Personalize Your Podcast and Watch Enrollment Numbers Soar!

Christina Diecidue

Marketing Project Coordinator

With more than 350 million digital music players sold since 2001, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen these small devices all over campus. Students are in love with cutting-edge technology, and these are the perfect fit for an on-demand lifestyle. They’re small, compact and portable, so they can be taken anywhere, which makes them ideal for the spontaneous college lifestyle. Whether it’s walking to class, eating lunch in the cafeteria or relaxing on the picnic tables outside, the digital music player is a convenient friend to have around.

Students aren’t just using digital music players. Smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular as well. They store everything from music to photos to podcasts. This extended list of features is a bonus for college students who like to have everything on one simple device. Not to mention, most devices are pleasing to the eye. They’re slim, lightweight and available in a rainbow of colors. They feel comfortable in the hand, or some can fit easily into any pocket. So much technology today is made to look good, sound good and deliver an advanced operating system, making them fully capable of all entertainment needs.

Are Digital Music Players Still Popular?

With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, you may be wondering if digital music players are really all that popular anymore. Smartphones have gotten smarter. Tablets have gotten smarter. So is there really a place for tiny digital players anymore?

While iPods may not be as in demand as smartphones or tablets, they do have their place in this world. Luckily for you, their place is with college students. With all the marketing you do online for desktop and mobile users, is there a way that you can connect with students using digital music players? Absolutely!

Creating Podcasts for College Students

The way to connect with students on their iPods is by creating podcasts from your university. You may have professors who already do this to help students learn more about topics like quantum mechanics, the geography of world cultures and introductions to psychology and biology. With limited class times each week, podcasts are a wonderful way to expand on topics and instill passion in students.

For your university, you can create podcasts on just about anything, and it’s not just current students to appeal to. You can use this channel to connect with prospective students who are open and willing to listen to your message. There’s not a lot of competition on this channel, so it gives you an opportunity to be in your own lane.

Benefits to Podcasts

Let’s discuss a few of the benefits to creating a podcast to boost enrollment numbers, and then we’ll talk about how you may personalize it to fit the needs of new students.

  • Podcasts are accessible at any time. Unlike other marketing tactics that are only available for a short time - a radio or TV ad for example - podcasts can be downloaded and listened to at the student’s convenience.

  • Podcasts are convenient. They can be listened to just about anywhere: in a dorm room, on the bus or when walking to class. This makes it easier to connect with students no matter where they are.

  • Podcasts are interactive. Those listening to your podcast will hear the voice of your school. While it’s important to be informative, also let your personality shine through so that students are engaged in your message.

  • Podcasts expand on simple ideas. Your university may have a great motto. Strong numbers. Diversity. But rarely do you get the opportunity to expand on these characteristics. With a podcast, you can. Explain what makes your school great, why more students are likely to graduate from your program and why you’re an excellent fit for international students.

  • Podcasts are samples of your service. Just as businesses offer free trials to their customers, your university can offer a sampling of your education. Students may download audio files from your professors to get an idea of the faculty at your institution and the types of material they can expect to learn.

Ideas for Podcast Material

Before we take a look at some of the ways you can personalize your podcast and see a boost in enrollment numbers, here are a few ideas for material for podcasts.

  • Explain what makes your college or university an ideal fit for students. You may even describe the ideal candidate for your school.

  • Talk about what college life is like on your campus. How many dorms are there? What are the buildings like? How long does it take to get around campus?

  • Describe particular programs in your school such as your international or study abroad programs. What are the benefits? How are students selected?

  • Give information about your application process so that students aren’t left with questions.

  • Share fun facts about your school. When was it built? Do you have a mascot? Is there anyone famous who went there?

  • Describe the surrounding area. What work opportunities are available? Is there anything to do for fun? Where can family stay when they come to visit?

  • Interview current students about their experience at your school.

Tips for Personalizing Podcasts

Now let’s discuss tips for creating podcasts for your college or university.

  • Keep them simple. It can be tempting to go into great explanation, but students want information delivered in a concise and engaging manner. If there’s a topic you want to cover in depth, break it into two parts.

  • Quality counts. For students to value what your university has to say, you need to value it as well. Make sure your podcasts are of a high quality. The audio should be clear and free of distraction.

  • Make them relevant. Your podcasts should be created around your audience. Get to know your target audience and what topics they are interested in learning about.

  • Leave students wanting more. Podcasts should provide information and answer questions, but students should still be left wanting more. At the end of the podcast, direct them to where they can download an application or contact a guidance counselor.

  • Connect them with other marketing materials. On your podcasts, encourage students to visit your social media page or subscribe to your blog. On social media and your website, inform visitors that you have podcasts that can be downloaded. These marketing channels should overlap, not be separate.

Though smartphones and tablets get the majority of attention, digital music players are not devices of the past. They are very relevant for college students, and you can expect to find some of your audience using them. To connect with prospective students, create podcasts that are high in quality, engaging and interesting. It’s a new channel with less competition, so you can easily boost your enrollment numbers.

About the Author: Christina Diecidue

Christina Diecidue is the Marketing Project Coordinator at SEMGeeks.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration, with concentrations in marketing, advertising, and web design from Rider University.  Known to be a meticulous worker, Christina values each client's individual goals and works to meet their digital strategy needs accordingly.  With valuable knowledge in higher education, alumni engagement, and leadership, she provides an array of skills to the SEMGeeks team.  In her free time, Christina can be found binge watching repeats of Friends and spending time with her family.

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