As student marketer’s it won’t come as a shock, but there’s a tonne of competition out there for universities. Particularly during open day season.
Institutions across the country will continue to run open days at the same time, so how will you make sure your institution stands out? What will you do to engage and nurture prospective students through their open day journey? And ultimately – how will you get bums on seats?
We’ve created this Student Marketer’s Guide to A Successful Open Day to help you address all of these burning questions as we run through the four most important components of a successful open day. Get your hands on a copy here.
Want to jump right in? Read on for a quick overview of the four components…
1. Data and research
It’s the stuff that should be driving all of your marketing activity. As student marketers, you might not always have control over what happens at your open days, or the feel students get when they visit your institution. So, how can you utilise the data available to help influence people to make your open days more successful?
Use the data and feedback you collect from surveys on the day of your events to improve the open day experience itself; what did your visitors enjoy the most? What did they find useful? Did they receive all the right information before the event? But, also consider how you can use other data sources, such as the National Clearing Survey, to look at new and emerging marketers and other potential target markets.
From sharing ‘the feels’, connecting and influencing tribes, creating FOMO and sharing valuable content and memorable experiences, open days are the perfect opportunity to experiment and think outside the box.
Open days are all about a student coming to your campus and feeling something. And then sharing that feeling. Creating a unique experience at your open day will leave your prospective students with a story to remember and by connecting and influencing your brand’s tribes you’ll be building brand loyalty. Take a look outside the sector for inspiration, and use your data and the research you’ve carried out to make sure you understand what your target audience wants, and where they want to see it and share it.
3. Cross-platform advertising
With all these great ideas, how do you then get the message out there about your upcoming open days? And don’t forget the basics; you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people, on the right platforms, at the right time and with the right message.
And when it comes to the creative, one size doesn’t fit all. Make sure you’re using the right format, size and content for each platform. Snapchat ads need to be vertical, Instagram videos can only be between 3 and 10 seconds. Snapchat content works better with sound, but Facebook videos work better with subtitles. Craft your copy carefully so that it’s both optimised and engaging to read.
4. Lead nurture
Data capture and lead nurture are crucial for a successful open day. And it’s important you’re thinking about conversion before, during and after your open day to achieve the best outcomes.
Before your open day, you need to be thinking about what your objectives are and how your landing pages and sign up forms match these and provide your attendees with all the essential information they will need for the day. During your open day, you want to be making the most of any opportunities to capture new data and enrich existing data while also making the experience seamless for your guests. And after your open day? It doesn’t stop there. Use that wealth of data to engage with your attendees and create nurture funnels to keep your brand at the forefront of their minds right up until enrolment.
If you want to know more ways to ensure your open days are as successful as they can be, or you need help building a long-term open day strategy, get in touch with our experts.