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Identifying the ideal audience for your new college program


Ideal persona research

The way to find your potential students as to dig down to the commonalities that attract them to your institution or program. This process is where inbound marketing begins. Conducting ideal persona research is the only way to get a keen grasp of your target market. It examines questions like, “Who buys from you?” And, “What problems do they have and how can they be solved?”  

The biggest mistake that many marketers make is not understanding that their
communications strategy should be aligned around their customers—not just their offerings. This is the difference between a campaign that produces attractive collateral, but not results. A successful lead conversion strategy is based on content that speaks to the problems your future students experience and the goals they are reaching for. 

How to research your ideal student persona

Having a strong understanding of your ideal students comes from thorough, professional research. Here are three methods we have found to be successful in uncovering the unique insights your content marketing depends on.

Discovery workshop

A discovery workshop is a required part of every marketing strategy at Idea Agency. Invaluable truths are uncovered as the agency and client work through several exercises together. The better the discovery process, the better the marketing strategy and content plan. The better the marketing strategy and content plan, the more effective lead generation will be.

Buyer Barometer

This is a brief customized assessment of the prominent attitudes, decision factors and satisfaction levels among your client’s current customers. This is the perfect process for schools with smaller budgets looking to gather basic insights from their current and recent graduates.

Audience Audit

This dives deeper than a discovery workshop and is ideal for most clients. An audience audit is attitudinal segmentation research that identifies your audience and their motivations based on why they buy. Sure, you probably have an idea of who your audience is demographically (who they are) or even behaviorally (what they do), but what really drives them into action? Once you look through the lens of what motivates them, you can adapt everything from strategic marketing and sales planning, to operational initiatives to your customer service approach.

Whether you are able to participate in a research process (recommended) or are simply able to do a discovery workshop, the insights you’ll be able to apply to your new college program will be invaluable.

If you’d like to learn more about how inbound marketing and the ideal persona process can help your institution, please download this resource designed specifically for higher education institutions who are looking to meet enrollment goals.


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