How an Alumni Organisation can use Digital Marketing
Getting in touch and staying in touch is easier than ever before thanks to the Internet and digital technology. This is especially true when it comes to old friends from school or college. Gone are the days when we all left school and went our separate ways, not even seeing old school chums for years on end, and eventually reconnecting at a school or college reunion event many years later. Nowadays, most schools and colleges have community websites where alumni can reconnect and stay in touch on a daily basis if they wish to do so. Some of these are created by the school or college, whilst others are built and managed by ex-students.
One of the main problems faced by those who manage an alumni community website is making sure ex-students can find the website in order to register and join the growing community of old friends. In other words, reaching the right people so that they are aware of the opportunity they’re being given to resume friendships they thought they’d left behind them.
This is where digital marketing can be of great help. So many people leave the area where they grew up and went to school, moving on to other parts of the country, or even different parts of the world, so local advertising will not reach everybody who may wish to join.
Digital marketing doesn’t need to be limited to commercial activity, selling products or services. Digital marketing can be used to extend your reach to a wider audience and let them know that you are online and ready to reconnect and communicate.
If you manage an alumni community website and know that potential members are missing, then it may be that they just haven’t heard about the website. Reaching out to these people using digital marketing practices is a great way of raising awareness and getting noticed by the right people – the people who may be looking for your community in order to reaffirm the friendships they enjoyed during their schooldays.
Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best tips used by digital marketers and, step by step, walk you through how to use them to reach out to more people and increase the membership of your school or college alumni website.
Obviously, as a non-commercial organisation, the marketing processes will need to be “tweaked” in order to make them more appropriate for your requirements, but this can be relatively easy to do if you use a little imagination.
9 Tips on How an Alumni Organisation can use Digital Marketing
- Step one is to develop an effective digital marketing strategy by asking yourself the following questions: What is your objective? Your answer is likely to be that you would like to increase the membership of your alumni community.
- Identify your key message. Your key message as an alumni community is that you are seeking ex-students to register on your website so that they can reconnect with old friends and keep in touch in future both online and offline, via reunion events or regional meet-ups.
- Identify your ideal “client” so that you speak directly to them. Your ideal “clients” in this case are ex-students of your school or college. Communicating with them in the appropriate “voice” is likely to be relatively straightforward because you will have shared experiences and shared styles, having attended the same school.
- Target those who are ready to register with your community, but keep in mind that there will be ex-students who are unaware of your online presence and the benefits you have to offer them.
- Stand out from the crowd by making sure website visitors can clearly see which school or college you represent so that only ex-students from your organisation register.
- Set clear goals and objectives. For instance, in order to increase membership numbers, you could consider finding all the ex-students living in a certain region or country, or reaching all the ex-students in a certain age group.
- What challenges do you face? Not having contact details for ex-students and not knowing where to find them.
- Set a budget and stick to it. In the case of a community organisation, this may not necessarily be a monetary budget, you could set a budget on the amount of time spent on this outreach drive.
- How to achieve a positive ROI? Again, this may not necessarily be an investment of money, it could represent the time you invest on this activity. However, you may decide to monetise your alumni website by allowing adverts to be displayed on it. In that case, your website visitor numbers, how long they stay on the site, which pages they access, etc. will all have a direct effect on the amount of advertising revenue you generate.
Managing a school or college alumni website can be an enjoyable and rewarding pastime but it does involve a certain amount of knowledge on what works best for your organisation when it comes to successfully increasing your membership numbers and ensuring that members regularly visit once they’ve registered. If you don’t have the time or expertise necessary to do this, why not get in touch so that one of our expert marketers can put you and your organisation on the path to success?