Digital Marketing

Digital Enrollment Predictions for 2022

In a recent webinar, we forecasted our predictions for the digital enrollment landscape in 2022. Your enrollment team strives to keep up with Gen-Z, and these predictions shed plenty of light on how to do just that.

Developing new communication channels across digital platforms is going to be just as important as it has been in the past. This leads us to the digital acceleration that is occurring in higher education.  For you, this digital acceleration has affected how families and prospective students behave.  When prospective students start to look at higher ed options, when they consider making enrollment choices/decisions and who is involved in that research. Encoura can help find the right strategies for you to meet students at the right moment.

Evergreen strategies will become more important in the coming year

The goal with an evergreen strategy is to be in the market at the exact moment your prospective students or their influencers enter the market. In other words, you want to make sure you are “always on” in the digital landscape.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to always promote the same thing, necessarily. The idea here is to be accessible for prospective students when they’re looking for you.

Here are some ideas:

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)  Your prospective students are looking for you. Strategic SEM ad buys on platforms like Google or Bing support seasonal demand as student timelines evolve.

Site Retargeting  You work hard to get prospective students to your site. Retargeting display ad across the web to website visitors after leaving your website.

Keyword Remarketing  Keep your brand relevant by showing display ads across the web to prospective students after they search for keywords you’re purchasing through SEM. This reminds your prospects that you're available for the interest they showed based on their keyword searches.

Mobile-first is how your institution will be seen by prospective students in 2022.

The average teen spends 7.5 hours per day on their smartphone. But, we're starting to see these trends grow and develop with more than just teens when we look at the higher end of Gen Z. They've now made their way through their traditional undergrad and they're starting to look at grad options.

With mobile traffic increasing year over year, are your landing pages up to the task? Here are some things to consider when evaluating your landing pages for mobile optimization:

  • Keep key content in the first 2-3 mobile page swipes
  • Ensure inquiry forms are short, easy to find and mobile-friendly

Increase traffic to those mobile-friendly pages with media buys. Consider building a campaign strategy that prioritizes mobile apps, too. We know that there is a strong preference for app based activity on the mobile devices versus web activity on mobile devices.

Creating the right digital story will bring prospective students into your world.

Digital Storytelling – Bridge the offline to online gap

Highlight an institution origin story to connect with prospective students and help them envision being a part of your campus.  Companies like High Brew have done this with great effectiveness!

Short Video Content – Video Traffic Will Drive 82% Of Internet Traffic in 2022

And when you think about engaging Gen Z video must be part of your strategy. 95% of the information contained in videos is retained by the audience. That's important, right? In 2022, we're predicting that around a million videos will be watched per second. Doubling down on video creation is a great way to ensure you are reaching Gen Z as a prospective student with impact.

Lookalike Audience Targeting – Snapchat

Replace Facebook audience strategies with Snapchat.  This social media platform is a perfect medium for creating lookalike audience targeted campaigns and reaching those prospective/inquiry students that you may not have even known were in your funnel.  The typical CTR for Snapchat is 2x to 3x higher than Facebook or Instagram.

Personalization Matters - Personalize Your Message with Eduventures Student Mindsets

Campaigns segmented by Eduventures Student Mindsets messaging can lead to conversions with up to 5x higher engagement.  Before even talking to a prospective student if they are really concerned about social causes or socialization as part of campus life, know if they are a career pragmatist and see college as the next step to obtain the career they're looking for.

TikTok will be the must have platform to use in 2022!

The ever-changing digital landscape provides colleges and universities with a unique opportunity to meet Gen Z as prospective students on the platforms and networks they use most.  We predict that TikTok will continue to lead the charge as the social platform de jour for Gen Z.  In fact, TikTok just surpassed Google to become the #1 most trafficked site in the world.  With 100 million US based users per month on TikTok and 47% of those users being Gen Z, it’s safe to say, TikTok is an excellent platform to reach them.  TikTok translates well to website traffic which in turn could be an excellent way to drive prospective students to your institution’s home page.


Digital Success with Encoura and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Keeping in mind what students really value was the driving force behind the Encoura Digital Solutions led campaign with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  Faced with limited traditional recruitment methods because of the pandemic and a need to meet students at the exact right time in the decision-making process drove them to launch a highly successful digital campaign.  Seeing website engagement 5 times higher than previous campaigns, the highest levels of in-state student post-view and post-click interactions ever and student communications customized to what they individually value most in a college were just a few of the successes they enjoyed.  For more information on this campaign, visit www.encoura.org/unl

Jason Stevens is the senior digital strategist serving Northeastern US and key accounts across the country, he manages media strategy, implementation as well as analytics and reporting for a robust portfolio of both undergrad and grad clients. Mr. Stevens has worked in digital marketing for over 15 years. He launched a digital agency for a large traditional mass media company and has helped usher thousands of businesses and organizations through marketing and branding transitions to thrive in the digital space. Mr. Stevens received his BA in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville and lives in Illinois.

Discover turn-key solutions and targeted digital media strategies in addition to your traditional engagement methods to help you navigate the ever-changing digital landscape

Discover turn-key solutions and targeted digital media strategies in addition to your traditional engagement methods to help you navigate the ever-changing digital landscape.

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