In today’s higher education environment, college marketers must discover creative and cost-effective strategies to recruit quality students. Student journey mapping in your digital marketing approach can help. Student journey mapping helps increase enrollments by aligning marketing with potential students’ mindsets.

Many prospective students investigate areas of study, consider programs and institutions and make decisions up to a year before enrollment deadlines. To become a part of the consideration set, colleges must ensure that students are aware of their programs and unique offerings. Student journey mapping helps colleges identify when to prospect, launch ads, retarget prospects, and personalize communications. Digital campaigns aligned with student journey mapping increase enrollments!

Mapping Student Milestones

Digital marketing activities should target four attitude phases in prospective pupils.

1. Driving Awareness

Start college marketing a year ahead to meet enrollment goals. Enrollment targets and applicant decision intent are the goals. By promoting yourself and your services, you can do this. Prospective students are exploring a year before enrollment deadlines. They’re considering their study options. Awareness efforts appeal to potential students at this stage. 

Promoting your school and programs 12 months in advance will attract prospective pupils. Students are considering several possibilities at this stage, so an awareness campaign will put your school on their radar for consideration.

2. Inform Students

Many students begin considering college alternatives more than nine months before their enrollment date. They’re narrowing down their program and school options. At this stage colleges must generate interest and ensure that they become a part of the top 3 to 5 consideration set for further evaluation. Focus on digital advertisements that educate potential students at this time. Utilize interesting video advertising to teach students about your institution and programs, and utilize native ads to bring prospective students to your website to capture their information.

3. Retargeting to Increase Applications

Encourage students to apply six months before your enrollment deadline. Now is the time to nudge prospective students before application deadlines. Prospective students were directed to the school’s website. You can upload first-party data and retarget those visitors. Retargeting efforts should stress action. Invite students to an open house, price information, or application.

4. Drive Enrollments With Personalized Messaging

Personalize campaigns three months before enrolment. Prospective students are deciding at this stage. The objective isn’t prospecting. Instead, use creative direct messaging to reach potential students. Retarget with tailored ads using a CRM list. Engage prospective students with interactive ads and creative personalization.

Creative tactics let you specify criteria on a campaign to employ specific creatives under certain conditions without creating a new campaign for each rule. You may present different creatives based on time of day, day of the week, device type, location, and domain.

Higher Education Marketing Student Journey Maps

Programmatic advertising targets ads to receptive audiences, increasing ROI.

Student path mapping helps you communicate an authentic message to Gen Z high schoolers, online students, and continuing education students who are excited about pursuing their education.

Real Xposure’s programmatic campaigns are designed to help college admissions teams attract the right student with the most effective strategies and reach their enrollment goals. Attracting the right student is critical to college retention and graduation rates. RealXposure can help you get there.

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