January 9

Homecoming Marketing: 7 Key Roles to Play

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Homecoming is one of the greatest times for your students and alumni to flex their school spirit.

Of course, these memorable events don’t just pop out of thin air. You’ll need a dedicated homecoming marketing team to set the table.

From the event planner to the videographer, each part of your team will be critical to giving your homecoming attendees a positive experience they won’t soon forget.

Here are seven essential roles you’ll need to delegate to your homecoming marketing team.

1. Event Planning

As the job title suggests, your homecoming event planner will oversee your homecoming marketing team’s preparation from conception to completion.

From booking venues and vendors to juggling a promotional budget, multitasking will be a common theme in this role.

Your event planner should be someone with an eye for creative detail as well as moderate management abilities.

Good communication skills are also a must. Not only will your event planner have to strategize with the rest of the homecoming marketing team, but they will need to coordinate setup with other school staff members and student ambassadors.

After all, those banners won’t hang themselves!

You should also consider the following elements when selecting your homecoming event planner:

  • Leadership style
  • Organizational skills
  • Knowledge of campus facilities
  • Local business connections
But above all else, the person in charge of planning your homecoming needs to ensure your students and alumni are at the forefront.

By giving your attendees a magical experience built around their expectations, you’ll inspire long-lasting brand loyalty for your school.

And don’t forget to follow up with students, faculty, and other guests to gauge your homecoming marketing team’s effectiveness!

2. Copywriting and Messaging

You’ll need plenty of promotional material, from email announcements to posters, to get everyone excited for your big day.

The basics of higher ed copywriting – knowing your audience and writing emotively – are just as applicable to your homecoming event as your broader content marketing strategy.

However, unlike many of your other student-centric events, your homecoming event will be a multigenerational affair. Not only will older alumni be attending, but your younger alumni may bring their families along.

So, your homecoming marketing team’s lead copywriter must have a firm grasp on a broad target audience. Their content’s overall message will need to answer the one burning question that will be on the mind of each person your team reaches out to:

What’s in it for me?

Someone with a knack for out-of-the-box thinking who can cover the generational gamut in persuading potential attendees to come to your homecoming would be an ideal fit here.

3. Email and Direct Mail Marketing

As I write this, email is still the undisputed champion of digital communication.

According to Hubspot, there are over 4 billion daily email users. So, if you want to reach the eyes and ears of your intended event attendees, your homecoming marketing team will need someone to manage an email campaign.

Your copywriting team has generated multigenerational content for the masses. Now, you’ll need to deliver it to the appropriate demographics.

Segmentation will be the name of the game for your homecoming email strategy.

By segmenting your audiences, you’ll ensure that each age group receives the pertinent material.

For example, if your homecoming marketing team is preparing activities for younger children, ensure your email marketing person is directing that information to alums of relevant age (perhaps mid-20s to mid-30s).

And don’t neglect direct mail! In a world dominated by digital, physical media can evoke an emotional response that’s absent from email.

4. Social Media Management

With a multitude of multigenerational digital hangout spots, each generation has its preferred platforms.

So, you’ll need someone with a good grasp of social media platform demographics to promote your homecoming activities to the right audiences.

For instance, Facebook is the favored platform for the average social media consumer over the age of 56. However, Instagram is the preferred platform for Gen Z.

Also, consider arranging a spot for students and alumni to have their photos taken for a virtual photo booth like the one Purdue University set up during their Gold Rush week using Photoboxx.

5. Videography

Video marketing is the pinnacle of emotive storytelling in higher ed marketing.

Consider setting up recorded interviews with some of your high-profile alumni you know will be attending (these are great for short form social media videos).

You can record lasting memories for your students and alumni with a few reasonably priced video and audio accessories.

You could even create a video package to send to all your attendees after the fact, either digitally or through a tangible service like Spokenote.

Most importantly, video footage of your homecoming event gives your marketing team evergreen content they can use in future marketing for your institution.

6. Website Management

As the front door of your school’s digital space, your enrollment website can undoubtedly play a role in your homecoming marketing strategy.

But remember, your school website needs to be laser-focused on enrollment. So, prospective students should be your sole target audience if your homecoming marketing team uses it to promote your event.

Have your website administrator post a graphic linking to information about activities that are relevant to prospective students, like a Q&A panel.

Also, a geotargeting service like Geofli could help connect students interested in visiting your campus from similar regions. You can even help them schedule a meetup!

7. Student Ambassadors

Student ambassadors can be the unsung heroes of your homecoming marketing team.

Not only do student ambassadors exude brand authenticity (after all, they’re living it!), but they also have a pulse on campus trends and current events.

Ask your student ambassadors if they can set up and work an information booth for attendees or lead a Q&A panel for students and their families.

Be sure to relay to them all of your homecoming event’s scheduled activities along with your school brand’s talking points.

An application like Unibuddy can easily connect your ambassadors with prospective students who may want to check out your campus during the celebration.

Don’t forget that your ambassadors are students, too! They’ll also want to participate in the festivities, so try not to take up more of their time than necessary.

Your Homecoming Marketing Team Needs to Put Students and Alumni First

Homecoming is about appreciating your school’s past, present, and future history.

As long as you put your attendees’ expectations first, it will surely be a homecoming to remember.

Curious to learn more about how to delegate these roles in your team? Reach out today!


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Featured image by seanlockephotography via Adobe Stock

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