Choosing the perfect college is one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life. Personally, I still remember being wracked with nerves leading up to my college acceptance letters, and choosing the right institution for me was a big undertaking. Ultimately, I chose my school because of a combination of factors: financial aid, reputation, and overall quality of those I interacted with on campus.

When you’re wooing potential students, and attempting to make your college attractive enough increase student leads, it can be easy to get caught up in quantity, but ultimately, getting the right quality leads into your funnel at the awareness and consideration stage is what will lead to those students choosing your school and being great representatives once they’ve graduated. We’re breaking down tips and tricks to increase your student lead generation, as well as how to make sure you get the right kinds of leads.

Who is your audience?

If you’re a small liberal arts school in a left-leaning state or area your audience is going to be very different from those wishing to attend an SEC school or a research-oriented institution. Step one? Learn as much as possible about your ideal student audience and create defined personas. You’ll be able to better target and isolate your audience via ads or on-page content. These factors help you adjust tone, contact forms, and future marketing collateral to attract students who will be well suited to your campus.

Personalize everything.

No one likes formulaic content or strategies. Those using segmented campaigns for personalization have seen up to a 760% increase in revenue. Using the distinct student personas you just created in step one, you’ll be able to create personalized experience pathways for each student group. With drip campaigns, lead nurturing, and gated downloadable content that serves your audience’s needs, you’ll be able to start attracting and nurturing qualified candidates. For instance, imagine you’re trying to attract candidates from a specific state. Outlining college requirements at your college for those students, creating downloadable checklists with due dates for applications throughout the state, and breaking down how to understand financial aid packages could all serve that student’s needs…plus, they’d be targeting the keywords needed to attract those students to your site in the first place.

Nurture, don’t sell.

75% of leads aren’t ready to purchase. For higher education leads, that percentage is likely even higher as it is a multi-year commitment and usually a large financial burden to take on. Demonstrating value to your audience through storytelling is essential for conversion. Tell your success stories from a student point of view, give examples of ways your institution support student in and out of school, and don’t be afraid to give some things away for free. It’s important to help your students see themselves at your school, and the more insight and clarity they get from your site and interactions the more likely they are to develop trust and brand loyalty.

Meet them where they are.

This applies to all aspects of the process, but specifically how you converse with leads. Are you emailing them even though they spend most of their time on Instagram and Snapchat? 88% of teens surveyed use Instagram and Snapchat, and 76-78% said they use it daily. Another to keep in mind? Over 85% over geo filters and lenses. Do you have an older student body that tends to be on Facebook more often? Is your industry or program niche enough to take advantage of display ads? Learn where your audience is spending their time. Current students are a great resource for this and will give you up-to-date information on where you’ll find those excellent candidates. Want more tips on nailing social media for higher ed? Check out our post for more tips

Follow up quickly.

The ultimate rule in conversions? How quickly you followed up. Make sure once you have student leads in the funnel you’re not losing them due to a delay in reaction time or information sharing. Did you know following up within 60 minutes makes you nearly 7x likelier to have meaningful conversations? Time is of the essence.

So, what are you waiting for? Put these tips into action using content marketing, PPC ads, SEO content, and great design. Check out our recent case study on how we increased leads by over 600% for a private college

Want help making it all happen? Reach out to us for a free 15-minute consultation and find out how we can help fill your student lead funnel with qualified candidates.