3 Universities Practice Smart Marketing with COVID-19 Home Page Photos: Oregon State, Xavier, Boise State
Is it smart marketing to use photos of students wearing masks in various campus settings in the COVID-19 era? If you believe in reality marketing, yes. You can’t run from COVID-19. You can’t hide from it. If you are bringing students back to campus, use realistic images of what life on campus is likely to look like.
Two weeks ago we featured the first university found with a “hero” image of students in a COVID-19 classroom setting on the home page: Arizona State University.
Today we highlight 3 more schools: two that also use hero shots as the home page opens and another that puts several smaller images lower on the home page. Confronting some semblance of COVID-19 reality on the home page will increase confidence in the reality of the content that follows. That’s smart marketing.
The virus, after all, is likely the most important thing on the mind of potential residential students as the explore colleges during the new recruitment season.
Oregon State University…
Oregon State shows us two students in a casual setting, perhaps taking a break in a campus cafe. The campus, we are told, will be “safe and healthy.”
A “Future Students” link here leads to an interior image and an invite to take a campus “You Visit” tour. While we wanted to see if the tour had also been COVID-19 updated we didn’t do that as this is a lead generation link. You first have to complete an inquiry form before you can do the tour. Let’s hope the tour images are as updated as the home page.
Xavier chose to take a traditional campus image… students sitting outside on a campus lawn… and transform that into a COVID-19 image. The large screen version will show you 4 students rather than the 2 you see here. Can we assume that are smiling behing their masks? Sure.
Visitors here will see a “can’t miss” link to “Take Our Virtual Campus Tour.” Like Oregon State, Xavier is generating leads with an inquiry from to complete before taking the “You Visit” tour. Again, we passed on that. (Actually, we are already an inquiring potential student at Xavier and receiving their email contacts.)
Another large image lower on this page features 5 smiling students standing with arms around one another in an image that we presume will not be encouraged in the COVID-19 world.
Boise State University…
Boise State takes a different approach. Here the opening image is a standard brand statement that Boise is “Redefining Education.” Scroll down further on the page to arrive as a collection of at least 8 smaller images featuring people on the Boise campus in a variety of settings. As you move about the home page you’ll also see images of people without masks that you most likely would not see in the next semester as people return to campus.
Follow a “We Miss You Link” to “Learn more about our plans to welcome you home” and you’ll arrive at a page with larger COVID-19 images, including students in front of a “B” sculpture and a masked member of the football team.
Will these home pages be relevant by October?
Nobody can say with certainly that every school that brings students back to campus in August will be able to continue that for the fall semester. Let’s hope that’s possible. In the meantime updating home pages to acknowledge COVID-19 as these universities have done is not especially difficult.
Follow the Link(s) of the Week
Experience early website examples of COVID-19 reality when you visit these 3 university home pages:
Do you have a COVID-19 home page image?
If your college or university has updated the home page with COVID-19 campus images, add your link to the comments here.
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