Three top hacks for boosting your enrolment targets this National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeships Week is on the horizon (8-14 February), encouraging more young people to choose an apprenticeship as a pathway to a great career. The pandemic has caused even more question marks for students around whether university is the right option for them, and many are opting for alternative routes which allow them to gain practical skills while earning. And with a national drive to boost the number of people taking up apprenticeships, this presents FE colleges across the UK with a great opportunity to seize the heightened interest, engage with prospective new students and smash their individual recruitment targets. 

1. Track and optimise your campaigns in real-time

We know marketing budgets in the FE sector are often tight, but running a digital advertising campaign around National Apprenticeship Week can help maximise the results of your spend. With all the buzz around the event, people are more likely to be actively searching for information on apprenticeships, so run Google ads to make sure your college website appears to answer their search queries. Likewise, social ad campaigns are more likely to resonate with a passive audience during this period of increased awareness around apprenticeship schemes.

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Use the Akero platform to boost your ads and optimise them, squeezing more guaranteed results from your ad spend. See how your ads (and emails and organic activity) are performing in real-time and then optimise your marketing efforts and spend on the channels that are working best. Knowing where to put your ads and how to optimise them effectively will also help raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities to prospective students who may not be considering that route. 

2. Create simple, effective landing pages and lead gen forms

A messy looking landing page, hard-to-find information, slow page speeds or a long customer journey can kill conversion rates, so make sure that the first point of contact a prospect has with your college is simple, visually striking and engaging. If you’re in the market for more landing page tips and tricks.

Here’s our quick guide to landing page design hacks. We’ve also recently started our Akero Bitesize Series, where our experts discuss other quick and easy platform hacks, with the first session focusing on landing pages. You can watch the webinar on-demand here.

landing pages

Once a prospect has engaged with your ad and landed on your landing page, it’s time to capture their data. Use a short lead-gen form, with a clear and compelling CTA stating what they’ll get in exchange for their details. Make forms more enticing to fill in by keeping them concise, and using conditional form fields and second page forms to streamline them. You should also throw in a free resource for those who get to the end of the form, so your prospects receive some value in exchange for the time they’ve spent. And to really make the most of your forms, don’t miss our Akero Bitesize session on just that - sign up for the series here. 

3. Curate your conversion strategy

Once you’ve started to build a database of keen prospective apprentices, don’t leave them to it and hope they’ll put in an application a few weeks later. Nurture them through to conversion with interesting and engaging content around apprenticeships, why they are a fantastic route to education and employment, and why your institution is right for them.

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There’s loads of interesting content you could put together to keep your prospects engaged; video content showcasing your college’s facilities and courses in action, case studies celebrating the successes of your past apprentices, Q&A sessions with tutors and partner employers and user-generated content of your apprentices talking about their experience of the programme, to name just a few.

Using Akero’s clever marketing automation, you can easily send tailored comms to suit each individual’s specific interests. Set up workflows to trigger different emails based on the student’s chosen subject area (submitted in the lead gen form), then trigger further comms based on their interaction with the first. Personalisation is the key to creating a connection with your nurtured leads, and Akero makes it easy with its automated functionality.

Akero’s lead scoring can even automatically prioritise which prospects are hottest, and send notifications to staff members within your team to follow up, based on the information submitted. For example, if a prospect indicates on the lead gen form that they have already secured a private work placement you could set them as high-priority follow up. Or if they are still searching for a placement, automatically send their contact details to the relevant team within your institution.

With more people than ever looking to retrain, upskill or for alternative routes into employment, this is the ideal time to make the most of National Apprenticeships Week. Use the existing awareness of the campaign to raise the profile of your apprenticeships and use Akero to track, engage and convert your prospective applicants. Catch up with the latest Akero Bitesize Sessions for more useful tips and hacks on how to make Akero work for you.