Content Marketing

What Is Content Marketing? We define content marketing as any material, including videos, blogs, or social media posts, that stimulates interest in a brand's products or services even if the material isn't explicitly advertising the brand itself. For example, a social media post featuring students playing frisbee on the Quad doesn't have to go into detail on all of the benefits of attending UIUC; the picture of students enjoying themselves with an attractive campus in the background can be enough to pique someone's interest in the university. Why Is Content Marketing Useful? Our primary goal when recruiting students at the top [...]


Lead Generation

What Is Lead Generation? Lead generation is the process of capturing names and information of people interested in something. For our purposes, lead generation often means someone provides a unit with information (name, email, address, etc.) and in turn expects something from the university. For example, when a student signs up to receive more information or registers to attend an event, they submit information and expect to hear more about what a unit can offer them. These leads then become actionable. For every name, email, and address entered into Slate, a person can be contacted by units relevant to them. This [...]



What Is SEO? SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making content streamlined to achieve better results on searched topics. For example, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions should be a topic result on Google for the search term "University of Illinois Admissions." When someone types in that search term, our website should be one of the first results. The largest web traffic source category for the Admissions website is search. For many of us, search traffic makes up much of the traffic we get on our websites each day. Many of us like to imagine that users come into [...]



Shared terminology ensures we understand each other when we collaborate. This list is designed to cover common admissions, marketing, and communications terms. Admissions Terminology Prospect – A student who has not yet taken a trackable action to demonstrate interest in UIUC. We can have a prospect within our CRM if we've purchased that student's information from an outside source. Inquiry – A student who has taken an action to demonstrate interest in UIUC, regardless of how their information was gathered. Ways that students demonstrate interest include but are not limited to: Replying to an email Filling out a form Registering for [...]



"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." –Zig Ziglar Top-Level Goals & the Enrollment Funnel Top-level enrollment goals, defined prior to each admissions cycle, align with the various stages of the enrollment funnel seen below. Ongoing coordination between each academic unit, Enrollment Management, and campus leadership enables real-time assessment of these goals and dictates their fluidity. Enrollment Funnel Stages (from the largest student volume down to the smallest) Secondary-Level Goals There are many goals within the realm of enrollment management. Hard goals, soft goals, short-term goals, long-term goals, enrollment goals, recruitment goals—the list goes on. A secondary-level [...]


Marketing Plans

What is a marketing plan? A marketing plan is a key component to recruiting and yielding students. It provides an overview of what marketing programs you plan to utilize to achieve your objectives and articulates how success will be measured. Does OUA have a marketing plan? Yes, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has a marketing plan, and we're happy to share it with the R&Y Network. We're also happy to share other units' marketing plans upon request. Do I need a marketing plan? Yes. Each college or academic unit that partners with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to recruit and/or yield [...]


Communication Plans

What is a communication plan? A communication plan includes all of the communications you intend to deliver to your target audiences. It should articulate the who, what, and when for all of your strategic communications. Does OUA have a communication plan? Yes, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has several communication plans, each built around a different audience segment or a campaign theme, such as visiting campus. Do I need a communication plan? Yes. Each college or academic unit that partners with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to recruit and/or yield students must create a communication plan and share it with us [...]



What Is Market Research? Research is an important part of understanding our audiences. Market research can provide us with key data on audience opinion, viable communications tactics, and more. Students, parents, and other stakeholders in the admissions process have a lot of opinions on what they want. We should listen to them! Listening to our audiences will improve our communications and marketing efforts. If you're planning on your own research efforts, let us know. Ask for any help or advice you might need and be sure to share the results of your research. Research in one area of campus can likely [...]


Annual Marketing Report

The Annual Marketing Report provides a summary of marketing activity related to undergraduate recruitment and yield through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. 2021 Marketing Report Slide deck Recorded presentation We recommend watching the recording to get the most information. Topics include: The enrollment funnel Marketing efforts and goals by channel OUA's advertising efforts & strategy Web content performance Social media performance Email outcomes & more


Cycle Overview

Stages of a Cycle Here are the key points throughout a cycle for first-year applicants: Application opens Early action admission deadline Regular admission deadline (application closes) Early action admission notification (decisions are released) Regular admission notification (decisions are released) Accept deadline New student registration Students begin classes Tenth day of classes (official enrollment numbers are released) Key Dates & Deadlines The undergraduate application cycle starts when the application for admission becomes available, which is typically September 1. The cycle ends with the deadline for students to accept their offers of admission, which is typically May 1. Although these two dates rarely [...]

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