A Diversifying Student Population
The student population in U.S. higher education is more diverse than ever. According to Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report, published by the American Council on Education in 2019, students of color increased to 45.2 percent of the undergraduate student population in 2016 from just 29.6 percent in 1996.
The research and insights presented in this report reflect the dramatic shift in racial and ethnic makeup of the United States we have seen take place over the past 20 years. Providing whole population access to the opportunity of higher education has become paramount to all institution enrollment strategies, but how effectively are you ensuring the achievement of your own diversity enrollment goals in 2020?
1. Multi-Touch Diverse Student Engagement Throughout the Enrollment Period
How consistent is your outreach? A multi-touch engagement program during the student admission period has been proven to provide lift in enrollment rates among diversity targets. Start your digital communication plan early in the enrollment period, and deliver strategically and consistently (recommended one per week) through a variety of channels including email, video, digital, blogs, social and direct. Monitor email open and click-through rates, video blog views and video play-through rates, and adjust accordingly to prevent marketing engagement fatigue.
2. Specialized Content and Imagery Targeted to Your Specific Diversity Goals
Does your content speak directly and appropriately to each diverse target? Through specialized content and imagery, you need to demonstrate that diversity is a priority at your institution. This includes promoting diverse students; academic programs, clubs or chapters; faculty; alumni; and other aspects of the institution’s location and diversity legacy that completes the “why it matters to me” story. Avoid gender-specific language and pronouns i.e. “Welcome first-year students” vs “Freshmen.”
3. Develop Original Diversity Video Content to Drive High Levels of Engagement
Video has been proven to be the most engaging medium for marketing to Generation Z. To increase response, it is an absolute must that you make the investment in the development of original diversity video elements part of your multi-channel strategy. Video play-through rates for Generation Z are typically 12-17% higher than industry standard.
In summary, even though society is more diverse than ever, to meet your diverse student population goals you need to commit to consistent communication that resonates with your audience and compels action.
KERN Higher Education is an Enrollment Conversion Specialist and division of KERN – an Omnicom Agency located in Woodland Hills, CA.
To request an Enrollment Marketing Needs Analysis – please click here to contact us.