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5 student recruitment strategies for your higher ed marketing plan

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As technology has changed, so has recruitment. It’s never been more important to come up with digital higher ed marketing strategies that attract and engage prospective students – especially those who are part of Generation Z.

Gen Z is known for constantly changing and evolving. It’s up to you to rise to the challenge and make sure your recruitment strategies are on-trend and relevant to them, especially in this “new normal” era of higher ed. Not only do they want a seamless, engaging recruitment experience, but they expect it!

Here are five recruitment strategies to implement into your higher ed marketing plan:

Make the most of social media

It’s nearly impossible to spot a Gen Z student without a phone in their hand – which means that you have to prioritize the mobile recruitment experience.

On average, a Gen Z student has more than eight social media accounts – and nearly 3 in 4 follow at least one brand. That means you have an extremely limited amount of time to grab their attention and engage them.

When information is coming at prospective students from every angle at an alarmingly fast pace, how do you get their attention? By creating and publishing video content. 

Video content is one of the best-performing types of media on mobile phones and social media platforms. In fact, Gen Z students spend more than 7 hours per day watching it, whether it’s an Instagram Reel, TikTok, or YouTube video..

So, make social media your best friend. Study the current trends and allow your students to take the reins and generate their own content that will speak to their peers. Doing so will help you create an approachable yet professional online presence while building brand awareness.

Create authentic content

Once you’ve taken the plunge into the world of social media, tread carefully. Prospective students are often put off by anything that feels unrelatable or too try-hard. 

Consider allowing your current students to create user-generated content (UGC) for prospective students. Not only will their content be relatable, but it will also be relevant – and relevance leads to authenticity, which is one of the best ways to boost marketing efforts.

Related: How User Generated Content Help your Higher Education Marketing

Whether students create blogs, vlogs, or other video content, stocking a digital library will allow you to curate a personalized experience. 

This goes for personal interactions, too. Higher ed chat solutions, like Unibuddy Chat, allow students to make and drive real connections with prospects and promote your institution in an honest, authentic way.

Let data inform your marketing strategies

Data is just so important – especially when it comes to making informed decisions in marketing.

That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the wealth of invaluable information available to you on your CRM and/or Unibuddy dashboard. Not only are you able to follow the student recruitment process from start to finish, but you’re also able to identify any issues prospective students faced along the way as well as highlight places you could improve your efforts.

Related: Navigating the complexities of digital student recruitment

Most importantly, you can use the information to create the type of personalized recruitment experience that has become so important to Gen Z students.

Keep prospective students up-to-date with a campus newsletter

Some believe that email marketing is dead, especially among younger generations– but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Half of Gen Z and millennials alike say they would subscribe to topic-focused newsletters as long as they were relevant. 

So, why not take advantage of that? Make sure your newsletters are filled with relevant information and updates on your institution to keep prospective students engaged and informed throughout their higher ed journey. 

To enhance your newsletter, reach out to and feature key influencers such as student ambassadors, flaunt on-campus activities and include images of your campus throughout the year. 

If you don’t yet have a newsletter, now’s the time to create one. Promoting all of your school’s most exciting activities and compelling offerings will keep prospective students coming back for more.

Final thoughts

When it comes to finding new ways to promote your institution to prospective students, the sky’s the limit – as long as you keep recruitment relevant and personalized. 

If you found these tips useful or are curious about learning how to navigate recruitment in the digital era, check out our report, Navigating the New Normal. In it, you’ll find insights from data that we’ve collected over the last year and tips and tricks to help you successfully navigate some of the most common challenges that higher ed institutions are facing today.

Learn more about the Unibuddy Platform here. Or get started with a personalized demonstration of how our product can help you achieve your student recruitment goals here.

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