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Dec. 7, 2021

The Authenticity of Peer-to-Peer: Influencer Marketing in Higher Ed

The Authenticity of Peer-to-Peer: Influencer Marketing in Higher Ed

Prospective students aren’t as responsive to websites, emails, and mailers as they used to be.

These days, younger generations are looking more towards peer-to-peer input when making decisions about their college journey.

That’s one reason why Biola University started tapping into the power of influencer marketing. In this episode, Lee Wilhite, Vice President at Biola University, discusses how the institution approaches influencer marketing and the platforms they use to do so.

Join us as we discuss:

- Biola’s journey into influencer marketing

- How Biola uses ZeeMee to support their students

- The importance of parent CommFlows

Mentioned during the podcast: 

- Amazing Things at Biola with President Barry Corey and Zach King (‘12)

- Episode 32 - Diego Fanara from Unibuddy

- Reach out to Lee: lee.wilhite@biola.edu

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Higher Ed Marketer in your favorite podcast player.

The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.120 --> 00:00:04.919 As these social media platforms are developing today and students are building whole fan bases, 2 00:00:05.040 --> 00:00:10.269 whole communities out there. That's a great opportunity to engage them and really 3 00:00:10.349 --> 00:00:16.190 utilize what they've built for your benefit. You are listening to the Higher Ed 4 00:00:16.309 --> 00:00:21.579 Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show will 5 00:00:21.579 --> 00:00:26.059 tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, don't have relations, marketing 6 00:00:26.100 --> 00:00:30.500 trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversations 7 00:00:30.620 --> 00:00:35.060 centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's 8 00:00:35.060 --> 00:00:43.490 get into the show. Welcomes the high end marketer podcast, where, each 9 00:00:43.490 --> 00:00:48.490 week Mark Haylor and I interview Higher Ed marketers that we like and admire. 10 00:00:49.049 --> 00:00:54.759 Today is no exception. We are interviewing Lee will hight of Bio University about 11 00:00:55.280 --> 00:01:00.759 their success in influencer marketing within Higher Ed. Yeah, Troy, this was 12 00:01:00.799 --> 00:01:06.510 a great conversation and I think that the whole idea of influencer marketing, whether 13 00:01:06.549 --> 00:01:10.590 you're talking about social media, whether you're talking about leveraging some of your alumni, 14 00:01:11.109 --> 00:01:15.030 whether you're talking about, you know, peer to peer type of communications, 15 00:01:15.150 --> 00:01:19.219 I think that it's a really important aspect of the Higher Ed marketers toolbox 16 00:01:19.299 --> 00:01:23.900 that needs to be leveraged. Sometimes we forget about it. Sometimes we're so 17 00:01:23.980 --> 00:01:27.340 focused on you know, view books and travel pieces and website and social media. 18 00:01:27.420 --> 00:01:30.379 All those are important, but then sometimes I think we miss some of 19 00:01:30.379 --> 00:01:34.290 them, more specialty tools that can really make a big difference. Your campus 20 00:01:34.329 --> 00:01:38.930 visits and you know the way that the campus is and and this idea of 21 00:01:38.010 --> 00:01:44.250 influencer marketing and lead as a great job in his role as as vice president 22 00:01:44.250 --> 00:01:48.519 enrollment and marketing and communications at Biola. He he really has put together a 23 00:01:48.640 --> 00:01:52.519 plan and he comes out of a marketing background outside of higher ad which I 24 00:01:52.560 --> 00:01:55.879 think sometimes, you know, people go back and forth. Is that? 25 00:01:56.200 --> 00:01:57.640 Is that a benefit? Is it is it a challenge to learn everything about 26 00:01:57.680 --> 00:02:00.950 hired from my background outside of High Ed? I kind of think it's an 27 00:02:00.950 --> 00:02:05.150 asset and when you can bring in a lot of you know, ideas from 28 00:02:05.230 --> 00:02:07.229 outside of High Ed, sometimes you can do things a little bit differently and 29 00:02:07.229 --> 00:02:10.789 I think that's being proved out at Biola. So really looking forward to sharing 30 00:02:10.830 --> 00:02:14.189 this conversation with everyone. I think lead as a great job of kind of 31 00:02:14.229 --> 00:02:21.300 articulating all that thank you, Bart. Here's Lee will hide. It is 32 00:02:21.340 --> 00:02:24.580 our pleasure to welcome Lee will hide to the hired marketer podcast. Lee, 33 00:02:24.740 --> 00:02:29.659 thank you so much for green to have a wonderful conversation today. It's great 34 00:02:29.699 --> 00:02:34.090 to be with you today. Troy. Thank you. And just between me, 35 00:02:34.370 --> 00:02:38.129 you and Bart and a few hundred of our faithful listeners, if you 36 00:02:38.210 --> 00:02:43.330 could give us a little taste of who you are and your role at Biola? 37 00:02:44.050 --> 00:02:46.759 Yeah, thank you. I serve as vice president of enrollment marketing and 38 00:02:46.879 --> 00:02:52.680 communications at Biola. I've been there almost seven years now. When I joined 39 00:02:53.319 --> 00:02:59.270 university I was asked to head up our communications and marketing team and about three 40 00:02:59.270 --> 00:03:05.030 and a half years into that journey, are enrollment management vice president retired and 41 00:03:05.189 --> 00:03:09.629 our president decided to combine both the enrollment management and the communication marketing functions together, 42 00:03:10.270 --> 00:03:15.460 and so I'm now three plus years into that role of leading the team 43 00:03:15.659 --> 00:03:19.860 of enrollment marketing communications. Didn't come out of higher edge, Troy. I 44 00:03:21.099 --> 00:03:24.659 worked in a marketing agency for about fourteen years before I came into Higher Ed, 45 00:03:25.379 --> 00:03:29.810 so I had to do quite a bit of learning and listening and and 46 00:03:30.569 --> 00:03:34.889 seeing where to make the impact. But that I wanted to make but it's 47 00:03:34.889 --> 00:03:38.129 been a great experience so far. I have a great team here and really 48 00:03:38.129 --> 00:03:43.560 benefit from your from your podcast, and look forward to our time today great. 49 00:03:43.680 --> 00:03:46.159 Thankfully. It's an honor to have you here. I know we've met 50 00:03:46.199 --> 00:03:50.759 a few times and and it's always good to have have someone on the on 51 00:03:50.879 --> 00:03:54.870 the podcast that I'm familiar with, the school I remember. I want to 52 00:03:54.909 --> 00:04:00.069 talk a little bit about influencer marketing today and and kind of your journey as 53 00:04:00.150 --> 00:04:03.189 biole university and of that. I remember just a couple you know, references 54 00:04:03.229 --> 00:04:08.150 to that. I had a CCCU conference there was a team from bio that 55 00:04:08.229 --> 00:04:12.419 talked about, you know, leveraging influencer marketing in Instagram and I thought that 56 00:04:12.460 --> 00:04:15.860 was a very good presentation. And then I remember doing some work with knack 57 00:04:15.899 --> 00:04:23.259 cap back in the early teens, two thousand and thirteen probably, and they 58 00:04:23.339 --> 00:04:28.250 were working on their on their their their book that they put out every year 59 00:04:28.290 --> 00:04:31.850 for for Christian and high schools and it just represents all the Christian colleges and 60 00:04:31.850 --> 00:04:36.730 universities and I remember one of the one of the elements within that book and 61 00:04:36.769 --> 00:04:41.120 I was working on the website for for Chant Thompson of the time and and 62 00:04:41.680 --> 00:04:45.040 it had a picture of Zach King and had a testimonial of him from from 63 00:04:45.079 --> 00:04:48.160 his experience at Biola. And I remember my teenage kids were walking through the 64 00:04:48.240 --> 00:04:51.560 room when I was working on that project and I was like they were like 65 00:04:51.800 --> 00:04:55.589 how do you know who that is, Dad, and it's like it's Zach 66 00:04:55.670 --> 00:04:57.389 King, it says here on there. Like well, how do you know 67 00:04:57.509 --> 00:04:59.550 him? Like well, I don't know him, he's a student. And 68 00:04:59.670 --> 00:05:01.829 no he's not. He's this guy on in and on the Internet who does 69 00:05:01.870 --> 00:05:05.750 these cool magic tricks. And so I got educated by my kids on WHO 70 00:05:05.790 --> 00:05:11.500 ZA king was. But obviously he's a very successful Internet marketer. Everybody can 71 00:05:11.500 --> 00:05:13.540 look him up if they're not familiar with who he is. But he is 72 00:05:13.579 --> 00:05:17.180 a Viola Grad and I was really impressed when I saw Biola lean into that 73 00:05:17.980 --> 00:05:21.329 and have him do a video for enrollment marketing and things like that. And 74 00:05:21.730 --> 00:05:25.889 and certainly was a fun video with Dr Corey. And so tell me a 75 00:05:25.930 --> 00:05:28.490 little bit about this. I mean not only you know, have I seen 76 00:05:28.689 --> 00:05:31.649 you guys leaking into the influencer marketing? You know, for some reason, 77 00:05:31.810 --> 00:05:33.810 by all it seems to be in the right places at the right time. 78 00:05:33.850 --> 00:05:36.800 I saw, you know, a viral video of Justin Bieber and, you 79 00:05:36.879 --> 00:05:43.040 know, serenading Dr Corey at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and so it seems 80 00:05:43.079 --> 00:05:46.680 like there's a lot of that around Biola and and not all of that is 81 00:05:46.800 --> 00:05:48.480 prescribed. But just tell me a little bit about how you guys have kind 82 00:05:48.480 --> 00:05:53.430 of leaned into some of that. Yeah, Zach King has been a fan 83 00:05:53.670 --> 00:05:57.550 favorite for us here at bioll. He's a great alum. He he's done 84 00:05:57.589 --> 00:06:00.029 some wonderful videos and from ootional things for us and God's really blessed the work 85 00:06:00.069 --> 00:06:03.779 that he's done. It's exciting to see the you know, the impact he's 86 00:06:03.860 --> 00:06:10.259 making today and he's been a great, great voice, a great endorser of 87 00:06:10.339 --> 00:06:15.339 bill over the years. And Yeah, you mentioned Dr Corey and in Justin 88 00:06:15.420 --> 00:06:17.300 Bieber. Maybe it's our proximity Bart we're located, course, here in southern 89 00:06:17.339 --> 00:06:21.050 California. We're not far from from Hollywood and you know, I can tell 90 00:06:21.050 --> 00:06:26.170 you that that moment wasn't scripted, that that was something just kind of you 91 00:06:26.250 --> 00:06:30.290 know, happened in the moment. But but it was a great, great 92 00:06:30.329 --> 00:06:32.399 moment indeed. So yeah, we you know, we have learned over the 93 00:06:32.519 --> 00:06:36.600 years and and this probably isn't new for a lot of your listeners, but 94 00:06:38.000 --> 00:06:43.800 these upcoming generations and how they look at corporate brands, university brand, some 95 00:06:43.839 --> 00:06:46.639 of these institutional kind of messaging and thing that's out there. You know, 96 00:06:46.720 --> 00:06:49.350 these are things that, you know, traditionally we've been we've been trying to 97 00:06:49.430 --> 00:06:55.990 promote those messages, we've been trying to to really carry the overall kind of 98 00:06:56.110 --> 00:07:00.670 institutional message across. And more and more students, especially in these young, 99 00:07:00.829 --> 00:07:03.660 younger generations, are looking for more peer input. There looking for maybe it's 100 00:07:03.660 --> 00:07:06.660 our maybe it's our shopping habits. You know, we go to Amazon and 101 00:07:06.699 --> 00:07:11.500 we're looking those customer reviews. We're trying to see more of a first person 102 00:07:11.620 --> 00:07:14.819 kind of assessment of how people experience a product or service or those kinds of 103 00:07:14.860 --> 00:07:18.250 things. And and we just saw an opportunity years ago of the power of 104 00:07:18.370 --> 00:07:23.769 a student to student communication stream. And so when you look at someone like 105 00:07:23.889 --> 00:07:26.970 Zach, whoever went, you know can relate to and then you look at 106 00:07:27.610 --> 00:07:30.920 some of our student udents enrolled at Biola today, you know it's it's that 107 00:07:31.480 --> 00:07:35.959 that peer to peer, you know, reflection, firsthand account of their experience 108 00:07:36.040 --> 00:07:42.879 at Biola the trust level is higher. Somehow it feels to like cut through 109 00:07:42.920 --> 00:07:45.829 some of the corporate speak, or university speak, if you will, and 110 00:07:45.990 --> 00:07:48.110 it really does, you know, connect people more to peer level and I 111 00:07:48.149 --> 00:07:53.509 think it's a more of a trusted more of a trusted relationship, if you 112 00:07:53.589 --> 00:07:56.189 will. So we have, yeah, we've been about that for a number 113 00:07:56.189 --> 00:07:58.819 of years. In two thousand and seventeen, we started at what we call 114 00:07:58.860 --> 00:08:03.980 our student influence or program here, where we literally went out and scoured some 115 00:08:03.100 --> 00:08:07.420 of the social media platforms and following of some of our enrolled students here at 116 00:08:07.459 --> 00:08:11.819 Biolas many of them have, you know, thousands and thousands of followers. 117 00:08:11.060 --> 00:08:13.970 For different reasons. They've kind of built their own communities, if you will, 118 00:08:15.529 --> 00:08:18.129 and we thought, hey, wouldn't this be a great opportunity to leverage 119 00:08:18.209 --> 00:08:22.129 and utilize some of these students that have a passion for Biola, but also 120 00:08:22.209 --> 00:08:26.089 have a passion for some of the varied things that they're about as well. 121 00:08:26.610 --> 00:08:30.480 So some number of years ago we came up with this idea and so we 122 00:08:31.160 --> 00:08:33.600 we put some criteria to the table. We wanted to have some, you 123 00:08:33.679 --> 00:08:37.919 know, students that had at least a few thousand followers that they had, 124 00:08:37.080 --> 00:08:39.519 you know, kind of grown up. That was important was we wanted to 125 00:08:39.559 --> 00:08:43.470 make sure they had a positive reputation, if you will, that aligned closely 126 00:08:43.509 --> 00:08:46.830 with our value system. Of course we want that missional alignment as much as 127 00:08:46.870 --> 00:08:52.470 possible. That's that's important, especially if they're advocating on your behalf as a 128 00:08:52.629 --> 00:08:56.580 student. We were. We were looking for students that were advocating for diversity 129 00:08:56.620 --> 00:09:00.419 and inclusion and wanting to make sure that they had a broad reach in terms 130 00:09:00.460 --> 00:09:03.740 of their their influence. And then, of course, they were involved, 131 00:09:03.899 --> 00:09:05.379 you know, in the Bible of culture and all that we were bringing and 132 00:09:05.500 --> 00:09:11.090 so we looked at some of those criteria points. We found some student influencers 133 00:09:11.129 --> 00:09:13.570 that fit that bill. We reached out to him and talk to them about 134 00:09:13.570 --> 00:09:18.129 this idea and they loved it. They loved it, these students, you 135 00:09:18.250 --> 00:09:22.049 know, they were given the opportunity to step into kind of a relationship with 136 00:09:22.210 --> 00:09:26.759 bioll of that way, to help us with some of our promotion and advertising, 137 00:09:26.840 --> 00:09:30.279 if you will, marketing and so forth, and but we allowed him 138 00:09:30.279 --> 00:09:33.759 to do it within the context of what they had built within their own followers, 139 00:09:33.799 --> 00:09:35.200 and I think that was that was the key, you know, to 140 00:09:35.279 --> 00:09:37.870 come in and say, well, we've got all of these points as a 141 00:09:37.870 --> 00:09:41.470 university we want you to make. You know, we gave them some guidelines, 142 00:09:41.590 --> 00:09:45.429 some some kind of a framework there, but we really gave them the 143 00:09:45.470 --> 00:09:50.710 latitude to kind of express their firsthand, you know, account of their bile 144 00:09:50.750 --> 00:09:54.100 experience, based on based on you know, how they typically built their followership 145 00:09:54.179 --> 00:09:58.419 for their for their you know, respective platform. So it's been a great 146 00:09:58.460 --> 00:10:01.940 it's been a great under undertaking for us. Well, I love that because 147 00:10:01.940 --> 00:10:03.539 it kind of touches on a number of things that I'm seeing kind of the 148 00:10:03.659 --> 00:10:07.570 the trends in Higher Ed Marketing. You know, the idea of authenticity, 149 00:10:07.649 --> 00:10:09.850 I mean whether you want to call that a trend or not, you kind 150 00:10:09.850 --> 00:10:13.370 of referenced it earlier in the conversation. Was the idea that we've been so 151 00:10:13.570 --> 00:10:18.529 used to being corporate speak and maybe kind of the official line. I mean 152 00:10:18.690 --> 00:10:20.519 even to the degree of, you know, when we do a video, 153 00:10:20.600 --> 00:10:24.080 we need to make sure it's polished and broadcast quality and all those types of 154 00:10:24.159 --> 00:10:28.480 things. Well, you know the community, you know, community actions and 155 00:10:28.519 --> 00:10:31.440 marketings really change over the last several years and I think the pandemic kind of 156 00:10:31.519 --> 00:10:35.870 accentuated and actually you know, increased the authenticity where. You know, sometimes 157 00:10:35.909 --> 00:10:41.309 now, I think generation z especially, become suspect if things are too polished, 158 00:10:41.350 --> 00:10:45.470 if they're too perfect and if it's too right. And so I think 159 00:10:45.549 --> 00:10:48.269 that, you know, allowing your student ambassadors, in your student influencers to 160 00:10:48.669 --> 00:10:52.379 have some leeway, to have the ability to be authentic, to be personal, 161 00:10:52.860 --> 00:10:56.700 to be able to connect with those other students in a way. I 162 00:10:56.820 --> 00:10:58.740 mean, just look at the explosion of Tick Tock. I mean the idea 163 00:10:58.820 --> 00:11:05.649 of of that platform is really all about authenticity, real you know, it's 164 00:11:05.690 --> 00:11:09.210 it's a lot of it is. Is just kind of on the spur of 165 00:11:09.330 --> 00:11:11.169 the moment type of thing, and so I think that that really really hits 166 00:11:11.289 --> 00:11:15.769 well with that and so try. I know you had a couple questions about 167 00:11:15.769 --> 00:11:20.120 about some other things that by all was using with that. Yes, I 168 00:11:20.279 --> 00:11:24.399 was curious about their use of the platform that enables the student or peer to 169 00:11:24.559 --> 00:11:31.360 peer connection in communication. If you could kind of first let us know how 170 00:11:31.399 --> 00:11:35.509 you were introduced to the platform, how you utilize it and the thought process 171 00:11:35.669 --> 00:11:39.269 that went into using Zemi? Yeah, thank you, Troy. Yeah, 172 00:11:39.269 --> 00:11:45.470 zeenis A it's a social APP that we discovered a couple of years ago we 173 00:11:45.549 --> 00:11:50.860 launched this for our student community. It specifically oriented towards perspective students that are 174 00:11:50.899 --> 00:11:54.659 on this college search journey and they're really trying to understand what a college is 175 00:11:54.700 --> 00:11:58.259 all about. You know, you can read the website, you can read 176 00:11:58.259 --> 00:12:01.809 the printed material, you can get kind of, you know, data points 177 00:12:01.850 --> 00:12:03.769 from different family members and friends and people like that in the line of attended 178 00:12:03.850 --> 00:12:07.690 the school, but there's nothing that's that. You know, the replaces that 179 00:12:07.730 --> 00:12:11.850 idea of stepping in and stepping in a conversation into community with others that are 180 00:12:11.289 --> 00:12:16.639 that are living that experience. And so so we identify this platform, Zee 181 00:12:16.679 --> 00:12:20.000 me, launched it two years ago, really as a place for us to 182 00:12:20.080 --> 00:12:26.759 to engage prospective students in and relevant topics. We're going to campus life and 183 00:12:26.879 --> 00:12:31.389 student wellness and student resourcing, and students were introducing themselves and say hey, 184 00:12:31.429 --> 00:12:35.070 mom, I'm from the bay areas anyone else applying to Biola from the area 185 00:12:35.149 --> 00:12:39.669 where you from? All of a sudden connections are being formed. You know, 186 00:12:39.710 --> 00:12:43.710 there's community being built and and then, you know, we interject in 187 00:12:43.789 --> 00:12:46.460 that and we do some promotion of some some events or some things coming up, 188 00:12:46.580 --> 00:12:50.460 like that or some topical kinds of things will introduce and in address or 189 00:12:50.539 --> 00:12:54.100 respond to some of the chatter that's out there. It's been a great platform 190 00:12:54.220 --> 00:13:00.970 for us is to engage these prospective students in hopes that as they discern that 191 00:13:01.090 --> 00:13:03.210 college search journey, they're going to have a better understanding what Biola is all 192 00:13:03.409 --> 00:13:07.850 about and and then as they come to visit campus and so forth, they're 193 00:13:07.850 --> 00:13:13.120 going to have a better better picture of what an enrolled student life you would 194 00:13:13.120 --> 00:13:16.639 be a Biola. So so it's been a great it's been a great undertaking 195 00:13:16.679 --> 00:13:18.279 for us. We're just a couple of years in, but we've got thousands 196 00:13:18.320 --> 00:13:22.159 of students that are in this in this space, and you know, it's 197 00:13:24.159 --> 00:13:26.399 you go into these things thinking, well, we'll use it this way, 198 00:13:26.519 --> 00:13:28.990 but you know, unbeknownst to us, you know, we're learning even more 199 00:13:28.029 --> 00:13:31.990 students or finding roommates through this platform. They're figuring out like, you know, 200 00:13:33.070 --> 00:13:35.269 which hall, which dorm, should I try to get into? You 201 00:13:35.470 --> 00:13:37.470 know, all those other kinds of things. What's what's that campus food really 202 00:13:37.470 --> 00:13:39.830 like a Biola? You know some of those things. So you know, 203 00:13:39.990 --> 00:13:43.659 it's truth and advertising. It's the lived experience. You know, through the 204 00:13:43.740 --> 00:13:48.779 student life comes through those, those kind of platforms. But it's been a 205 00:13:48.899 --> 00:13:52.620 it's been a great, great APP for us. That's great and it reminds 206 00:13:52.659 --> 00:13:54.340 me of, I think in the early two S I was working with a 207 00:13:54.379 --> 00:13:58.330 couple of schools and that was when facebook was just coming out. I mean 208 00:13:58.370 --> 00:14:00.929 it was it was kind of the all the rage for what would be the 209 00:14:00.970 --> 00:14:03.889 tick tock crowd. Today, now that grandma and and mom and dad are 210 00:14:03.889 --> 00:14:07.409 on facebook, it's not as popular for the younger Gen z but you know, 211 00:14:07.730 --> 00:14:11.440 early on I remember working with some schools and when we had this idea 212 00:14:11.440 --> 00:14:15.720 of hey, let's set up just a class of two thousand and twelve, 213 00:14:16.039 --> 00:14:18.639 you know, facebook group. You know, let's see if anybody would be 214 00:14:18.639 --> 00:14:22.799 interested as a freshman, as an incoming student. Same thing it was happening 215 00:14:22.879 --> 00:14:24.990 there. It's like, you know, boy, they build these relationships, 216 00:14:24.029 --> 00:14:28.309 they're starting to, you know, build roommates and get get these things going 217 00:14:28.470 --> 00:14:33.669 and and you know, obviously social media platforms like facebook and then everything kind 218 00:14:33.669 --> 00:14:37.070 of shifts and see it's harder to kind of keep your finger on that pulse, 219 00:14:37.429 --> 00:14:41.259 whereas using an APP like Zemi, I think, is kind of that's 220 00:14:41.299 --> 00:14:43.620 the purpose the students understand that. That's why they go to that APP and 221 00:14:45.220 --> 00:14:48.100 it's a way that they can then better engage with with the school. So 222 00:14:48.139 --> 00:14:52.740 I think that's really great. We we had another peer to peer APP person 223 00:14:52.860 --> 00:14:56.009 on a couple weeks ago, Diego from you know, Buddy, and you 224 00:14:56.090 --> 00:14:58.450 know it's the same thing. If some we wants to learn more about those 225 00:14:58.490 --> 00:15:01.049 APPs, you know we can listen to that episode. Might see if we 226 00:15:01.090 --> 00:15:05.169 can get somebody from Zemi on sometime as well. But I think that's a 227 00:15:05.250 --> 00:15:07.919 really good way because, again, it goes back to what we talked about 228 00:15:07.919 --> 00:15:11.679 earlier, the authenticity, the realness. I'm not having to talk to the 229 00:15:11.759 --> 00:15:13.919 official channels of the school. I'm actually able to talk to other people, 230 00:15:13.960 --> 00:15:18.360 other students, and kind of get their experiences. So I think that's a 231 00:15:18.039 --> 00:15:22.029 it's a really great way to go. Tell me, has it really kind 232 00:15:22.070 --> 00:15:28.070 of how has the pandemic impacted all this social influencers and even like the Zemi? 233 00:15:28.230 --> 00:15:31.230 Have you seen an increased or decrease based on the pandemic? Yeah, 234 00:15:31.230 --> 00:15:35.590 it's a great it's a great question. Bar Tonight here in Los Angeles County, 235 00:15:35.629 --> 00:15:37.100 which is where we're based out of, we had even some of the 236 00:15:37.179 --> 00:15:41.580 more stricter even, you know, guidelines for us here. You know there's 237 00:15:41.620 --> 00:15:46.659 there's eight hundred thousand college kids and La County Alm are just county in the 238 00:15:46.659 --> 00:15:50.009 state of our United States, and so you know, we had some really 239 00:15:50.049 --> 00:15:54.049 challenging times. We weren't an open campus last year. We were fully remote, 240 00:15:54.090 --> 00:15:58.409 and when you look at that remote status, that's where that's where platforms 241 00:15:58.450 --> 00:16:03.639 like Zeeni become so important, because we're fostering community student student peer to peer. 242 00:16:03.799 --> 00:16:08.440 We're injecting we're giving some helpful insights and tips and Instruction and things like 243 00:16:08.519 --> 00:16:11.639 that along the way, but I mean it's creating this place that students can 244 00:16:11.679 --> 00:16:15.840 can continue to hang out, they can ask honest questions, they can get 245 00:16:15.879 --> 00:16:19.629 some real firsthand accounts and experiences from people. So really critical we had, 246 00:16:21.110 --> 00:16:22.669 you know, like many maybe your listeners, you know, you had to 247 00:16:22.750 --> 00:16:29.309 reimagine so much this last year in terms of how to how to recruit students 248 00:16:29.350 --> 00:16:32.470 and admit students and all of that, but even the student lived experience on 249 00:16:32.590 --> 00:16:36.379 campus was so different, you know. And so here we are trying to 250 00:16:36.779 --> 00:16:41.299 utilize platforms like this. We're thankful that that we introduced it when we did 251 00:16:41.419 --> 00:16:44.259 and we had a good year and a half under our belt before the pandemic 252 00:16:44.299 --> 00:16:48.169 hit, because it really helped us kind of whether that whether that challenging season 253 00:16:48.690 --> 00:16:52.690 that we're not out of yet. So that's exactly right. It's exactly right. 254 00:16:52.730 --> 00:16:55.809 So well, another community that I think is important. I mean we 255 00:16:55.889 --> 00:16:59.529 talk about peer to Peeris being so important and influencers. Well, number one 256 00:16:59.570 --> 00:17:03.240 influencer by far and all the research that you read his mom and so we 257 00:17:03.279 --> 00:17:07.000 talked about parents. Tell me a little bit about what bile is doing as 258 00:17:07.039 --> 00:17:08.799 far as parent con flows, because I mean, you don't necessarily have a 259 00:17:08.839 --> 00:17:12.119 Zemi, but you've got to still also do hey, what do other parents 260 00:17:12.160 --> 00:17:15.829 think? How our other parents, you know, engaging? So tell me 261 00:17:15.869 --> 00:17:18.910 about that. Yeah, thanks for asking that part. You know, one 262 00:17:18.910 --> 00:17:21.789 of the things we know from this the from the younger generations. So they're 263 00:17:21.829 --> 00:17:23.710 not they're not actually looking for email. You know, we can send a 264 00:17:23.710 --> 00:17:26.670 lot of communication out that way in behalf and the university and they're not getting 265 00:17:26.670 --> 00:17:30.380 it. I've got all three of our kids a bile of this year and 266 00:17:30.500 --> 00:17:32.579 you know, I have a chance to kind of Heye, you get that 267 00:17:32.700 --> 00:17:33.740 email from the school? No, no, I didn't look at well, 268 00:17:33.779 --> 00:17:36.740 it's there, you'll pull it up. Kind of a thing. And so, 269 00:17:36.859 --> 00:17:40.140 you know, guilty as charge. Even even my own kids don't look 270 00:17:40.180 --> 00:17:41.539 at the email, you know, like they should. And so you know, 271 00:17:41.619 --> 00:17:45.329 it drives the more text platforms and drives the social platforms. Were talking 272 00:17:45.369 --> 00:17:49.609 about other ways to get the communication out. But to your point part we're 273 00:17:49.690 --> 00:17:55.809 just seeing more and more the importance of engaging mom and dad in the communication 274 00:17:56.890 --> 00:18:00.200 of with these students, so so in it. In the case for you, 275 00:18:00.359 --> 00:18:03.720 here in Biola, we've got a separate parent communication track that that runs 276 00:18:03.759 --> 00:18:07.680 right along parallel to the lot of the student student communication that we're getting out 277 00:18:07.720 --> 00:18:11.839 to to our perspective, students, and is interesting. I was just it 278 00:18:11.960 --> 00:18:15.109 was just a couple of weeks ago we gathered with a missions counselors here in 279 00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:18.390 southern California and other Christian universities that are here and we have a number here 280 00:18:18.470 --> 00:18:22.630 in the South Southern California area. We're just checking in, as we do 281 00:18:22.829 --> 00:18:26.150 periodically with them. How are you doing? How are your schools doing? 282 00:18:26.230 --> 00:18:30.099 What are your numbers looking like? What are fall applications looking like? What 283 00:18:30.180 --> 00:18:33.460 are you hearing from from your high schools that you're, you know, working 284 00:18:33.579 --> 00:18:36.460 with and there were some really good insights that came out of this and in 285 00:18:36.539 --> 00:18:38.940 a lot of it ties to the pandemic that we were just talking about. 286 00:18:40.579 --> 00:18:44.009 You know, these high school seniors this year have been through a couple of 287 00:18:44.170 --> 00:18:48.009 really challenging years at high school. They've been in a remote learning environment many 288 00:18:48.049 --> 00:18:52.089 of them they have not had the kind of facetime with high school guidance counselors 289 00:18:52.650 --> 00:18:56.920 that they needed. We're discovering that a lot of these high school seniors this 290 00:18:56.119 --> 00:19:03.119 fall are not adequately prepared. They're not they're overwhelmed. It this idea that 291 00:19:03.200 --> 00:19:04.799 now I've got to apply for schools. I'm not quite sure how to really 292 00:19:04.839 --> 00:19:11.670 do this. They haven't really been maybe guided through that that high school you 293 00:19:11.750 --> 00:19:15.789 know consideration journey, if you will. You know, on at their high 294 00:19:15.789 --> 00:19:18.950 schools. It's all been it's been remote for so much. So you'll look 295 00:19:18.950 --> 00:19:23.740 at that. You look at things like universities implementing a test optional, you 296 00:19:23.819 --> 00:19:27.579 know, approach here across really across us the country. That's that's confusing for 297 00:19:27.660 --> 00:19:30.140 some of these students. It's like what should I should I get the test 298 00:19:30.220 --> 00:19:33.859 anyway? Is going to increase my chances? Is it not? You know 299 00:19:33.019 --> 00:19:37.380 how how really you know how much? Are they really factory that in or 300 00:19:37.460 --> 00:19:40.130 not? Those are questions. And then, of course, when you just 301 00:19:40.250 --> 00:19:42.289 think of the uncertainty that all of our families have really been through the last 302 00:19:42.289 --> 00:19:47.089 year to have with job loss and with health concerns and and you know just 303 00:19:47.250 --> 00:19:52.009 the continual changes there, it just feels like a very uncertain time for a 304 00:19:52.089 --> 00:19:55.880 lot of high school seniors right now. So the point I'm driving towards is 305 00:19:55.920 --> 00:20:00.000 that even more important, even more important that you're engaging mom, you're engaging 306 00:20:00.079 --> 00:20:07.390 dad in this college application process. We're we're finding ourselves doing many more educational 307 00:20:07.509 --> 00:20:11.190 kind of conversations around, you know, filling out the Fastva or what is 308 00:20:11.269 --> 00:20:15.750 college looked like, especially for Firstgen families. It don't have a history of 309 00:20:15.869 --> 00:20:18.190 this. So so there's a lot of education we're doing. We have a 310 00:20:18.309 --> 00:20:22.259 we have a high school class. It's that's the right now. I don't 311 00:20:22.259 --> 00:20:27.299 think is maybe has the kind of readiness or even equipping or feeling a sense 312 00:20:27.339 --> 00:20:33.700 of ability to kind of enter into that college application journey. There's we're seeing 313 00:20:33.700 --> 00:20:37.329 a lot of lags. A lot of schools here in socal at least. 314 00:20:37.329 --> 00:20:41.329 are seeing a lot of lags and applications as fall. This pandemic is still, 315 00:20:41.730 --> 00:20:44.890 you know, the tail of this thing continues on, and so all 316 00:20:44.930 --> 00:20:48.130 the more important that we engage, you know, parents in this journey. 317 00:20:48.730 --> 00:20:53.440 That's great. That's really, really good, Troy Lee. As we close 318 00:20:53.640 --> 00:20:59.000 the episode, would like to know if there is an additional idea or thought 319 00:20:59.039 --> 00:21:03.119 that you could share that would either be implemented immediately by a peer or something 320 00:21:03.240 --> 00:21:07.829 that you've come across that you feel worthy to share. Yeah, it's a 321 00:21:07.869 --> 00:21:11.470 great question. You know, I was I was thinking back to three words 322 00:21:11.470 --> 00:21:15.910 of advice I got years ago from a from a mentor of mine, and 323 00:21:15.549 --> 00:21:21.220 it was this build on success, build on success, and this idea that 324 00:21:21.420 --> 00:21:25.859 start, start with something. Start Small, start with maybe one student influencer 325 00:21:26.059 --> 00:21:30.460 that that you can identify within your student body. Talk with them about the 326 00:21:30.579 --> 00:21:34.569 idea of influencing, you know, their communities with that. Get them started 327 00:21:34.690 --> 00:21:38.049 on that. Build upon that. You know, we started with just, 328 00:21:38.609 --> 00:21:42.569 you know, three and a year and we've grown it to to five and 329 00:21:42.730 --> 00:21:48.359 seven a semester now, where we've got students that are taking that that kind 330 00:21:48.359 --> 00:21:51.400 of role with us, and so I would just say start small, build 331 00:21:51.519 --> 00:21:55.519 on success. That will drive momentum, that will win a fan base. 332 00:21:55.759 --> 00:21:57.640 That will earn you more budget, that will earn you, you know, 333 00:21:57.839 --> 00:22:03.430 greater you know, appreciation and trust for what you're implementing there and and so 334 00:22:04.269 --> 00:22:07.869 I would I would encourage a listeners today. If you're not doing it, 335 00:22:07.390 --> 00:22:11.549 think about the importance of peer to peer communication in a more significant way. 336 00:22:11.630 --> 00:22:17.220 And as these social media platforms are developing today and students are building whole fan 337 00:22:17.380 --> 00:22:22.779 bases, whole communities out there, that's a great opportunity to engage them and 338 00:22:22.900 --> 00:22:30.170 really utilize what they built for your benefit. Shut Bill on success wonderfully and 339 00:22:30.289 --> 00:22:37.809 thank you so much for bringing your wisdom, your authenticity and also your energy, 340 00:22:37.250 --> 00:22:42.210 which I can feel and I can't wait for the listeners to experience this 341 00:22:42.410 --> 00:22:45.960 episode. If someone would like to reach out to you and contact you for 342 00:22:47.039 --> 00:22:48.640 any reason, what would be the best way for them to do so? 343 00:22:48.799 --> 00:22:52.599 Yeah, they can always reach eat by email. Let's Lee got will hike. 344 00:22:52.799 --> 00:23:00.869 That's L E got W I l Hie at Biola, the IOLA DOT 345 00:23:00.950 --> 00:23:06.990 Edu. Lee Dot will hide at Biola Dot Edu. We appreciate you, 346 00:23:07.190 --> 00:23:11.150 lie thank you. Thank you, troy. Appreciate you and Bart as well, 347 00:23:11.269 --> 00:23:12.500 and it's been great being with you today. Thanks for the good work 348 00:23:12.579 --> 00:23:18.420 you're doing. Our pleasure. Bart, any final words from you today? 349 00:23:18.579 --> 00:23:21.859 Yeah, I just wanted to kind of really appreciate Lee's final word there with 350 00:23:21.940 --> 00:23:23.940 build on success. I think he really pointed out some really good things. 351 00:23:25.019 --> 00:23:29.250 And again, so many times we talk about these big concepts. I'm you 352 00:23:29.329 --> 00:23:33.250 know, somebody probably did a search or you clicked on the title of this 353 00:23:33.369 --> 00:23:37.089 episode. Had something to do with social influencers and and you needed to learn 354 00:23:37.089 --> 00:23:40.609 more about it, and I think that lea did a great job of kind 355 00:23:40.609 --> 00:23:42.960 of laying that out and how biola is doing that. And you might be 356 00:23:44.039 --> 00:23:45.759 a smaller school than Biola, you might be a bigger school than Biolah, 357 00:23:45.799 --> 00:23:48.160 but you might be figured trying to figure out how can I do this? 358 00:23:48.680 --> 00:23:52.640 And I really like to Lee's last comment. They're built on success. Try 359 00:23:52.680 --> 00:23:55.950 only just one maybe, you know, just try to figure out how to 360 00:23:55.990 --> 00:23:57.150 do that. You know, take a look at you know, if you 361 00:23:57.230 --> 00:24:00.549 can't afford Zemi or you can't afford uniboddy or something like that, figure out 362 00:24:00.589 --> 00:24:03.190 how you can at least create a student ambassador team. You've already got some 363 00:24:03.230 --> 00:24:07.789 students that might be giving tours. Maybe the part of that is that there 364 00:24:07.789 --> 00:24:11.180 offer their text their cell phone to students to be able to text them with 365 00:24:11.220 --> 00:24:15.900 any questions. figure out what would fit for you with these concepts and I 366 00:24:15.019 --> 00:24:18.220 think that might be a good way to start and as least at it. 367 00:24:18.259 --> 00:24:19.779 When you build on success and you you know, maybe you gain a few 368 00:24:19.779 --> 00:24:23.369 more students next year because of that, or or fifteen or twenty. Well, 369 00:24:23.369 --> 00:24:26.130 your budge is going to change a little bit. Maybe you can do 370 00:24:26.170 --> 00:24:27.410 other things as well. So I think those are just a few thoughts that 371 00:24:27.490 --> 00:24:33.210 I have, Troy. Thank you, Bart everyone. That winds up another 372 00:24:33.410 --> 00:24:38.640 episode. The hired market of podcast is sponsored by Taylor solutions and education marketing 373 00:24:38.720 --> 00:24:45.519 and branding agency and by thing patented, a Marketing Execution Company specializing in printing, 374 00:24:45.960 --> 00:24:51.079 mailing and other digital marketing assets. On behalf of my cohost, barred 375 00:24:51.160 --> 00:24:56.509 Taylor, I'm Troye singer. Thank you for joining us. You've been listening 376 00:24:56.549 --> 00:25:00.309 to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, 377 00:25:00.349 --> 00:25:04.109 subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple 378 00:25:04.150 --> 00:25:07.220 podcasts. We'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. 379 00:25:07.259 --> 00:25:12.339 Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time, 380 -->