In higher education, recognising that people are your biggest asset is half the battle when it comes to attracting others to your campus.
Testimonials from students are powerful and enduring marketing tools. Particularly in an age when we almost always check out reviews before trying a new restaurant/hotel/movie.
Why should universities be any different? Success stories of students, or even shared happy memories of their time on campus, will persuade new undergraduates that this is the place to spend the next few years of their life.
University student recruitment strategies should always look to achieve three key targets – to build trust in the educational program, to resolve any doubts or barriers to enrolment, and to steer clear of salesy, self-promotion.
A good testimonial will appear natural and informative, and can be presented as a written piece with a picture, or better still a video interview.
Using testimonials in a variety of ways can certainly increase website visibility and improve SEO ranking.
The most innovative marketing campaigns will squeeze maximum exposure out of a testimonial, thinking of several ways to use one across social media, websites and print advertising.
Here are just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.
Feature blog posts
It’s important to find good and engaging content for the blog on the university’s website – so repackage the testimonials as personal stories. Perhaps a Q&A or a video with an introduction and an engaging call to action. Or if every student testimonial for university has answered one particular question, write a blog post under the title of “What we love about campus life” and feature their answers.
A dedicated page
Give testimonials a dedicated page on the website, but don’t be afraid to scatter them around the site too – perhaps placing student testimonials alongside information on relevant courses. It is unlikely every visitor is going to look at all the pages of the website. Make sure they don’t miss the testimonials relevant to them.
Quotes for social media
Use samples of your testimonials to highlight a powerful quote or statement, and place this on Twitter or Facebook, either as a five-second video, or as a well-designed block of text. Make sure these eye-catching quotes feature a link to the university website.
In the prospectus
Either have a page of testimonials, or scatter them through the prospectus. In the same way as you do for the website, don’t be afraid to be repetitive, assuming that certain students will read only the sections they feel are relevant to them.
Around the building
Print off testimonials, perhaps as attractive posters, and display them around campus – making sure they are front and centre at open days. Invest in good design work to make them eyecatching and again pick up on key quotes.
For all your student marketing needs, contact us on 0800 612 9890.