While most colleges and universities in the United States work toward promoting an environment that reflects diversity, many of them struggle to reach their goals. Based on a global study on advertising that IPSOS conducted, 72% of the respondents say that most advertising materials don’t reflect the world surrounding them. Additionally, 63% don’t see themselves being represented in advertising, and 64% of the respondents feel that advertisers need to eliminate old-fashioned or traditional gender roles.
While the study refers to advertising as a whole, these findings can translate to higher education in America. Many recruiters and marketers must go beyond promoting advertising materials that may seem “diverse.” Instead, they must dive deeper and look into actual student experiences that genuinely reflect diversity. Only then can they reach diverse audiences on an authentic level.
Marketing that focuses on diversity requires commitment, thoughtfulness, consistency, research, and outstanding leadership. For your strategies to work, you and your institution must promote a singular message across all your platforms.
Below are some approaches that you can employ to achieve this.
Go Beyond the Standard Image
Rather than going for a perfect image, try to achieve something authentic and genuine by featuring real students and real stories. In addition, try to include as many people from various genders, appearances, and cultural backgrounds as possible. This will visually communicate how much you embrace inclusivity in your school.
Invest in Getting To Know Your Audience
Because of budget and time constraints, many colleges tend to put research as the last priority. However, if the goal is to engage and connect with a more diverse population, research should be at the forefront of every marketing campaign.
Without it, you might fail at your marketing efforts by promoting a message that falls flat or unknowingly sharing data that does not accurately represent your audience. To prevent this from happening, you can conduct a yearly survey of your students to help create messages and develop tactics that are true and unique to your college.
If you want to create a platform to get to know your students better and gain valuable insights, you can explore StudentBridge’s virtual event solutions.
Through this service, you can reach out to a broader student body population and interact with them online, on-demand. The virtual event solution is entirely customizable, so you can create an event that fits your objectives and give you results.
The data collected from the event can determine your next marketing campaign to drive diverse students to your college.
Showcase Your Mission on Your Website
Among all your resources, your college website is arguably the most powerful tool to market to diverse students. Not only does this increase your visibility online, but it also strengthens your credibility and authority.
That said, you must take advantage of your platform to communicate inclusivity and diversity. Ensure your website has a subpage dedicated to this message that is easy to locate. You can place a header on the homepage or hyperlink it to relevant content.
Besides this, you can also scatter your message across various subpages, such as:
If you need assistance developing a website designed to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, look no further than the StudentBridge Tech Platform.
Home to the latest technological advancements, StudentBridge is your one-stop digital solutions provider to create an effective website filled with customized features and comprehensive functionalities. To ensure that you have everything you need in one platform, StudentBridge also enables personalization, changes, automatic updates, and real-time analytics.
Share Relatable Student Stories
Another strategy to entice a more diverse pool is to help them feel like they belong. One way to do so is to share authentic and relatable stories from both past and present students. Make sure to invite students of various races, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds to connect to as many potential students as possible.
To take it one step further, you can open the floor for interested applicants to communicate with current students through CampusBubble. This is a platform that connects and engages students in real time. If interested applicants want to expound further on their stories or get more inspiration from their peers, this is a safe environment to do so.
Integrate Multiple Language Web Functions on Your Website
In your mission to connect with a diverse group of students and their families, you need to understand that some parents may not have English as their primary language. Hence, an excellent strategy to embrace diversity is to offer a multi-language function on your website. When you integrate this feature, parents and relatives can further familiarize themselves with your school.
If you want to expand your knowledge on ways to attract more diverse students, you can watch a StudentBridge webinar on Student Stories that Sell: How to Attract a More Diverse Pool.
This webinar provides essential information about the changing recruitment landscape in 2022 and beyond. As the rate of international students increases, you must learn how to communicate with them effectively.
That said, you will learn the do’s and don’ts of student storytelling and the best channels you can utilize to share diverse stories.
Not quite convinced? Take a look at the success of Wayne State College.
Wayne State College was looking to improve its recruiting operations by telling authentic student stories. While they have multiple mediums to do so, they needed a way to track their promotional efforts and measure their performance.
As a solution, StudentBridge created an interactive campus map and a Video ViewBook to direct prospective applicants to a centralized location. By directing all traffic to one page, Wayne State College can communicate its message effectively and accurately measure its impact.
As a result, they have seen a 20% enrollment growth over four years and have received three awards in National Collegiate Advertising.
Marketing to diverse students shouldn’t be as tricky as it is. With the help of StudentBridge and its extensive services, you can seize promotional opportunities and witness your positive impact first-hand.
That said if you want to improve your diverse student enrollment, set up a demo with StudentBridge today.