Sure, March Madness Brings an Admissions Bump — If You’re a Big Name DI University

Sure, March Madness Brings an Admissions Bump — If You’re a Big Name DI UniversityFor the Rest, Maximize Digital Recruitment with 6 Tips on Hiring a Digital Enrollment Firm

I wonder what it’s like in the Villanova admissions office these days. I always imagined that working enrollment at a Division I school — especially after an NCAA victory — would be a piece of cake: you know, opening envelope after envelope, plucking the best candidates, nothing but abundance!

I’m sure it’s not that simple, but the truth is, these colleges and universities do experience a healthy admissions bump after winning a national title. My own alma mater, University of Connecticut, experienced a 27% increase in applications after their 2014 March Madness victory.

No doubt, the increased volume brings in its own host of problems, but for the majority of enrollment professionals, recruitment remains a tactical endeavor. To be truly competitive, an institution needs a sound marketing strategy — one that responds to how today’s students look for, and at, institutions. Of course, it must include digital.

While we know that students search and assess colleges online, most mid- to small-size institutions lack the resources to implement an effective digital strategy. It takes time and expertise — constantexpertise, because digital capacities change overnight.

What’s an understaffed, under budgeted enrollment office to do? Most likely, hire an outside firm to run a digital campaign.

Personally, I’ve lived both sides of this: as an administrator and a service provider. I remember hearing results and feeling like they were speaking in a foreign language: CPC, impressions, reach!

So how can you navigate this constantly evolving field to ensure effectiveness? When interviewing a potential firm, insist on the elements listed in 6 Tips to Guide Your Decision when Hiring a Digital Marketing Firm. It will guarantee the firm creates a campaign specific to your institution that focuses on the end result: enrolled students.

We can’t be experts in everything, but we can be strategic consumers that hire smart, hard working firms.

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