Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… July 2016

July greetings to everyone.

If you work at a college or university, ask me for an invitation to the Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group on LinkedIn.

We have 159 members, most from the U.S. with others from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.K. Join to read the questions people ask and the replies received about how to make sure your website best meets the needs of the people who use it.

Just reply to this email and ask me to send you an invitation to join the Top Tasks group on LinkedIn.

My presentations from the Academic Impressions conference on Improving Your Student Recruitment Communications conference last month are online. “Evaluating Your Institutional Website” is at and “Affordability and Financial Aid Communication” is
Conference Events in July, August, December

July 20-21 I will be at the Connect Higher Education Summit sponsored by Learning House for a presentation on “Best Website Elements for Recruiting Online Students.” Review the program and register at

The eduWeb Digital Summit is August 1-4 in Denver for a new pre-conference workshop: “Top Task Content and Design: A Strategy for Website Marketing Success.” Details at

December 4-7, Orlando: “Digital Marketing Strategy: Surviving and Prospering in a Changing World,” pre-conference tutorial at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education.

Join 7,230+ followers on Twitter at for my daily marketing updates.

And now here are your July marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: Content Marketing and the Marketing Echo Chamber

Do we as marketers spend too much time talking to other marketers? Tom Fishburne asks that question in the context of the content produced by content marketers for other content marketers. See
The Future of the Internet: Mary Meeker and Internet Trends 2016

Mary Meeker has devoted followers who eagerly await her annual insights on the most important trends impacting the Internet. This year’s complete 213 slide presentation is

For a fast review of key marketing points made by Meeker, Lauren Johnson has culled 22 topics “that marketers need to know” in an easy-to-scan format from AdWeek at
Very Different Landing Page Designs: Drexel University and Creighton University

A classic, time tested design for a successful landing page for your online advertising: Creighton University at

A different approach that follows the design format on many of today’s home pages: Drexel University at

One key element in common: Short, easy to complete inquiry forms. Both Creighton and Drexel know that the longer you make the inquiry form the fewer people will complete it.
Effective Video Marketing: 10 Cost-effective Examples

Video is playing an increasing role in effective marketing, if done right. And done right does not always mean large budgets and super professional production values that sometimes actually decrease credibility.

For links to 10 video efforts from large universities and small colleges visit “Video Content for the YouTube Age” at
Public Universities and Net Price: Reducing Tuition Costs for Lower Income Students

Which of the 650+ public universities in the U.S. do the best job of lowering tuition for students with annual family incomes of less than $30,000?

Jon Boeckenstedt gives you the ability to easily read the data in one of his “Higher Ed Data Stories.” Check the trend at individual schools since 2008. Compare levels within individual states. Note the percent of Pell-eligible students admitted.

Identify the most affordable public universities when you visit
Recruiting Online Students: 5 Key Points

If online student enrollment is important to your school, take time to review 5 key marketing points from a recent Learning House research report.

Pay special attention to “speed to enrollment is a priority” as most students make decisions in fo
ur weeks or less before enrolling and expect rapid response from the schools that interest them. The “need for speed” is important on your website and everywhere in your enrollment process.

More on demographics, cost, location, and alternative credentialing at
Snapchat Advertising: Participate with Caution

AdWeek recently reviewed plans from Snapchat for a “colossal increase” in advertising driven by the need to achieve $1 billion in revenue.

In an age when millennials are skeptical of many forms of marketing and ad-blocking continues to be popular, potential advertisers, including colleges and universities, will have to move forward here with caution. As with any advertising, believable messages and targeting will be critical.

The detailed review of how Snapchat plans to roll out the expansion is at
Content Marketing Strategy: 9 Mistakes Checklist

From the Content Marketing Institute itself, comes a much-needed article by Neil Patel on “9 Mistakes You Might Be Making.”

The first two might seem obvious but in the rush to create and distribute content they are too often ignored: The content is not good and the content it is not useful. Review the infographic for a process to improve content usefulness.

My favorite mistake was the last one: Content marketers too often ignore SEO criteria. Patel makes a strong case that the two approaches are not in conflict.

Given the popularity of “content marketing,” this is essential reading at
Website Design: The Perils of Hamburger Menus

Hamburger menus, those three little lines stacked on top of one another, seemed a perfect fit for the diminished space on mobile-friendly websites viewed on smartphones.

But not everyone agrees, especially now that the hamburger feature is migrating from smartphones to large screen website views. To keep things in balance and to understand what task completion obstacles you might be creating, read the Nielsen-Norman Group report on why “Hamburger Menus and Hidden Navigation Hurt UX Metrics” at

If you do use the hamburger sign, add the “menu” word next to it. Not everybody yet knows the graphic.
Email Marketing: 7 Stats to Help Plan Higher Success

By now few marketers still believe the email is dead as an effective part of a marketing tool kit.

But email certainly has evolved. To help stay up-to-date in your email campaigns, review “7 email stats you’ll want to quote in your next meeting” at
Most Popular Topic in June Newsletter: The Rewards of Creating New Logos

Once again, a Tom Fishburne cartoon won the most clicks, this time his take on the process endured and the results achieved in the creation of a new logo. Visit
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D.
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me for details at

Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping

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