Marketers leave no stone unturned so they can reap maximum benefit from all the tools and platforms available online. It's the same when it comes to Higher education. Adding trending channels into the marketing infrastructure would gradually benefit you get ahead in the race, influence lead generation and eventually generate direct admission sign-ups.
If you’re in the UAE or nearby, have you considered Snapchat as a resource that can help generate leads for your university? Better yet, do you think Snapchat can help your university’s admissions process?
Let’s lay out a few facts and ideas to help you come up with a decision.
As a matter of fact, It’s a lucrative business decision to setup space in a landscape where others are still learning to get a grip.
If you'd like to cut the chase and kick start Snapchat into your next marketing plan, why not check out our e-book:
Weighing the pros and cons
Let’s face it. For universities and other business, Snapchat makes it hard to grow a following and connect with customers.
From a business viewpoint, a comparison may show Instagram and Facebook to possess advantage. Some others may complain of the very informal nature of Snapchat’s stickers, filters and so on. University higher-management always tend to get worried about brand image and maintaining standards. But isn’t that the case with any well-established social media management platform?
What if you were able to establish and execute an efficient Snapchat strategy that helped your university get found within the target group you actually care about?
Direct response marketing experts join the critic bandwagon because all that they’re concerned about is lead-generation. From our immense experience working for universities in the UAE, we say:
Be everywhere your audiences are buzzing at. Speak their language. Influence their choice of university by giving them glimpses of who you are on their level.
Where does Snapchat fit in the Lead Generation model?
Let’s be open: Snapchat is no Facebook or Google for Direct Lead Generation. However, we must note that each app has it's unique attractions and preferred audience base. Instead of ignoring it altogether, try assessing where Snapchat belongs in your marketing funnel.
Just ask Osaid Azeem at Canadian University Dubai. This 'Snapchat extraordinaire' has been successfully leveraging the platform for their social media marketing, for quite some time now. That too, with ease.
Considering all the attribution models available in the Inbound Marketing process (shown below), Snapchat can fit into any position. Although this cannot be measured, admins can definitely run surveys to determine impact. In such a case, metrics such as 'Last Click' can be replaced with 'Last Contact' and so on.
Here’s a prospect journey adapted from our communication with universities in the UAE:
A high school student encounters a visit to his campus by your University, at a stage where he's hunting for the next best academic leap.
He checks out the university brochure and was surprised to see a Snapchat profile. Note: not only did this connect with the user, as majority of them are avid Snapchat users, but it instantaneously created generated curiosity to venture what the university is up to, on the platform.
Prospect begins following your university Snapchat profile – Spot's a piece of humourous / trendy content (example: a ‘mannequin challenge’ at the campus). First impression was engaging and impactful so he makes sure to check your stories everyday.
Prospect has been influenced. Does a Google search for your university and lands upon the website homepage. A cookie is registered but no further action is taken.
A few weeks later, the prospect is targeted via a re-marketing campaign for their open house event through a Facebook lead gen ad. Prospect ignores once again.
He later spots a display banner with a new message indicating scholarship opportunity. This time, he clicks and enters a dedicated landing page dedicated to the event .
Prospect signs in and Viola! We’re all familiar with what happens next.
Snapchat Lead Gen ideas
Now coming to the big question: Can Snapchat Marketing help generate leads for universities in the UAE? It all depends how well the higher ed marketer has it intervowen into the existing marketing activity line-up. Some may bring instantaneous results, especially if a high impact campaign is under way. Others may take longer but bring continuous results. Here are a few ideas to help you get-started on Snapchatting:
#1. Build stories / series that nurture beyond Snapchat
Just like traditional networking, you university need to gradually get to know anonymous people first and build rapport with them until the time is right. And when you offer something they may be interested in, it gives birth to longer & direct interactions.
People do not visit Snapchat with the mindset to take action, so be sure to move them on to another step that facilitates capturing visitor data for prospect database build-up.
Example1: Arrange to have a well known brand visit your campus. Post on Snapchat mentioning that they are giving out free trials / sign-ups in exchange for a gift. Create a sense of urgency & exclusiveness. Make sure to have the brand fill out physical forms for lead-capture.
Example2: Setup a live treasure hunt or giveaway execution at a youth-targeted expo. Put up a standie / poster at the entrance revealing a Snapchat ID to log in in order to find out how. Mention to make sure participants follow your university Facebook / Insta page before submitting their entry.
Being an integral content promotion outlet, be sure to optimize Snapchat to join your email list. Similarly, you can use Snapchat to promote your university blog, FAQ, document downloads, webinars, early bird and other offerings scheduled for broadcast.
Use bit.ly or other link shorteners to embed within your artwork. When you use this short link in your snaps, be sure to encourage taking a screenshot so they can get back to the message from their gallery.
And don’t forget to ask them to snap you back if they want the link once again. Links in Snapchat direct messages are clickable so you can then send people the link using Snapchat’s direct message function.
This is the 'near to real' experience for a follower to create affinity with your university’s culture and beat. From exclusive behind-the-scenes footage to humour and awe. Differentiate yourself from the boring bunch!
Image Source: Canadian University Dubai (cudsnaps)
When trying to drive a desired action, the key is to let your followers know the next steps in the most subtle and easiest way possible. Keep in mind that you are attempting to influencing their preference patterns. Call To Action's can be downright basic. From telling your followers to swipe up and ask more about your latest snap, to having them visit you at the nearest education fair with a prospect friend to grab an on-the-spot gift pack.
Are we done?
With Social Media, the story never ends. There’s lots more ways to increase engagement, create brand awareness and generate leads via Snapchat. It all depends how well you connect. Now it's your turn.
Everyone has their own methods and tricks to manage effective an Snapchat page. Share yours in the comments below.