"When you're invisible, nobody can see that you're different"
Though Charles de Lint wasn’t writing about Education Portals when he said this, it doesn’t make his words any less fitting. It is a source of frustration for so many institutions to know that they have such excellent programs and services, but yet watch other institutions bringing in higher enrollment numbers year on year. Make no mistake, visibility is critical and, with so much information competing for the attention of prospective students, we have to be clever about when, how and where we reach out and connect as institutions.
Today’s students are used to seeing institutions in their social media feeds, vying for their attention and engagement, but the reason they are logged into social media in the first place is not always because they are searching for the right institution. They are on to upload holiday photos, scroll their news feeds, or catch up with friends. To be visible as an institution does mean social media presence is a must, but we also have to be there when prospective students really want to start narrowing down their choices and choosing the right place and program for them.
One place which increasingly suits this search behavior is the education portal. These portals often appear above your organization’s own website in organic search rankings, and really give you the chance to showcase refined content for very specific and targeted messaging. If you really want them to know why you’re different, this is a great place to start.
How do Education Portals connect institutions with students?
An Education Portal is not like a regular website, which has any number of functions. These portals have one purpose; to showcase institutions and compare them. The same way we use consolidators to compare flights or car insurance, the Education Portal really empowers students to filter what they see and find the right fit for them, from the location of the study program to international transfer opportunities, from price range to study mode. By giving the searcher the control, and presenting them with your offering in a very visually appealing way, institutions are connected only to those people who are genuinely searching for what you offer.
This specific targetting also extends to SEO. If your insitution's internal SEO strategy is not yet well developed, Education Portals can actually write high-quality, unique and well-optimized content for you. For institutions that don't want to commit to regular in-house or even subcontracted content writing, this is a great way to get your story out there in a space where it will stand out and make an impact. This content can be targetted to specific markets, and is often coupled with a geolocation function which focuses visibility on the markets you want to develop and attract.
But it doesn’t stop there. A good portal service can be connected to your own CRM, helping you manage and track every stage in the engagement process. You can stay in step with anything the student needs to make the choice to study with you, and ensure that you offer the most appropriate and personalized service to a person who needs the right information to make an important decision. This can even mean only receiving pre-qualified leads- a service offered by some providers-which allows you to really focus your recruitment energies wisely and efficiently.
How can NEO Academy help you make the most of Education Portals?
Like any online service these days, the range of options and opportunities can be broad and hard to define. This is when NEO can help. Our expertise in working with institutions and Education Portals will help you to stand out from the crowd, make effective choices, and really have an impact on growing your student numbers. Moreover, we want to help you to get the information you need to make this growth sustainable. From customizing and integrating your CRM with the portal, to providing clear and actionable ROI data, our aim is to empower our clients to get the most out of every action you take and every resource you use.
Being truly and uniquely visible online is possible with the right approach. When students are making the final choice of where to study, amidst a sometimes bewildering array of options, NEO Academy can help to make sure you are not only in the running but already two steps ahead.
"The two main challenges that I have seen coming back over and over again with the hundreds of universities marketing managers whom I have worked in my 10 years at Studyportals are: How to measure the results and ROI of a digital marketing campaign, and how to define the best recruitment strategy when working with a capped marketing budget.
These are two great challenges, and I was always impressed when seeing how Alejandra [NEO's Founder & CEO] has this under control. She definitely has a great understanding of the do´s and don't of lead gen campaigns, especially through portals such as Studyportals.
For instance, she always uses clear KPIs to asses the ROI of our campaigns and makes data-driven decisions on what and how to promote a global or targeted audience. She is also quite sharp at getting the best out of her budget and is very reliable and attentive in the campaign monitoring and optimization process".
Bertrand Laborde Former CCO of Studyportals. Co-Chair of the EAIE Marketing & Recruitment Steering Group