Our trusted friend Merriam-Webster defines a Conduit as a natural or artificial channel through which something (such as a fluid) is conveyed. While we see the value of a Conduit in its capabilities of transferring fluids from one vessel to another, here at PlatformQ Education, we use Conduit, our institutionally-branded platform, to provide equitable access to information for the target audiences of our college and university partners.
Traditionally, our partners have incorporated Conduit into their communication plans by driving students into the platform through event-centric email marketing and SMS campaigns. The next step in strengthening your virtual presence, and elevating the student experience, is to develop a strategic approach to the integration of content across all platforms.
Our strategy team has turned up the heat on our simmering pot of ideas, in an effort to increase the number of entry points into your institution’s virtual realm and obtain valuable engagement data about your audiences. Check out our recommendations below!
1 – Integrating the Conduit Environment into Your Portals
Many institutions host prospective student, admitted student, parent, and other types of web portals for their audiences to find information pertinent to that unique segment. These portals tend to be static and consist of heaping amounts of copy, a few images, and a couple hyperlinks.
Imagine providing one-click access from your student portal directly into an institutionally-branded, video-centric environment where users can browse engaging content and learn more. Courtney Minden, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, and the Babson College Graduate Admissions team has streamlined their approach by doing exactly that.
“Our team recognizes that consolidating the entry points into our platforms is essential for ensuring equitable access to information. Integrating direct access to our Conduit platform from our portals creates a navigable and interactive experience for our audiences that increases viewership and encourages our students to dive deeper into who we are and why Babson.”
By integrating Conduit with your portals, your audience gets a more engaging overall experience and you get behavioral engagement data; we call that a win-win!
2 – QR Codes for In-Person Events & Mailers
95% of Gen Z has access to a smartphone. We know that the main driver of people staying “plugged-in” is via their smartphones. Therefore, incorporating digital exploration to augment your in-person experiences is a great way to capture students’ interest and provide them yet another resource to learn about your institution. One way to accomplish this is by generating QR Codes derived from QTokens. This process provides direct access to your custom engagement platform by a quick scan via smartphone. QR Codes can be embedded on websites, emails, mailers, and more!
3 – Hyperlinking Graphics on Your EDU Site
Many of our partners, such as the University of Missouri – Kansas City, have created areas on their edu sites that drive students to their Conduit platform as a way to access all content in one place. Unlike segmented sessions on other virtual platforms, Conduit has the ability to immediately retain content on-demand, making it a one-stop-shop for the content you’ve created. Since the beginning of March 2020, UMKC saw nearly 1 in 5 students engage with their RooFLIX On-Demand Content via their embedded registration form (pictured below). This supplemented their primary approach for driving engagement, QTokens, which saw 1 in 3 students access content through this method. According to Elora Thomas, Director of Admissions at UMKC:
We know that when we provide access through our website, we are connecting with students we may not already have in our CRM and, therefore, growing our inquiry pool. By embedding Conduit access alongside our other engagement opportunities, no one misses out on the content they need.
When you pair the content hub concept with other embedded information you’re providing on your edu site, you’re continuing to strengthen your integrated approach to engagement.
4 – Market Conduit as a Custom Streaming Platform/Content Hub
How you position your brand and information regarding your institution is something you’re likely hearing non-stop from your marketing department. To best leverage Conduit as a resource for your audiences, lean into today’s streaming trend. People are ditching cable at a rapid pace and shifting their purchasing power to the likes of Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, etc. Align your positioning of Conduit with this trend, allowing your audience to access what they want and when they want it, and market away! We are engaging with high schoolers and a name like RooFLIX, as seen above, is a great way to capture and retain students’ attention. Be bold and find your own creative spin for another way to highlight your brand in a unique way!
An integrated approach to content delivery translates to benefits downstream (or down funnel!). Your team will have the opportunity to hone in on the identified segments of students that will provide you the highest return on investment, fill gaps in the information you provide and consolidate your efforts into a blended experience, and most importantly, your students will associate your brand with consistency and ease of access.