What you will learn in this article
How to learn as much about your ideal candidates as you can
How to accurately target your ideal candidates using Character Profiles
How to attract those candidates' interest using smart campaigns
Every education provider depends on being able to attract and enroll ideal candidates for their courses and offerings.
Marketing campaigns that aren’t optimised for specific audiences waste an immense amount of money getting messages in front of random audiences, placing pressure on admissions and verification teams to find the candidates you are actually looking for.
By creating Smart Campaigns, education providers can target the exact kinds of students they want to attract, ensuring that the only candidates that enter their environment are ones they want to enroll.
Here’s how you can build Smart Campaigns that attract the students you want to enroll in your courses
Step 1: Learn as much as you can about your ideal students
Figure out exactly who you are trying to target.
Identify the kinds of students you want
You may have a rough idea of the kinds of students you’re hoping to attract and enroll in your institution, but to create really effective campaigns you need a clear, concrete understanding of your ideal targets.
Are you looking to attract high-performing matriculants? Individuals with a high likelihood of finishing their courses? Students with a passion that will carry them through to post-graduate research?
Write down, in detail, the attributes and qualities of the students you would like to attract with your campaigns.
Interview your current model students
Now that you know the attributes and qualities you are looking for in your prospects, you need to get a deeper sense of the motivations and needs of your ideal students.
Produce a list of the students from each faculty which could serve as models for the kinds of students you would like to attract.
By speaking to these students you can get rich details and insight into the challenges and motivations of similar students, which will help you develop the most appropriate content for your Smart Campaigns.
Find out what their key motivations and values are. Figure out what pain points your institution was able to address.
What you learn will be very important in Step 4, after you’ve finished producing your Smart Campaigns.
Include questions in your forms
You can also include questions on the forms you send to top candidates to find out about their motivations, challenges and preferences.
Focus on finding out the following:
- What is most important to you when choosing an education provider?
- What do you look for in an education provider?
- What challenges do you want your education provider to solve for you?
- What is the most appealing benefit or feature you have seen offered by an education provider?
Step 2: Create Character Profiles
Now that you’ve learned about the kinds of individuals you are hoping to attract and enroll, it’s time to really define them. Here’s how you can use the information you’ve gathered to create Character Profiles for your campaigns.
Who are your ideal candidates, in the most general sense?
Do they live in a five-bedroom home, comfortable in the belief that they will always be financially stable? Or do they yearn to move out of the one-room apartment they’ve shared with their mother and younger sister for years?
Knowing their background will contribute immensely to ensuring your messaging isn’t wildly irrelevant to your target audience.
What do your ideal candidates desire most?
Do your ideal candidates want to study specifically so they can earn a good living? Or because they really want to make a difference in people’s lives…regardless of what that means for them financially?
Find the single biggest motivating factor for your candidates, the thing that they couldn’t refuse if you offered it to them. And then give it to them.
Forget motivation. What do your candidates actually need?
Will your ideal candidates, when push comes to shove, put their family’s financial well-being over their desire to make a difference in people’s lives? Or could they not imagine living without working in a job where they help others?
Speaking to people’s motivations helps you make your messaging relateable, but it’s fulfilling their needs that makes them sign-up.
Dig deeper than ever before into their core motivations by analysing your candidates’ behaviour and journey on your website. You can use this to improve your campaigns and your sales. Find out how with LeadSquared
Step 3: Create content for these Character Profiles
Once you’ve created Character Profiles for your ideal candidates, you need to create content that will be compelling for them. Produce content that considers their backgrounds, plays to their motivations and fulfills their needs.
You have content that’s perfectly suited to your audience. But are you delivering it in a way they will appreciate and which makes them more likely to see the value you are offering? In LeadSquared, that happens all by itself. See how
Step 4: Use this content to create targeted Smart Campaigns
Once you’ve developed detailed Character Profiles for your ideal candidates and produced content designed specifically to resonate with those individuals, the only thing left to do is to create your campaigns.
Here’s how to start
Format and delivery
Now that you have an article, video or infographic, how are you going to host and deliver it? On an individual blog post? Directly onto your website? As a Facebook ad?
Pick your format and delivery method based on what you know about your potential candidates
The high-performing matriculant from a rural town in KZN is more likely to read an email about your courses in high-paying fields than she is to stream an HD video about them.
Before you send out your Smart Campaigns, show them to the students on which you based your Character Profiles. Their advice and suggestions are immensely valuable, as these students are likely to have similar responses to your campaigns as what your ideal candidates would.
Once you’ve shared your Smart Campaign, make sure you track its performance
How many students clicked or engaged with it? How many took the action you wanted them to? What feedback did you receive?
You can use what you learn to continually improve on your Smart Campaigns, ensuring that they become more and more effective at attracting the kinds of students you want to enroll in your courses.
With tools like lead scoring, lead qualification, and lead distribution you always know who your hottest leads are and where they are in your sales funnel. You can also automate tasks like follow-up and scheduling to continue nurturing the relationship at scale.
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