2020 has brought tidal-wave-sized shifts to higher education. While virtual events, test-optional policies, and COVID closures have dominated the admissions workday, a new player has quietly entered the graduate school arena—the first wave of Generation Z students.

That’s right: The eldest Gen Z students are now about 23 years old, and they’re making their way into the workforce and graduate programs. The question is: Are your graduate marketing efforts primed to reach this new breed of prospective students?

Gen Z: What We Know

You’ve heard about them. You’ve likely done your own research on them (and if not, there are countless resources available if you need to get up to speed). In fact, our 2020 Graduate School Intenders Survey found that:

  • Email and text messages are their preferred direct channels of communication
  • Most of these students spend more than three hours a day on social media
  • Google is the most used resource in their search for graduate programs

Cultivating Leads

As our survey confirmed, Gen Z is a “just-Google-it” generation who will never know the pain of scouring a library full of encyclopedias to find an answer, waiting on a dial-up connection, or the primitive experience of an “AOL keyword search.”

To reach this audience where they are, it’s crucial to run digital media campaigns that use Google Search Ads (formerly AdWords) paired with an engaging landing page. Google Ads allow you to deliver content that directly relates to what these students are searching for. For example, an ad for your Master of Business Administration program can be there when a prospective student searches Google for the “best MBA program.” Similarly, you can deliver an ad for your Master’s of Education program to those searching for answers to questions like “How do I become a teacher?”

Appearing at the top of their search with a succinct, engaging value proposition can earn you clicks and new leads from those eager to learn more about your program. Plus, our team of digital marketing experts can help you get the most out of each Google Ads campaign by continuously optimizing your ads and their paired landing pages.

Lead-Nurture Tactics

Once you pull these students into your funnel, you’ll need to deliver a steady stream of relevant messaging in order to keep them engaged, and ultimately, drive them to apply and enroll. Spark451 has been perfecting outreach methods to Gen Z for years with great success. We’ve built key strategies that meet this generation where they are — online and mobile. Our secret recipe for success isn’t all that secretive:

  • Hyper-personalized, segmented, and captivating e-communications
  • Robust, personalized text messaging
  • An extensive digital media strategy implemented across targeted social platforms

Each of these “ingredients” is, of course, created with mobile-friendly design and accessibility in mind.

Get Ready for GenZ

Now is the time to make sure your recruitment efforts are optimized to reach the latest generation of grad students, and the experts at Spark451 can help you do just that. We’d love to discuss your institution’s specific challenges and help you determine which strategies and tactics will best prepare you for your next cycle. Reach out so we can get started.