Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… August 2019

August. The opening of a new semester is almost upon us. And for many schools, recruitment of traditional-age students to join at the opening continues even as the 2020 cycle is underway. Best wishes for success to everyone who still needs a few more to meet enrollment and revenue goals.

Improving the marketing power of your website? Find out what potential students like and dislike about your current site before making changes. Feedback in 5 days on 13 quality points with Gerry McGovern’s unique Customer Centric Index (CCI) survey approach.

Join 730+ higher education professionals on the Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Request membership at and scroll for success stories of universities with a Top Task approach. Learn how University of Sheffield reduced website bloat by shrinking an academic program’s content from 120 to 50 pages. ­­­

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And now, your marketing news and notes for August.
Cartoon of the Month: Sonic Branding… Are you ready?

If you want to check on how up-to-date your agency is, ask your favorite contact what he or she thinks of the sonic branding initiatives adopted at Coca-Cola and MasterCard.

No response? Send them Tom Fishburne’s “Sonic Branding” cartoon.
Most Affordable Universities: 100 Mid-size to Large Colleges and Universities

Almost every school listed here is a regional university.

Net price is just $1,640 at the California school in first place and $10,376 at the Massachusetts entry that closes the list. The highest net price included might be a surprise entry: Stanford University at $17,952 is #87.

If you work at a private sector college, search the list for public universities in your state. Most net prices here are less than $12,000. How easy is it for potential students exploring your school to get at least an estimated net price early in the recruitment process?

Scan the 100 schools at “Top 100 – Most Affordable Mid-size to Large Colleges and Universities in 2019.”
Social Media Glossary:  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter

Current on social media terms and how they differ from one site to another?

From the communications office at University of Michigan comes a detailed glossary for 5 main sites and a list of “General Terms.” Test yourself at the Social Media Glossary.
Reddit: An Enrollment Marketer’s Guide

Stephen App at Campus Sonar is, to say the least, enamored with Reddit as a social media site to gain insight into what college-bound high school students are saying about their experiences in seeking the proverbial “best fit” school.

Steve created a 47-slide presentation with student examples and advice on what to do and what not to do on Reddit to boost your enrollment efforts.

When you visit, don’t miss slide 15, a list of the Top 10 spammer universities sending unsolicited emails of the 2,175 schools doing that. Louisiana State (102) was on top. Columbia University, Duquesne University, Hofstra University (40 each) tied at the end. Of course, that person who is counting “spam” does not remember what he agreed to when signing up for the ACT or SAT.

Unlike many presentations in this format, you can follow along and gain useful information without actually have to hear the live presentation. Visit “The Enrollment Marketer’s Guide to Reddit.”
2019 E-Expectations Research: 4 Summary Areas from Karine Joly

Ruffalo Noel Levitz continues this year with the annual report re what high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are doing in the various stages of the college search process.

Karine Joly has done a fine service in presenting the results in 4 areas: (1) Email & text, (2) Search Engine Optimization & Advertising, (3) Higher Ed Websites, and (4) Social Media. Scan the intro to each section and start at the topic that most interests you at “Archives: 2019 E-Expectations Research.”
TikTok: Introduction to a Bright Shiny Object

Are you ready to answer questions about TikTok? Your president, after all, may have a child or niece or nephew in high school who is captivated even if most people you know are not.

In that vein, take a few minutes to read Josie Ahlquist’s introduction to TikTok, an entry into “the club of short-form mobile video apps alongside Snapchat and Instagram.” TikTok, Ahlquist reminds us, is “to Gen Z as Instagram is to Millennials.”

Some schools are already experimenting. Ahlquist provides links to TikTok work at The University of Florida, Indiana University Bloomington, and Austin Peay State University.

Learn more at “TikTok is Going to College.”
Video Marketing: An “Ultimate Guide”

What kind of video marketing is right for your student recruitment efforts? For fund-raising? For brand awareness?

If that’s a live question at your marketing discussions, Alicia Collins and Megan Conley at HubSpot have writing a detailed guide outlining 12 types of marketing videos with “templates, tips, and resources” on how to craft them for highest impact. Not all are relevant for higher education. Many are.

Compare your present video marketing plans and skills with the HubSpot “Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing.”
Voice Search: 33 Statistics for Your Kit Bag

Voice search doesn’t yet dominate the search world. That’s not predicted until at least 2020.

Meantime, WordStream’s Gordon Donnelly has assembled 33 stats to review and store away as you continue to explore how to best prepare for voice search growth. One hint: prepare to abandon higher education jargon. Few people, for instance, will ask about “articulation agreements.” Or “residence halls.”

For stats on demographics, devices, and more visit “33 Voice Search Statistics to Prepare You for the Voice Search Revolution.”
Content Marketing: A Weekly Podcast

If you’re a fan of both content marketing and podcasts sign up for “Weekly Wrap” 30-minute sessions with Robert Rose, chief strategy advisor at the Content Marketing Institute.

Rose promises four elements in each podcast: (1) one deep thought, (2) one fresh take on the news, (3) one guest who’s making a difference in content, and (4) one great marketing idea you can use.

Warning: You will hear promotion for Content Institute events.

Test your interest with Episode #30, “For Unskippable Content.”
Most Popular Topic in July Newsletter: “Data-driven marketing” cartoon

Yes, data is important for a successful marketing campaign. But Tom Fishburne warns us: “There a lot of bad marketing that an be justified by data, particularly data used selectively or myopically.”

Create a data cautious environment as your team discusses “Data-driven marketing.”
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D.

Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

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