In 2015 a large list of universities worldwide decided to use student recruitment webinars as part of their marketing strategy. Some admission officers, student recruiters, and marketers in the higher education industry might not know whether or not they should use webinars at the beginning or at the end of the funnel, but it’s a fact that they have been trying out the different funnel stages to see which webinars fit the best for their recruitment process.
To make it simple for you, we’ve created a funnel containing the different stages where schools have used webinars in order to contribute with the student recruitment process. You’ll also find below an explanation about the use of webinars on the different funnel stages.
Stage A: A tool to generate awareness
If your aim is to generate awareness about a specific educational programme e.g. Master’s in Gender Studies, or to brand your university in specific countries, you should consider using a webinar at stage A. Simply because webinars attract attention, generate virality and positive awareness. When you get the chance to present your school and the programme through a live and interactive session, students can clarify and drill down the parts that interest them the most by asking questions. Hosting a webinar will represent at this stage the first step to generate leads, leads that might represent qualified potential students for your university after a proper follow up.
Stage B: A tool to generate desire and application consideration
If your university or educational programme is already recognized, but you’ve noticed that there’s no interest or desire from the students to advance a step forward towards demanding more information about a specific programme, stage B is definitely the best stage to make use of webinars. This will give you an opportunity to generate a desire in the students who are considering your programme as the one. Be creative! Why not do a master class or a workshop during the webinar? it’s a great idea to show students why it is totally worth it by simply “simulating a real master class”.
Stage C: A tool to convert after a desire has been generated
Is convincing students to apply for a specific programme your main goal? Stage C is definitely the one! if you’ve found yourself in the situation of getting lots of leads every week, hosting a webinar is an excellent idea. Take advantage of the interest that students have shown, and use the webinar to clear all their doubts and mostly to convince them to give take the next step on the funnel: applications. Focus your webinar on the benefits of the programme and of the school, explain more about the admissions and about the costs. Also take into consideration for the webinar the students that you’ve been trying to follow up with during the last few months, this might be the last smart step before they decide to apply.
Stage D: A tool to follow up with the student after they have submitted their application
If as a university you’re known and it’s pretty easy for you to recruit students, make use of webinars to help students going through the application process and also to inform them what happens after they’ve submitted their application. A great benefit of webinars is that hundreds of students can join the event, take advantage of this, and unify all the new students in just one informative session. For sure they will value all this attention from you, especially international students!
After analyzing all the different possible ways of making use of webinars on the student recruitment funnel, we can conclude that the stage should be defined by taking in consideration the goals and the different marketing strategies that are used from the beginning until the moment of receiving an application.
Sit and think on how a webinar can contribute to generating leads, to convert leads into applicants, or to increase the satisfaction of new students that just enrolled in your university. After analyzing all these factors, ask yourself: Where does it makes more sense for you and your university to use a webinar in the student recruitment funnel? You might get the correct answer!