Instant chat messaging is not new technology. It’s been around for years yet its potential is untapped, particularly in education sector marketing . Since WhatsApp launched their business service and integration with Facebook, it’s now easier than ever for organisations big and small to use instant chat to improve communications with potential customers. WhatsApp is one of the most used apps in the world and it’s time to discover what it can do for you.
Here at Capture1, we believe in sharing our marketing wisdom, in fact we’re on a mini mission to show schools, FE colleges, universities and other learning establishments how beneficial messaging technology with WhatsApp can be.
So here are five reasons why automated messaging apps like WhatsApp are such helpful tools for attracting and recruiting students.
- Chat to students where they like to hang out
You don’t need us to tell you that successful marketing starts with understanding your audience. With this in mind, instant chat can earn you BIG brownie points with prospective learners. Your audience already loves to use this technology. They’re hanging out there with their friends every day. Choosing instant messaging to attract young people to open day events is an easy way to demonstrate you’re on their wavelength and understand how they think.
- Efficient response times
With instant chat you can provide answers to commonly asked questions straight away, unlike email which is much less flexible. This immediacy of response allows educational organisations to capture and maintain interest levels. Interested students and their parents don’t have to wait until working hours for an answer to their question. It’s all set up through careful planning and programming (don’t worry, we can help with this!). Answers are released automatically in response to keywords in a message.
For non-standard questions, you can programme a courtesy response to advise someone will be in touch during working hours (and state what those working hours are).
- Saves team resources
When marketing teams embrace instant chat technology they can deploy valuable people resources to other tasks. Instead of endless administration your team can focus on producing a memorable event to create a positive impression of your learning establishment with students and families.
The arduous tasks of sending invites, managing responses, monitoring attendance levels, checking people are attending, asking for dietary requirements and issuing joining instructions can all be done digitally. Automation is so efficient it can manage almost every aspect of pre- and post-event communications and administration. On the day, attendees show a simple QR code on arrival to gain access. With real-time reporting you can check on progress at any time. Which leads us nicely on to…
- Access to real-time information
At the touch of a button, organising teams have the ability to export real-time analytics relating to an event. From tracking and reporting on attendance to learning what makes your audience tick. With so much information at your fingertips you can build an accurate profile of your audience and understand exactly what they’re looking for from their education provider.
Access to such a wide variety of data generates clear opportunities to follow up with tailored messages to your audience. Simple post-event surveys provide instant feedback. Competitions and fun content can be used to maintain audience interest and engagement at the critical application decision-making stage. You can even develop your messaging flow to offer alternative dates and encourage attendance amongst people who didn’t or couldn’t attend. Allows you to gather information and data for future events.
- GDPR compliance as standard
When you choose instant chat messaging to build your audience you don’t need to worry about tick boxes on forms or collating email consent to use and store personal data.
By entering into a chat conversation via a link or QR code an individual is consenting to receive information from that source. All subsequent communications are opt-in and individuals have the choice to opt out at any time. You can also collect and record additional consents throughout the messaging flow by asking questions such as ‘Would you like to receive more information’ or ‘Would you like to be notified about future events’.
When it comes to keeping data safe, instant chat technology systems are robust and use end-to-end encryption for security.
Discover the benefits of instant message marketing
Instant message marketing is such clever technology. It’s such an efficient platform to introduce your school or college to future students and engage them in conversation. We’ve covered five clear benefits for education marketing teams and there are many more. If you’d like to explore instant messaging further or arrange a no-obligation demo for your team, get in touch here .