Virtual Open Days may not be the first method that springs to mind when you think about traditional online student recruitment techniques.
But in the competitive world of student recruitment, it pays to offer a varied approach in order to showcase the best parts of your institution to prospective students, and stand out in what is today a busy marketplace.
Physical Open Days are an invaluable.
When it comes to giving your prospects a taste of life, both academic and social, at your University there is no easier way to fully immerse prospective students in your unique university experience. But, there has always been geographical and time constraints with getting prospective students along to these events.
These challenges are further compounded when looking to recruit overseas students, a key factor considering students coming to the UK to study from other countries, account for 18% of the UK student population (Hesa).
So, how do you set yourselves apart apart and generate energy around your University, when so many institutions are competing?
The answer is the host a ‘Virtual Open Day’. A rising number of Universities are adopting digital marketing strategies to augment their traditional recruitment efforts, this switch in focus is highlighted by 'The Sixth Sense Survey' which finds that 72% of University marketers feel that advertising through external digital avenues is more important now than 5 years ago.
It also finds 98% feel advertising using social media is more important now than it was 5 years ago, stats which really point to an energy shift in recruitment strategy. Universities with little, or no, digital presence risk being left out of the running by students all over the world.
All of that's great, and in the main Universities are responding to changes in the way prospective students are assessing their options and ultimately making their choices, but increasing your dependency on typically less personal online recruitment methods offers a fresh set of challenges, ask yourself:
How much control do you have?
How do you encourage further engagement and interaction?
How do you capture data?
How do you impact that all important conversion rate?
How do you replicate the energy and excitement of a physical open day online?
How great would it be to have an online environment created in your University’s image, that offers all the interaction elements of a physical open day, that allows all prospective students to be immersed in the fabric and culture of your institution, and that you can utilise your current digital marketing avenues to drive traffic towards?
Well the following Universities have achieved just that; WorkCast are entrusted by some of the UK's leading Universities as they make the final step towards fully embracing digital marketing through the implementation of Virtual Open Days.
In all occasions these events have been delivered as a means to complement other recruitment strategies and to acknowledge the way their demographic expect to be able to consume information.
WorkCast virtual open days are web browser based, compatible with all five of the main browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari, with additional compatibility with the newly released Microsoft Edge), they are also fully responsive giving the user the same great experience no matter what device they are using, which is imperative considering smart-phones are now the most popular way to browse the internet, accounting for a third of all online access (Ofcom).
With a mix of live, pre-recorded and on-demand content supported with chat functionality, our University clients havethe ability to truly engage with their prospective future students online, broaden the reach of their message, and encourage further engagement with the University such as registration for physical events, or downloading a prospectus.
WorkCast Virtual Open Days are underpinned with in-depth reporting metrics which give you a true understanding of each individual and their specific areas of interest, and this information is fed directly in to your CRM systems in order for you to generate the most valuable follow up marketing message, and positively impact your conversion rate.
If you'd like to know more about how WorkCast Virtual Open Days, or any of our other online events can support your University maintain what are fast becoming digital minimum standards, we'd love to talk to you.