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How to be a Smarter Education Marketer


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You will learn about the online marketing challenges faced by most of the overseas education consultants and strategies to overcome them.

1. How to overcome challenges around lead quality and lead volume
2. How to drive student engagement throughout the sales cycle
3. How to overcome challenges around lead quality and lead volume
4. Analyzing the marketing spend to identify the most profitable lead sources

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design
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How to be a Smarter Education Marketer

  1. 1. How to be a Smarter Education Marketer? (An overseas education consultant handbook)
  2. 2. What’s Inside! 02 Marketing Challenges 03 How to Get Higher Lead Volume and Better Lead Quality 05 How to Drive Better Walk-in to Lead Ratio 21 How to Drive Student Engagement through the Long Sales Cycle 24 Analyzing the Marketing Spend to Identify the Best Lead Sources 26
  3. 3. The Marketing Challenges CHAPTER 01
  4. 4. 04 Business Process and Marketing Challenges01 Traffic and Leads Walk-ins Engagement Admission Challenges 1. Poor lead quality; lower lead volume 2. Getting relevant student walk-ins 3. Engaging Students through the complete sales cycle till the final admission
  5. 5. How to Get Higher Lead Volume and Better Lead Quality CHAPTER 02
  6. 6. 1 06 1 Regular Lead Gen methods for Consultants
  7. 7. 1 07 1. While buying leads, define strict criteria for the vendors, to avoid paying for junk leads as much as you can 2. When you collaborate with 3rd parties like Ibibo and Shiksha, the landing page for lead capture is your own, and the model is CPL (Cost per Lead), so try to get the most qualified leads a) Have a long form with the most important fields – eliminate junk leads right at the beginning b) Ensure that the leads fulfill a particular criteria – ask for marks, budget, preferred country and course A Ensuring Better Quality while “Purchasing Leads”
  8. 8. 1 08 1. Google Adwords – These are the people who are looking for your service right now: a) Better Keyword Targeting b) Mark negative keywords in the campaign everyday 2. Landing Page a) Must match the offer on the ads b) Must have a phone number c) If you get many junk leads, have SMS verification to cut out the junk d) Must have student/parent testimonials B Ensuring Better Lead Quality from PPC Campaigns
  9. 9. 1 09 Facebook Ads: 1. Use Demographic and Interest Targeting 2. Use Custom Audience to target people who became leads, but did not move to the next stage 3. Create Lookalike audience based on your existing student lists (email IDs) B Ensuring Better Lead Quality from Facebook Ads Lookalike Audience Your lead list
  10. 10. 08 The organic traffic that you get would land on your website ‘or’ your blog. So, you need to have certain elements on both. Following are the elements. We would discuss them in detail. C Ensuring “More” Leads and “Better” Quality Organically
  11. 11. 11 The first thing here is to make sure that the traffic sticks. An accessible website would ensure that whatever traffic lands on your website does not immediately bounce off 1. Have a responsive site – many searches happen on mobile, and you don’t want to miss out on them 2. Ensure that the page load time is less, otherwise bounce rate would be higher I) Website Accessibility
  12. 12. Why a responsive website is an absolute necessity
  13. 13. 1 13 03 II) Credibility Factors Credibility plays a role at two stages: A) Level 1: On a visitor’s first website visit (Before walk-in/conversion to lead). Following would help 1. Testimonials: a) By students b) By parents 2. Your website’s ‘About Us’ section: a) No. of years in the business b) No. of centers c) No. of students placed d) Affiliation with good universities 3. Your social media presence Logo 5555555 Testimonials Press Your Story Social Media Links Scholarship Help
  14. 14. 1 14 03 II) Credibility Factors B) Level 2: After walk-in, when the prospect is evaluating and comparing you with other consultants. The following factors would matter then 1. Reviews on external student forums 2. Alumni board forums on the website – Parents of prospective students / Students can interact with their current/former counterparts 3. Continuous interaction with the students even after the admissions would ensure that they recommend you to others as well
  15. 15. 1 15 03 III) Have a Content Strategy to Drive More Organic Traffic Your content strategy would determine the volume and quality of organic traffic and therefore organic leads An active blog would get 434% more indexed pages, and 97% more links on Google than an inactive one. 82% of B2C marketers already have a content strategy in place.
  16. 16. 1 16 03III) Blog Strategy – Student, Information and Tourism Blogs A. Reading fellow students talk about their experience would be a much better credibility factor B. Try to sell the travel appeal (if the destination has tourism appeal) and student preference of the destination
  17. 17. 1 17 A IV) Getting More Traffic Organically - Local Presence Create Google Plus pages for all your different centers, with Google verified addresses to show up in search results when people from a particular city search for ‘Overseas Education Consultants’. Have free listing on all the local search engines, like Just Dial, Sulekha. You can opt for paid ones as well. In Google Analytics, set Location Filters to find the regions that get you the best traffic volume and quality. Combine location filters with goals to see which region is getting the best conversions. You can invest more on that source.
  18. 18. 1 18 03 V) Offers for Conversion on the Website 1. Check your scholarship eligibility – Fill details and find if you are eligible 2. Preparatory paper downloads for exams like TOEFL/IELTS etc. 3. Newsletter subscription – subscribe to updates in overseas education scene, etc. 4. Live webinars/counselling sessions for parents of potential students and students, with A) Current and former students / parents C) University representatives 5. Quizzes 6. Help in drafting CVs etc. 7. Aptitude tests to find the best courses for individuals
  19. 19. 1 19 03 How to ensure better quality leads from this organic traffic? 1. Have long forms, with proper fields, like marks obtained, budget, preferred destination/course. 2. Generally from organic you would get traffic that is not immediately “sales-ready”, for instance students who still have a couple of years before they are eligible to go out for their desirable course. Instead of ignoring them for the time being, keep them in the loop with your newsletters, etc, so that you are on the top of their minds when they evaluate consultants a couple years down the line
  20. 20. 1 20 VI) Conversion Tools on the Website All the discussed offers can be downloadable/signed for elements that can be given away using the following tools: 1. CTAs can be as topbars 2. Pop-up forms 3. Image CTAs on Sidebar 4. Banner CTAs 5. Comments + Lead Capture integration 6. Live Chat + Lead Capture integration 7. Lead Capture Forms on the sidebar
  21. 21. Ensuring Relevant Student Walk-ins by Avoiding Initial Drop- Offs CHAPTER 03
  22. 22. 1 22 01 Nailing Short-term Engagement 1. Turn-around time should be less. People are incredibly connected these days, and slower turn around time might send them off to another consultant a) To ensure faster turn-around, deprioritize spam and redundant leads by using phone / SMS verification during lead capture b) Set email/SMS auto-responders, so that even if phone follow-up is a little late, the lead is kept in the loop c) Lead distribution should be automated (whether assigning to consultants or different centers – this would make it fast and not prone to human error) 2. Students might have some common questions before the walk-in, like information about a particular course. Have brochures with the most common questions ready to be sent across.
  23. 23. 1 23 01 Nailing Short-term Engagement 3. If someone misses the walk-in, there are a couple of alternatives you can look at: a) Follow-up by call: Do this if you have a larger counselling team, and lesser people missing the walk-ins. b) Set-up a series of follow-up auto-response emails: Do this if you have a smaller counselling team, and more people missing the walk-ins. You can send them periodic information about the course of their choice and reminders about the coming walk-ins 4. After you start sending them engagement emails, tracking activities (like, website pages visited, emails opened etc.) would help the counsellors deprioritize the dormant leads, and follow the active ones first
  24. 24. Ensuring Lead Engagement during the long sales cycle CHAPTER 04
  25. 25. 1 25 01 Maintaining “Long Term” Lead Engagement 1. Send your leads regular updates about overseas education scene in the destination of their choice – newsletter. 2. Hold intermediary counselling sessions after initial discussions, about type of course, desired destination a) Use webinars b) Online forum discussions c) Offline discussion at your centers ‘or’ your education fairs 3. Help them find proper accommodations. 4. Consultation sessions with current parents / students and education advisors – hold online counselling and webinars 5. Your student-run blogs can be a great way to maintain long term lead engagement 6. Be actively engaged with the already placed students. They would recommend you to their connections
  26. 26. Analyzing the Marketing Spend to Identify the Most Profitable Sources CHAPTER 05
  27. 27. 1 27 1 Find the best lead sources Ask yourself these questions a) Which sources are getting you the most number of leads – PPC, Organic, referral or anything else? b) Is a particular location getting you better leads than others? c) Is there a particular course/destination that gets you the most leads?
  28. 28. 1 28 2 Find the best “lead to student“ sources Find the lead quality from each of the sources. You can use an automation tool like LeadSquared for this (how many actual “lead to student” conversions happened from a particular source).
  29. 29. 1 29 For instance, in the above example, the student/parent referrals are getting the best “lead to student” conversion, as opposed to the other sources, therefore you should invest more in building an alumni network than on running ads, even though the number of “visitor to lead” conversions from PPC are higher 2. Also, analyze what locations/courses/destinations give you the best “lead to student” converts. Invest accordingly!
  30. 30. LeadSquared marketing software helps businesses capture and engage all their online leads till they convert Liked this EBook? Share it with others Sign up for LeadSquared Trial