Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… March 2018

March. Ready for spring? For sure we are in Michigan. Not quite so much for Daylight Savings Time. Successful recruiting to everyone this month as the days grow longer.

The review of email and social media content from online MBA programsat American, Dayton, and Syracuse universities and Simmons College continues. In the 3rd installment, check marketing message priorities in 40 American University emails from September through February. Visit and scan email highlights at

The Call for Papers for the 2018 eduWeb Digital Summit (July 23-25, San Diego) is open until March 15. Visit

Gerry McGovern presents the 2nd in a 3-part webinar series (Task Performance Indicator: Measuring Customer Experience) on March 13. Content preview and registration at

Join 591 higher education professionals on the Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Read the new post on “Top Tasks and Voice Search” and request membership at

Updating your website in 2018? First find out what potential students like and dislike about it. Feedback in 5 days on 13 quality points is yours with Gerry McGovern’s unique survey approach. See “How it works” at

The 2017 edition of my Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial from the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, “Creating Conversion Experiences to Gain Competitive Advantage,” is online at

Join 7,526+ people on Twitter at for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your March marketing news and notes.
Picking a College: The 7 Most Important Elements

Eduventures has released research with about 100,000 college-bound students asking them what is most important in selecting a college. The 7 not-so-startling “decision segments” are reviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

What does surprise me is the continuing scarcity of content about one key segment: affordability. The Net Price Calculator is not the solution. For a best-in-class example see the Calvin College “Cutting the Price Tag” example.
Recruiting Millennials: Insights on Life Style Communications

What student recruitment lessons might we learn from better understanding the workplace, personal, and family expectations of the Millennials we want to enroll in our professional master’s degree programs?

Gain insight from an Adweek “Entitled? Try Empowered: Why Millennials Work the Way They Do” article at

For a strong example of how to do this, watch the video from the UNC Flagler School on the “Home, Work, and School Balance” page.

Differences between younger and older Millennials? Yes. For details, listen to the eMarketer podcast.
Website Speed: Google July Update on Mobile Search Rankings

If you want potential students to find you on a mobile search, know that Google will give increased emphasis on website download speed in mobile search results starting in July.

More details are in the “Need for Speed” article from Search Engine Land.

Test your key pages (and those of your top competitors) with Google Test My Site.
Preparing for Voice Search: 5 Important Steps

Are you talking about how well people will find their top task content on your mobile site using voice search? (“What scholarships do you offer?” “Do you have an architecture program?”)

If people on your campus think it is too early to prepare, have them read the 5 key steps (each with implementation notes) in the “Step Over Keywords… Why Voice Search is Bigger Than You Think” article by Valerie Niechai.

Also check advice from University of South Florida on “Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search.”
Mythbusting Enrollment Marketing: White Paper Available Now

How well do enrollment marketing professionals really now what is effective and what is not in student recruitment?

Most professionals, for instance, think that most high school students use US News rankings as they search for their best college. In reality, only about 30 percent of teens do that.

Learn more about how attuned to the real-world enrollment marketers are when you download a copy of “Mythbusting Enrollment Marketing.”
Content Marketing: Go Slow for Better Results

A major problem with content marketing over the past few years has been the extraordinary rush to produce more and more of it. The result? According to one study from the American Marketing Institute, an 800 percent increase in content over 5 years resulted in an 89 percent drop in engagement.

Produce less content. More relevant content. Written by better writers. With special attention to headlines, the first point of contact. More on the merits of the “go slow” movement from the Content Marketing Institute in “Slow Your Content Marketing Down.”
Newsletters and Marketing Emails: 3 Nielsen-Norman Tips for Success

In less than 3 minutes, this Nielsen-Norman video reviews results from research on what makes recipients of your newsletters and emails happy.

Overall advice: keep things clean and simple so people can quickly scan. Avoid mixing colors, small images, and lengthy writing. More in a less than 3-minute video.
Social Media Marketing: Annual Industry Report from Social Media Examiner

Download your free copy of the 49-page report on how business use social media to advance their marketing efforts. Visit
Most Popular Topic in February Newsletter: Recruiting Online MBA Students

Detailed review of the first emails from online MBA programs at American University, Simmons College, University of Syracuse, and University of Dayton at “The Email Opening Gambit.
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

Increase your marketing success with one or more of these services. Contact me for details at

Top Task Website Research with Gerry McGovern
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