The COVID-19 pandemic is making us all rethink our usual ways of doing things and in the world of marketing; forcing us to challenge ourselves on how we get results by using other methods and techniques.
People are not out and about in contact with outdoor advertising, they’re not experiencing your brand in a store or even able to eat your food at the moment. The only way to engage with your audience is online and what an opportunity that is at the moment.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking to many of our clients in the education sector on how they approach open events and enrolments. A usual approach would be a summer campaign and a series of open events where prospective students can talk to tutors, staff and students to gain the information they need, get a feel for the facilities and what life would be like to study there. How can you offer a similar experience but without coming in contact with anyone?
Here’s our 5 top tips on how to still engage with those prospective students whilst in lockdown and social distancing:
Make your open days virtual.
Create an online portal, microsite or section on your website offering all of the information they’d usually pick up at one of your open events. Make it easy to find the information that’s right for them by including downloadable resources, virtual tours of the campus and an FAQs section.
Offer live Q&A sessions via your social channels with different subject area tutors and students so they can really get a feel for what it’s like to study with you and interact with your people. Save those sessions as stories or record them for use on the website too!
Re-cut your videos.
Use video to show off your facilities. If you have any footage from previous shoots, why not revisit it and put together a new style video or series of short videos for your social channels. It could be mixed with new voice over and graphics which are easy to create during this time to make the messaging relevant.
Ask your students.
Ask some of your students to produce some content for you; this could be short videos on their experiences, their work, blogs or maybe they even have some great imagery of their own you could use.
Promote your new approach.
Once you have all of the info up online, you’ll need to promote it. You probably do this digitally even when holding traditional events and promoting enrolments, but some paid advertising will help with this and ensuring your pages are ranking well organically.
The idea is simple really; get as much online as you can. Reuse and reinvent content you may already have and get your people engaging with your prospective students on the channels they use! Simple!
See it in practice.
Check out the recent Virtual Open Days Microsite we created for The Bedford College Group. We had just six short weeks from start to finish to launch this site, all in time for their online open events.
The site allows prospective students to search by either a subject area they’re interested in, or by location. We managed to reuse existing video footage and photography to create a series of teaser videos for most subjects, as well as 3D maps with hotpots for each campus and 360 Tours.
The Microsite was used in conjunction with their Virtual Open Days where Tutors spoke directly with prospective students and parents, just as they would have done pre COVID-19.
We’re currently working on the Group’s main new website so keep an eye out for a full case study very soon. In the meantime, check out the Microsite:
Need some help?
If you need an extra pair of hands with some of the above then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and chat through further.