You wouldn’t book a vacation without doing a little research, comparing price points, and reading a few reviews first, would you? Of course not. Such a large purchase requires time and consideration before you’re ready to click the ‘book now” button. The same goes for prospective students and their parents when looking for the right school to attend. You can’t expect them to come to your website for the first time and immediately click “apply now.”
To prepare prospects for that big conversion, it’s important to create several smaller conversion opportunities throughout the enrollment cycle. The goal is to provide useful, educational content for students and their parents in order to build a relationship and establish a strong foundation of trust. This way, when the time does come to apply, your school will be on the top of their minds and their lists.
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Premium content helps generate more leads
Rather than just an “apply now” button, it’s important to have a variety of calls-to-action placed in different locations on your website to cater to prospects who are in various stages of the enrollment cycle. Instead of only having one method of generating leads, it’s your job to provide ample opportunities for prospective students and their parents to find their way into your database. This way, you can create more personalized lead nurturing campaigns based on the information gathered about your prospects.
In order to generate leads, you’ll need to create content offers that are useful enough that prospects will be willing to fill out a short form to download them. This content, known as premium content in the marketing world, goes beyond the information found in a blog post and provides a more in-depth look at a topic of interest. Without this gated content, this exchange of information becomes one sided. So what kind of content are students willing to give up their email addresses for? We’ve provided a list of several content ideas that will provide value to prospective students while helping you learn more about where they’re at in the college application process.
Checklists are great because they are a tool prospective students can use to make their lives easier. Think about how complicated the college application process can be. With so many steps and deadlines, it’s easy for students to get overwhelmed. Consider putting together a checklist students can follow throughout their entire college search and application process. Further ideas for checklists include:
- Essential SAT/ACT/GRE/LSAT Prep Checklist
- Application Document Requirements Checklist
- FAFSA Checklist
2. Long-form written content
Whether it’s an eBook, whitepaper, or simple pdf students can download, consider expanding blog post topics into more in-depth premium content. Not only is this a great way to repurpose content, but it also provides useful information students can download and access whenever they need it. Possible topics to consider include:
- The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a major
- How to Find and Apply for Scholarships
- How to Budget for College and Minimize Student Debt
- Career Guide
Related Guide: How to Use Blogging to Attract Students to Your School
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Webinars present an excellent opportunity to provide information to students who aren’t able to visit your campus in person. Whether you want to reach out-of-state or international students, hosting a webinar is a great way to answer any questions these students may have. Consider hosting webinars on the following topics:
- Focus on a specific program of study and the application process, curriculum, and job opportunities
- Feature the dean of each school talking about what is happening in their academic unit
- Have student ambassadors host a webinar where they answer commonly asked campus tour questions
Creating free tools prospective students can use to simplify the college search process goes a long way towards building their trust. It shows students you’re willing to share your expertise and knowledge to help them make better decisions about college and their future. A great way to find out what tools would be most useful to prospects is to ask them! Whether you conduct a survey, ask around at college fairs, or simply run a Twitter poll; take the guesswork out of content creation by going straight to the source to find out what their pain points are. A few ideas to get you started are:
- A net price calculator students can use to figure out how much their tuition would be
- College Essay Examples from Current Students
Today’s students respond to content that is tailored to their specific needs and interests. They want schools to provide them relevant, authentic, and useful content to help them make one of the biggest decisions of their lives. The key to creating great content then, is to know your audience and work to address their pain points.