Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing: How to Recruit and Train Brand Advocates

Student ambassadors can be a valuable asset for higher education institutions, as they can help increase brand awareness and attract more students.

Student ambassadors can be a valuable asset for higher education institutions, as they can help increase brand awareness and attract more students.
Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing (Pic Source Pixabay)

In today’s highly competitive world, building a strong brand is more important than ever, especially in the higher education sector.

Institutions that have a strong brand can attract more students, better faculty, and more funding. One powerful way to build a brand is to leverage student ambassadors.

Student ambassadors are current students who act as brand advocates for their university or college. They are usually involved in a wide range of activities, such as giving campus tours, participating in open house events, and connecting with prospective students through social media.

Student ambassadors can be a valuable asset for higher education institutions, as they can help increase brand awareness and attract more students.

According to a report by the American Marketing Association, student ambassadors have a significant impact on the decision-making process of prospective students. The report found that 84% of prospective students are more likely to apply to a school after interacting with a student ambassador.

However, recruiting and training effective student ambassadors can be a challenging task for higher education marketers. It is crucial to identify students who are enthusiastic about their institution and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Additionally, proper training is required to ensure that student ambassadors represent the brand in the best possible way.

Why Student Ambassadors are Effective Brand Advocates

Using student ambassadors in higher education marketing has several benefits. Firstly, student ambassadors are effective brand advocates because they are trusted and relatable.

Student ambassadors can be a valuable asset for higher education institutions, as they can help increase brand awareness and attract more students.
Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing (Pic Source Pixabay)

According to a report by Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising. Student ambassadors are viewed as unbiased and trustworthy sources of information, as they are current students who can provide an authentic perspective on their institution.

Secondly, leveraging student ambassadors can be a cost-effective marketing approach. Compared to traditional advertising methods, such as print or online ads, using student ambassadors is often more affordable.

Student ambassadors are typically compensated with tuition discounts or other incentives, which can be less expensive than traditional advertising costs. Additionally, student ambassadors can be leveraged in various marketing efforts, such as social media campaigns, campus events, and outreach programs.

Thirdly, student ambassadors provide word-of-mouth marketing advantages. When student ambassadors share their positive experiences with their institution, they can influence the decision-making process of prospective students.

According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute, 74% of people identify word-of-mouth marketing as a key factor in their purchasing decisions. Student ambassadors can also help institutions reach a wider audience by sharing their experiences on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

How to Recruit Student Ambassadors

Recruiting effective student ambassadors is critical to the success of any higher education marketing campaign. To identify potential candidates, institutions should look for students who are passionate about their institution and are involved in various activities on campus.

Student ambassadors can be a valuable asset for higher education institutions, as they can help increase brand awareness and attract more students.
Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing (Pic Source Pixabay)

These students should also possess strong communication and interpersonal skills and be able to represent the brand in a positive and professional manner.

Creating an appealing ambassador program is also essential. This program should offer incentives that are attractive to students, such as tuition discounts, scholarships, or leadership opportunities.

The program should also provide training and resources to help student ambassadors effectively represent the brand and communicate with prospective students.

Outreach methods for recruiting student ambassadors can vary, but some effective methods include social media campaigns, email marketing, and campus events. Institutions can also leverage their current student ambassadors to recruit new ones by asking them to refer their friends and classmates.

The selection and interview process for student ambassadors should be thorough and well-planned. Institutions should consider conducting a written application, followed by an interview process that evaluates candidates’ communication skills, enthusiasm for the institution, and ability to represent the brand effectively.

In addition, institutions should ensure that their selection process is fair and unbiased and that all applicants have an equal opportunity to become student ambassadors.

How to Train and Prepare Student Ambassadors

Training and preparing student ambassadors are crucial to ensure that they are effective brand advocates. Institutions should provide ambassador training that includes information about the institution’s history, mission, values, and academic programs.

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Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing (Pic Source Pixabay)

This training should also cover effective communication skills, social media best practices, and other relevant marketing strategies.

Setting clear expectations and guidelines is also essential. Institutions should communicate the expectations and responsibilities of student ambassadors, such as attending events, posting on social media, and interacting with prospective students. Clear guidelines should also be established regarding appropriate behavior, confidentiality, and professionalism.

Ensuring that ambassadors are informed about the institution is important so that they can answer questions and provide accurate information to prospective students.

Institutions should provide ambassadors with resources, such as brochures, fact sheets, and other relevant materials. Ambassadors should also have access to staff members who can provide additional information or support as needed.

Engaging ambassadors in events and activities is another way to prepare them for their role. Institutions should involve student ambassadors in campus events, such as open houses, tours, and information sessions. Ambassadors can also participate in outreach programs, such as high school visits or college fairs.

How to Manage and Measure Ambassador Program Success

Managing and measuring the success of a student ambassador program is critical to ensuring that it is effective in achieving its goals.

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Leveraging Student Ambassadors in Higher Education Marketing (Pic Source Pixabay)

Institutions should regularly evaluate their program goals and objectives to determine if they are aligning with their overall marketing strategy. This evaluation should also include identifying any areas for improvement or adjustment.

Metrics to measure the success of the program can vary depending on the institution’s goals and objectives. Some common metrics include the number of prospective students reached, the conversion rate of prospective students to applicants, and the overall satisfaction of prospective students with their interactions with student ambassadors.

Institutions can also track social media engagement and website traffic to assess the impact of their ambassador program.

Feedback and improvement strategies should also be implemented to ensure the program’s continued success. Institutions should regularly gather feedback from student ambassadors, staff, and prospective students to identify areas for improvement.

This feedback can be used to adjust the program, improve training materials, and address any issues that arise.

Recognizing and rewarding student ambassadors for their contributions is another way to ensure the success of the program. Institutions can provide incentives such as scholarships, awards, or recognition events to show appreciation for their work.

Recognition and rewards can also increase motivation and encourage ambassadors to continue their efforts in promoting the institution.

To Conclude

In conclusion, student ambassadors are an essential component of a successful higher education marketing strategy. They provide a relatable and trustworthy voice that can connect with prospective students and promote the institution’s brand.

By leveraging student ambassadors, higher education institutions can increase brand awareness, attract more students, and build a strong reputation.

To effectively leverage student ambassadors, institutions should identify potential candidates, create an appealing ambassador program, provide effective training, set clear expectations and guidelines, and engage ambassadors in events and activities.

Managing and measuring the success of the program through evaluation, metrics, feedback, and recognition is also critical.

Institutions should also keep in mind that student ambassadors are representatives of the institution, and their actions and behaviors can impact the institution’s brand. Therefore, it is important to select ambassadors carefully, provide them with adequate training, and monitor their activities closely.

Firdosh Khan

Firdosh Khan is a Higher Education Marketing Consultant specializing in doing Marketing and PR for Higher Education Institutions

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