Abroad101 Newsletter for Program Providers – Fall 2014

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Welcome back!

Abroad101 continues to make strides toward our goal to become a core component of the international education experience.  We enter the important fall recruiting season with great optimism and lots of positive news:

  • Our web traffic is up and continues to be on target, with over 70% coming from the United States and over 40% from universities
  • The number of universities requiring their students to use Abroad101 is once again growing
  • Review volume is on pace to exceed last year’s thanks to increasing numbers of review invitations coming from advisors
  • Social Media syndication is going strong as student reviews, photos and program news draws followers, likes and clicks which in turn generate inquiries
  • Our internal “Best Data” initiative has led to nice growth in search engine positioning, page views per visitor and time spent on site

 As a program provider, we hope you will make Abroad101 a component in your marketing and promotion.  Below are some suggestions on how to get the most out of Abroad101:

Get Listed in Abroad101’s new “Search by Subject”

Abroad101 is pleased to announce that the ability to search for programs by academic subject area is now been added to the site.  Students and advisors can now “search by subject” using our Advanced Search option: http://www.studyabroad101.com/programs  As we continue to expand this new capability, look for subject area portals to come next.  Subject portals will join countries and cities as our major content gateways.  Subject focused directories and content will help us draw students and advisors who are less interested in a particular destination and more focused on a specific area of study.

As a provider we strongly encouraged you to take advantage of this new opportunity by updating your listings on the site.  The 238 subjects “roll-up” in a listing structure (taxonomy) provided by the US Department of Education.  Each program on Abroad101 is limited to 10 fields of study, which for large programs means you may need to choose more general categories or select the most popular academic areas for your US students.

For Abroad101’s existing advertisers, the good news is that there is no extra charge to advertise in subject directories.  Featured Listings, our base-level advertising, will match on subject keywords in the same manner as city and country meaning you’ll get more exposure for the same cost.  For programs whose main selling feature is subject area, these new positions will be a place for them to stand out.  If you are considering advertising with Abroad101, we hope this is what you’ve been waiting for!

More Reviews will Boost your Directory Position

In any of our directories, programs are displayed based on our listing algorithm that favors those with recent reviews.  Since reviews are what draw people to Abroad101, having your programs better positioned in the directories should generate more inquiries.

Over 90% of the reviews on Abroad101 are the result of an invite, 20% of those come from providers.  The “Invite Tool” on your account dashboard makes the invitation process easy.  Simply paste in a list or recent student email addresses and a few steps later, the process is underway.  We recommend you use our Invite Tool as it includes a link back to find the program, sends timely reminders and won’t send a duplicate reminder if the home university advisor already sent an invitation.

Other incentives for you to draw reviews include Cool Program of the Week, which is drawn from new reviews and promoted on our blog and in our Social Media.  The annual Abroad101 Rankings are another reason to draw reviews.  In February, Abroad101 will again release our rankings whose results are compiled from review data.  We expect that the threshold for a program’s consideration will be at least 20 reviews, so drawing reviews will help your programs qualify for the ranking and the subsequent publicity and recognition.

It’s still not too late to invite spring and summer students to submit reviews.  Some have found that waiting a while allows time to be more reflective writing their review.  Letting some time pass may help them generate a well-rounded, thoughtful and complete review.  It’s never too late to invite reviews!

Put the Abroad101 Ratings Badge on YOUR website

One great way to leverage the reviews in your marketing is to put a ratings badge on your program web pages.  Our Program Widget is a small block of computer code that pulls the latest ratings score in an attractive badge graphic on your web site.

This same logic applies to your university partners who may have their own directories of pre-approved programs.  Encourage them to put the Abroad101 Ratings Badge on their pages so that their students can see your results and click to read the reviews.

Installing the badge on a website is not much more difficult than adding a photo.  Simply visit the Program Widget page on Abroad101, ender the size of the badge you want, the name of your program and copy the resulting block of code for your website.  The badge refreshes constantly, so once the code is in, you don’t have to worry about updating it.  Get the code here

Give Your Students “The Study Abroad Advantage”

Abroad101 has launched an initiative called “The Study Abroad Advantage.”  Designed to help study abroad alumni gain an edge in the job market, the project aims to connect students and employers.  Students start their advantage with a capstone summary of their education abroad published on Abroad101 (aka review), which will then be shared with prospective employers who have indicated a bias toward those with an international education experience.

The core of the project is a group on Linkedin called “The Study Abroad Advantage.”  The group was created at the beginning of September and was joined by over 250 students in the first 5 days.  Students in the group link their study abroad review from their Linkedin profile.  Employers and job recruiters are invited to join the group and to network with these globally minded students.  Discussions and announcements further help students with their search and showcase their talents and abilities.

We encourage providers to participate and to engage your alumni in this effort.  If you have an active alumni group, please bring “The Study Abroad Advantage” to their attention and invite them to join.  Your alumni leaders are also welcome to join the group and may be helpful in creating discussions around topics related to using education abroad to get ahead a career.

Abroad101 for University Advisors

Abroad101 is promoted publicly as the first and largest study abroad review website; but behind the scenes more than 30 colleges and universities require their students to complete evaluations in order to receive credit for their education abroad experience.  A growing number of universities think of Abroad101 as software and a way to manage all their international program evaluation needs, an add-on to their enrollment management system and a gateway to their university course evaluation system.  In your account dashboard is a report called “University Approvals” which will show which advisors have selected which of your programs for use in their pre-approved programs list.  While this is far from comprehensive, it is a nice place to look to see who is endorsing you.  It will also give you a chance to get some insight on the university as each university has a portal on Abroad101 from where you can see their full pre-approved program list.  Type the desired university in the free form search at the top of Abroad101, select ones with the university icon/designation and you’ll land on their review summary page.  Click the pre-approved programs tab to see more.

For more on our advisors outreach, you are welcome to read our recent advisors newsletter

The Benefits of Advertising and Abroad101’s Social Media

Abroad101 is a free service to students, their parents, academic advisors and administrators.  To serve these constituencies, we also make our directories open to all providers and foreign universities.  Free Listings are the foundation of our website and allow anyone who offers programs to American college students a chance to reach the target audience of Abroad101.  Our business is funded by advertising revenue designed to provide extra visibility and better results to those who give financial support to Abroad101.  We pledge to give advertisers good value to their investment in Abroad101 and are working to extend the reach of our platform in many ways.

Featured Positions Abroad101 directories provide extra exposure for your programs and eye catching run-of site display ads can highlight other aspects of your offerings and build your brand.  Advertising on Abroad101 is results driven – ads drive traffic to your program page that acts as a landing page, further filtering inquiries and sending you qualified candidates.   Overall, our advertisers report 5% conversion on their Abroad101 generated inquiries and a cost per lead that has built some very loyal partnerships.

We also know that searching the web for programs is not the business it once was and that to succeed today, you need to spread your message to reach students, so Abroad101 is syndicating content through Social Media now more than ever.  4-8 times per day we are feeding program, review, or editorial content into our social media networks and using our leverage in these outlets to highlight our advertisers.  We kick off any new advertiser relationship with program postings in Facebook including a boost based on related keywords.  We push recent reviews and program highlights from advertised programs in very opportunistic and spontaneous ways.  Recent examples included celebrating advertiser programs in Korea for the Chuseok holiday and promoting our clients with programs at sea for International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

If you’re not part of this, see what you might be missing at:

https://www.Facebook.com/abroad101

https://twitter.com/studyabroad101

http://www.pinterest.com/studyabroad101/

http://instagram.com/studyabroad101

Advertising is per program, per year and we have a variety of ways to work within your budget.  We can take credit cards, invoice you quarterly or pro-rate your first order to match your fiscal year.  If you are interested in a price quote, please contact sales@abroad101.com or download a copy of our advertising guide

Abroad101 on the Road

Abroad101 will attend, exhibit and present sessions at a number of conferences this fall.  We hope to see you at:

  • NAFSA X-XI in Albany, NY
  • NAFSA III in Fort Worth, TX
  • NAFSA VI in Lexington, KY
  • ISEP Conference in Arlington VA
  • CIEE Conference in Baltimore, MD.

 Don’t Forget the Abroad101 Blog

Lastly, if you hadn’t noticed, the Abroad101 blog has come back to life.  There you will see guest postings from professionals in the field, our crowd funding initiative called “the Abroad101 Student of the Week” plus additional news and numbers from Abroad101.  Where else can you find news like this?

  • Emily is the most common first name of students who study abroad
  • University College London is the 2nd most popular direct enrollment institution
  • CEA is the 4th most popular provider.

With 2-3 postings in an average week, it’s worth a periodic visit to blog.studyabroad101.com for some engaging reading and lighter side of the news.

We thank you for taking the time to catch-up on the activities of Abroad101 and for your support.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your comments, suggestions and overall feedback as we work to help everyone get more from education abroad.

Mark Shay, CEO
Abroad101
mark@abroad101.com
+1-212-321-0928