of institutions, we have targeted student audiences in Kenya, South Africa, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, France, India, and of course, the U.S. More campaigns on the horizon will target recruitment stalwarts: China, India, and South Korea as well as Australia and Canada.

Do you see any of your target audiences in this set? Thought so.

Pro tip: you’ll want to share these posts with your team. Better yet, get them to subscribe to our blog.

Read on for perspective on setting leadership’s expectations for future success, what to throw into a campaign (talent and budgets), and the real, detailed benchmarks to measure your performance. Yes, all of that (but you have to read to the end to get it ; -)

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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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EdTech Goes Collaborative: Social Learning Platforms

First Marketing Question Today: Making better decisions based on gathered and distilled information -- Isn’t that the skill education is seeking to instill in all of us as we grow and advance through life?
 
Second Marketing Question Today: To whom do you turn for help with important decisions? Put another way, who are your influencers?
 
Main Message Today: You don't want to be that institution that gets the comment, "Huh! We don't have that," when all the students are home on break.
 
After recognizing the opportunities in EdTech, Unibuddy has grabbed the reigns and created a program that allows current students to discuss the merits of their universities with prospective students. The benefit: students in the college-seeking process are able to authentically hear the pros and cons of different universities from their peers and are able to make an informed decision.
 
Peer-to-peer support is an essential part of the human experience. Peers, colleagues and mentors
provide support in many forms today and it is increasingly digital. Sure, the shared cup of coffee and conversation at a table in some quiet corner has its draw and advantages. But really, digital has taken over the advice department.
 
In our continuing series exploring EdTech, we are looking into social learning platforms
and how they are providing your students (and you) with new ways to move forward. It is the power of collective wisdom.
 
This is going to be good!
 
We touched on these highly-visible resources in this blog in March, discussing learning
management systems (LMS) and social learning platforms.
 
We’re pretty confident you’ve already checked in on at least one social media platform today before even reading this. As you know, your students are spending their days Snapchatting, Instagraming, WhatsApping, WeChatting, (and some even Facebooking! - they might admit that one grudgingly ; -), in an effort to stay connected. Most of their interactions on their device of choice is peer-to-peer. Social learning platforms provide the same type of connection, but the focus is on students, teachers, parents, and alumni interacting to learn, collaborate and get creative with a goal in mind...less mindless, more directed.
 
What’s all this mean to you and your institution? What does it mean for student recruitment and student retention? (Read on...)
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#NewDigitalTools: Will the TikTok Craze Continue?

Remember Farmville? This one game grew to $200M USD in revenue! Now, not so much.

Remember Google Vine as short-form video? Kinda faded away with the advent of Instagram video.

So now, we consider TikTok and wonder, how long will this one last? This one is sophisticated and is already valued at more than $1B USD. This new marketing channel is powerful as long as you have the creative talent to use it.

The rule is: creative content rules. Period.

And the reason we are talking about it is that your target audience is spending a bunch of time there right now. The image above is captured from my 17-year-old niece's TikTok account. She is a content creator there and she and her friends have a great deal of fun (and spend way too much time) in and on TikTok. 

So, about TikTok...in May, we wrote about the growth of Chinese EdTech and what opportunities that presented. As of last year, Chinese startups received over 50 percent of all global capital invested in EdTech. This year, of the top six EdTech unicorns—private companies worth more than $1 billion—all but one was Chinese.

With the largest population in the world, China is automatically the greatest educational market. With a population of over 1.4 billion, there’s a market of more than 283 million students. With 17 million new babies born a year in China, this pattern isn’t slowing down.

Outside of the educational realm, tech is still booming in China, and one platform from China is now the most valuable startup in the world. What might this have to do with connecting you to those potential students in China—or anywhere for that matter?

Read on…

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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...

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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