As higher ed marketers, we’re passionate about college, and we’re loyal to the schools we came from. So we know how important the annual Homecoming tradition is. It’s a time for coming together and for examining our relationships with our students and alumni.
So how can we, as marketers, harness the energy and enthusiasm of Homecoming to make more meaningful connections with our base?
1. Have your alumni record video about what they’ve been up to.
Make it fun! Set up a photo booth for the weekend for pictures and video. Add props and start a hashtag campaign. Send out an invitation to your alumni who can’t make it and ask them to record their own video about why they loved their experience at your school and send it in. These make for great recruitment material for future admissions campaigns.
2. Get your admissions team together with your advancement team.
We know how important it is to maintain a great relationship with your alumni. While donations are the traditional way of showing support for your alma mater, there are additional ways your alumni might get involved and help your institution. Homecoming is a great opportunity to capitalize on enthusiasm and school spirit. Maybe some of your alumni would like to be involved in networking or mentoring initiatives, or maybe they’re interested in taking on interns, contributing to a blog, hosting events where they live or giving talks at the school or abroad. Ask them to be school ambassadors! Your admissions and advancement teams have intersecting interests—this is the perfect time to tap into them.
3. Have you recently refreshed your brand messaging and design? Introduce it now.
Homecoming is about love and support for your institution. Your most loyal supporters—current students, their families, your alumni—are here! So show them what you’ve been up to, send out literature about your new strategy, bring them in on your new concepts and ideas. Invite feedback and offer them ways they can support you.
4. Just say thanks.
Show your alumni that you’re grateful for their ongoing support. Homecoming is a great way to try to establish more meaningful connections with your grads. Your college isn’t just a place. It’s a part of their life. They have a piece of their experience with them. Nurture that. We like to think of colleges and universities as second homes to the people who’ve invested in their educations there. Reignite that feeling for your students. Let them know you’re there for them, just like you always have been.
Like these ideas and want to hear more?