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Tips & Advice On How To Recruit International Students Online

Here are the International Student Admissions Service's top ten marketing tips to help you use online and digital platforms to recruit international students.

When it comes to how digital marketing should be used to attract international students, there is no one set method. That being said, there a few steps that university’s can take to ensure the target audience are being made aware of what they have to offer.

Here are ISASOnline’s top ten tips to get the most out of your online international student recruitment strategy:


Tip 1 – Think about what international students want to know

Despite being international, a large majority of university websites focus almost entirely on their domestic students’ needs and concerns without any section being dedicated to international students. Ensure that you are providing all the details to prospective international students about what programs are on offer, how to apply and details of campus life.

Consider presenting your content in different languages too.


Tip 2 – Make the application process simple

Don’t lead applicants as far as wanting to apply and then make it difficult for them to do so! All of your web pages with a focus on international students should have a simple option for them to apply or enquire. Online forms work well for initial enquiries.


Tip 3 – Be friendly across all devices

A prospective international student might first spot your course on an email, which they read on their mobile phone. They might click to learn more about it (still on their mobile phone) but then actually apply to your university on a laptop. Make sure your courses available to international students are compatible across all these devices.


Tip 4 – Develop useful user bases to market to

Gather details from prospective students who have already registered an interest to enrol with you and create personas around segment groups. What are their needs, concerns and biggest interests?


Tip 5 – Send targeted emails

Under the pressure of time constraints and admissions targets to hit, it’s easy to resort to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with your international student recruitment email strategy.

Don’t make this mistake. Once you’ve created your personas you can create a communication plan to target particular students which will result in a much higher engagement rate.


Tip 6 – Remember the key influencers

Don’t limit your email targeting list to students. Careers officers in schools have a lot of interest in helping their students get into a good university. If you provide them with the right information and resources, it’s likely that they will pass it on to the relevant students and their parents. 


Tip 7 – Use niche international education portals

Use established and respected international education portals for the demographic you are targeting. Certain websites will have dedicated sections to a particular demographic, or target one demographic entirely, making recruitment strategies more focused.


Tip 8 – Be findable

Make sure that your international courses can be found through organic searches. Think about what international students will be typing into Google, Bing and other search engines and then work your content around that.


Tip 9 – Go social

Don’t underestimate the power of social within your international student recruitment strategy. Young people are increasingly using social media as an information pulling tool to get a feel for a university’s culture and reputation. 


Tip 10 – Tell stories

Content marketing is not simply another opportunity to pitch your university. A solid content marketing strategy will seek to genuinely engage early prospects, making your institution visible, personable and authoritative with content tailored to interact with prospects at all phases prior to application.

For help with your online international student recruitment campaigns, get in touch with our experts today.