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The Importance of Selling Student Ambassadors on Higher Ed Marketing

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There’s no question that student ambassadors are important to your recruitment efforts. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better on-campus advocate. 

Ambassadors provide the most valuable perspective in the higher ed journey: the student experience. They can offer an insider’s look at everything from the cafeteria to the classroom.

Moreover, student ambassadors provide the kind of authentic connection that’s so important to Gen Z. 

Rather than interact with a marketing team, Gen Z students prefer speaking with a peer. It helps them feel welcome, excited, and like they have a partner in their journey.

Over 90% of higher ed recruitment professionals agree that this type of interaction is critical to the prospective student experience. But how do you convince a current student to actually become a student ambassador?

By showing them what they can get out of the experience.

Here are three things to mention to students when building your ambassador program.

Three benefits for student ambassadors

They’ll gain valuable job skills

In 2023, even entry-level jobs require experience – and being a student ambassador will arm students with the ones that look great on a resume. This includes communication, public speaking, and even self-management.

Communication is the bedrock of any job role, even if it’s not customer-facing. Because student ambassadors must be able to communicate effectively online and in person, it’s a great way to prepare for life after graduation. The experience helps improve their written communication, too!

Related: How to Foster Authentic Personalization in Student Recruitment

In that same vein, student ambassadors are often quick to become adept at public speaking because of the nature of the job. 

Finally, it will teach students to self-manage. In other words, they’ll quickly become adept at managing their time and workload without having to be watched, a trait that employers find invaluable. 

But being a student ambassador doesn’t just boost their resume – allowing them to create blogs, social media, or website content will help them build their portfolio as well.

Increased network

When a student is directly involved in recruitment, their circle can’t help but grow.

On campus, ambassadors are exposed to faculty, students, and groups they otherwise may not have been. 

But their off-campus network will also expand.

Related: How Better Student Retention Starts with Enabling Student Intention

Because Gen Z students are the first digital natives (meaning that they’ve grown up connected to technology and the internet), a lot of your recruitment will happen digitally. 

This gives your ambassadors the chance to get to know students who can’t visit in person. They’ll likely meet students from across the world, all of whom have different interests and questions.

Greater campus access

Ambassadorship allows students access to your office and campus resources. What student doesn’t want that?  

That access will give them a greater chance to do things that look great on a resume, such as hang their art so they can say it’s been displayed.

They’ll also be able to get guidance from you (as well as other ambassadors) while making a noticeable difference in your brand and recruitment efforts.

How to manage student ambassadors

Being able to manage your student ambassadors in a way that will benefit everyone involved is the key to a successful program.

It’s as simple as giving them autonomy in everything they do – especially on your channels, from social media to digital chat tools.

Related: How to leverage the win-win of student-to-student connections

Take the time to listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to try their suggestions, even if they’re outside of your comfort zone.

After all, your ambassadors speak prospective students’ language and know exactly how to reach them. So, instead of telling them what to say, let them do the talking. 

Loosening the reins and allowing them to control and plan their own outreach strategies might be intimidating, even with your supervision. But trust us: Granting student ambassadors creative control helps 92% of Gen Z in their student journey.

Finally, include ambassadors in your planning. If you need content ideas, ask them for their opinions and suggestions. You’ll build their confidence by showing that you trust them.

How Unibuddy can help

At Unibuddy, our products make it easier than ever to launch and manage an effective student ambassador program. 

With Unibuddy Chat, prospective students can easily connect with current students to get human answers to their most pressing questions in real time.

Student ambassadors can use Unibuddy Community to help incoming students get orientated by suggesting groups and guiding them in finding their people before they step onto campus.

Unibuddy Events allow for face-to-face, virtual opportunities that increase accessibility and make it possible to reach students anywhere. Why not have your ambassadors host a Q&A session?

Our content tools arm student ambassadors with everything they need to create outstanding content – while still allowing for administrative revision on the backend.

To see how Unibuddy can help your student ambassador program, schedule a demo today.

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