This week, we talk to agents from around the world about how they advertise their agency services to prospective students (as featured in the August issue of StudyTravel Magazine

Beatriz Garcia, World Choice Education, Spain

“Talk to students in their same language.  We believe that every age group is different; therefore you need to adapt your language code accordingly. We try to think as they would think and be in the places where they would be. This is the key to our advertising campaigns. Every age group is different; therefore you need to adapt your language code accordingly. We believe in 3.0 Communication, where we focus our campaigns on the client’s experience, their feelings and emotions, and we personalise our packages for them. Our main source of enquiries comes through social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. making us very active on these. We talk to them as advisers rather than salespeople, students feel we listen to them and we get to know them; to us, they are people with feelings and stories instead of clients with needs.”

Agnes Aigbinode, Virtue Educational and Allied Services, Nigeria and Canada

“Advertising at Virtue is diversified. We use various mechanisms since our clients range widely – from developed to developing countries, from big cities to rural areas and also in age. Reaching this rich diversity of clients requires strategy. Our most effective means are: word-of-mouth/referrals, radio and handing out posters/pamphlets. Word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective method of the bunch. When clients are pleased with your services, they feel comfortable referring others, and we capitalised on this by including referral fees or commissions. As for posters and pamphlets, we hand those out broadly at public spaces, and at community events. Out of every 100 pamphlets handed out, you can expect at least 10 calls. Virtue went on air for the first time in 2015. Radio is the most expensive option of all, with low returns. Given how ethnically diverse a country like Nigeria is, you have to play the same radio jingle in multiple languages which is pricey. Finally, social media isn’t used for advertising since most of our ‘friends’ or ‘likes’ are from past clients. We use this platform instead to share news, updates and invitations.”

Natalia Barata, See Learning Center, Portugal

“See Learning Center considers advertising a crucial step in the process of engaging a student to a study programme. We offer very diverse study programmes and save no efforts in advertising them by very different means to make sure everyone is covered. The aim is not only to target potentials clients, but to inform each potential student of the different opportunities they have. Being both an agent and a school, we advertise in different ways such as educational fairs, media, printed adverts and two dedicated brochures. We also use leaflets dedicated to each target market we wish to promote. We also take advantage of the website – certainly one of the most effective ways to reach every student’s home. Social networks are also unavoidable nowadays, and we make use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to target teenagers, young adults and business people. We understand that social networks must be very specific according to the product, and that is why we have specific pages. However, we consider the most effective method of advertising, transversal to time and age, to be word-of-mouth.”

Irina Sledyeva, AcademConsult, Russia

“We carefully select and analyse on a regular basis all the resources for promotion (conversion rates, market tendencies, target audience, number of readers or visitors, etc.). The methods we use in 2014-15 are: internet marketing; fairs (there are several small and medium size educational fairs in northwest region of Russia); direct mail from our own database of about 17,000 contacts of interested people and long-term clients; and presentations by creating informative seminars. To date, over 29 per cent of our customers choose programmes and our agency by internet. Social media conversion rate is too low in the Russian educational market now, therefore we use it, but wait for more developed markets in the next three years.”


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