Your Higher Education Marketing Link(s) of the Week… University of Plymouth & Grove City College: Alumni Stories… 6 August 2021

University of Plymouth & Grove City College make it easy to find alumni stories of highest interest to potential students

Every college and university has “alumni” story content on the website. Some have many. Some have a few. But in almost every case the available stories are the ones that someone at the school thought were most important for visitors to read. It is rare indeed to find a school that lets potential students and others navigate easily to alumni stories grouped by the academic area that’s of most interest to them.

University of PlymouthGrove City CollegeUniversity of Plymouth (“View alumni profiles by interest areas”) and Grove City College (“Student & Alumni Stories”) stood out from other schools included in the first 5 pages of a Google search for “alumni stories.”

Yes, each school highlighted selected stories in a prominent page position. That’s fine. But each school also let visitors move past those stories to visit other stories grouped by academic areas. Most potential students have a high interest in academic areas of special interest and will seek out information about those areas. If they are going to read alumni stories and are interested in engineering, the engineering stories will be of  more interest than those from nursing or history or business.

Plymouth features 13 broad academic areas, from “Architecture, design, building, and construction” to “Psychology and social sciences.” Grove City includes 27 academic department and pre-professional areas and adds “Study Abroad.” Both versions are easy to scan.

Marketing notes…

  • We see again that type of institution has little relations to the existence of smart marketing features. In the 14 year history of “Link of the Week” selections that’s always been the case.
  • Website visitors are most interested in what interests them. Sounds simple.  But too often what is most prominent on websites is the content that marketers (and presidents and deans) think people, including potential students, ought to read. Visitors are clever. They’ll skip what does not interest them. And be frustrated and often abandon a site if they can’t find what’s most important to them.
  • Don’t list alumni names and graduation years without also including the academic major. That’s an easy addition to any collection that will help people sort out engineering from nursing from history. Few if any visitors will open 10 to 20 names on a page in search of someone from their interest area.
  • All of these stories were presented in text. There’s also a place for short, informal videos recorded by the alumni themselves.
  • Simple content designs like these lists are effective. On websites, simplicity works.

Follow the Link of the Week

See how two schools allow potential students and other visitors to seek out alumni stories of greatest interest when you visit “Meet our alumni” at University of Plymouth and “Student & Alumni Stories” at Grove City College.

Recommend a future Link of the Week

Always eager to get recommendations of websites that dare to be different… or just do something ordinary in a special way. Write a comment with link here or send me the link at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com

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