Part 1 in a Series Supporting Virtual Content Targeting Niche’s 4 Student Personas

Amongst all of the voiced expectations of college-bound students for higher education institutions, the concept of “meet me where I am at” constantly shines through. Recently, released data from survey responses from over 7,000 rising high school seniors that outlines 4 Personas For the Class of 2022. Our team at PlatformQ Education pondered the needs and wishes outlined for these personas and gathered suggestions on virtual content. These recommendations are informed by the thousands of events and content pieces produced by our college and university partners annually.  Over a series of 4 posts, we’ll provide an overview of each student persona and the key takeaways on how to best attract and serve their unique needs. Today’s content will focus on’s first persona, The Optimist. 

The Optimist: Private Four-Year Colleges

Those in the Optimist grouping tend to come from private high schools, identify as white, and have a household income greater than $50,000. Optimists tend to:

  • Become active in their college search during their junior year
  • Lean towards attending private four-year colleges
  • Wish to get farther away from home
  • Express interest in attending virtual events, 78% to be exact
  • Have high confidence in the college search process

Offering virtual event options for Optimists during their junior and senior years are key, as nearly 4 out of 5 Optimists express interest in attending virtual events. 

  • When targeting your Optimists interests this fall and spring, focus on student life topics such as athletics, student involvement, and campus living. 
  • Since this group tends to have high confidence regarding the college process and a sense that they will fit in wherever they go, your topics for this group do not need to focus on navigating the college journey and finding fit.  

While this group is very likely to visit college campuses, virtual engagement opportunities are what will get these students to add your institution to their list of colleges to tour earlier in the process! When picking virtual topics for this group during the inquiry and applicant phases of their college search, be sure to provide highlights and overviews of academic programs. This group is actively considering options based on academic offerings. 

Optimists are tired of receiving the same “cookie cutter” emails and mailers. Focus your marketing energy on offering Optimists tangible ways to interact and engage with your institution without having to plan a visit right off the bat, such as direct access to your content on Conduit or a fun sticker to add to their water bottles. Provide Optimists with incentives for attending your virtual sessions by targeting their desire to receive swag from your school. 

Neumann University, a PlatformQ Education partner, saw great success with this engagement method. As depicted by their custom banner, once a visitor views twenty on-demand videos, the admissions team will send that visitor a long sleeve t-shirt in the mail. Neumann staff are able to track these unique visitor views, and determine who has hit the goal, through their Conduit reporting data. If you prefer utilizing live session attendance as fuel for receiving swag, advertise sending branded items to a certain number of attendees at random, and leverage your activity report unique visitor data to select those winners. 

Neumann University Conduit Platform

As you continue to prepare and execute virtual events this year, make sure to give Optimists the opportunity to experience your campus culture, student life, and academic programming. Don’t forget to incorporate incentives for attending your events, as Optimists are more likely to join a virtual session when your institution is offering an exciting give away. And remember, while Optimists do love campus visits, they will use your virtual resources and content to determine if they should invest their time and money on an in-person tour of your institution.

Itching for more insight? Check back in tomorrow, where we will discuss virtual strategies for the Prepped persona.