At the start of each year, we review website analytics data from a variety of colleges and universities to paint a broad picture of higher education website traffic trends. The data we reviewed spans from January 1, 2019 to December 15, 2019 and includes graduate programs, law schools, liberal arts colleges, universities, and adult programs. Whenever possible, we exclude internal traffic data to ensure the insights accurately convey the behaviors of prospective students, alumni, parents, and any other external visitors.
What's new, what's next, what's best, and how it all fits in to a successful digital marketing strategy… Get inside our head with these helpful resources—from blog posts to best practices guides—written by our team of experts.
Each year, higher education marketers have dozens of higher education marketing conferences to choose from. Depending on your budget, you might only be able to attend a small handful — or even just a single conference. So it’s important that you get the most out of the event.
When we work with colleges and universities to redesign their websites, one of the first things we do is a comprehensive discovery to assess the current state.
Our discovery typically involves a variety of activities, such as reviewing existing research and branding, interviewing stakeholders, conducting workshops to better understand key customer journeys, and reviewing website analytics. Altogether, these activities help paint a picture of where the website is and where it needs to be as an effective business tool.
At OHO, we talk a lot about the importance of telling stories on your website. After all, it’s a powerful technique to demonstrate what your brand is about: you can convey outcomes and successes, showcase authentic people in relatable situations, and cross-promote other aspects of your brand and relevant website destinations.
The straightforward and unambiguous purpose of a college landing page is refreshing in the digital marketing landscape. As a stand-alone page, it serves one purpose — to capture a lead or make a sale. The page isn’t trying to serve multiple audiences or convey various messages, it’s entire reason for being is to make that sale or capture users’ contact information so they can continue along the customer journey.
Higher education marketing professionals often wear many hats when managing digital efforts at their institution, either with the partnership of an agency or in a smaller in-house team. Often, SEO is misunderstood as a channel that can be funded in the same way a paid search or digital media campaign may be.
Content strategy is a transformative approach for focusing and elevating your digital communications efforts by aligning all of your content production to your key messages. Sounds simple, but developing and implementing a content strategy can sometimes be tricky to start and hard to explain.
In over a decade of leading workshops to help clients make the most of their content, we’ve developed a content strategy template, breaking down content strategy process into four fundamental questions:
At OHO’s second annual Higher Education Digital Marketing Bootcamp, six junior and senior high school students joined us on a panel to discuss their college search experiences. They shared their entire search process — from start to finish — and offered invaluable insights on how colleges and universities can improve the website experience for prospective students.
What’s considered a “success” in social media?
Is it the number of likes a post gets? The ratio of retweets to impressions? The overall quality of the discussion? A net increase in followers over time?
Yes to all of those, but it's more than just tangible data points, as was discussed during OHO’s 2019 Higher Education Digital Marketing Bootcamp.
In 2018, OHO Interactive held the first Higher Education Digital Marketing Bootcamp to help higher ed professionals understand how other colleges and universities structure their marketing departments, prioritize projects, and set budgets. OHO also took note that in their survey, The State of Higher Education Web Teams, communications departments at both large and small colleges and universities wanted to build digital marketing skills in-house.
Content strategy succeeds best not as an individual crusade, but as a group effort across your organization. But in higher education, the kind of culture change that content strategy often calls for can be hard to come by.
There are a few ways these challenges may present themselves within a college or university. We’ve broken those challenges down here, paired with clarifying GIFs — plus a few strategies for overcoming them.
Building digital marketing capacity in-house is the top skill college and university web teams want according to The State of Higher Education Web Teams survey and the top request we hear from our client partners.
The cornerstone of a marketer’s job isn’t coming up with the best tagline, designing the best landing page, or crafting the best tweet — it’s planning.
As marketers, the best thing we can do for our divisions and our organizations is plan.
“What scares me the most? The 80 ‘stealth admits’ that could either make or break our year.”
A university president recently confessed this fear to me highlighting the challenge stealth prospects pose for college and university enrollment teams.
When we approach web projects, content strategy is always a part of the conversation. You can’t have a successful website redesign or other major digital initiative unless you are accounting for the content in some meaningful way. Taking a content-first approach ensures that the end product succeeds in both communicating and motivating effectively.
“Thanks to mobile, micro-moments can happen anytime, anywhere. In those moments, consumers expect brands to address their needs with real-time relevance.” Google challenges digital marketers to identify these moments for their unique mobile visitors and ensure that these consumers can achieve both their goals and yours.
Colleges and universities have so much to share, from groundbreaking research to breaking ground on a much-awaited student center. But how, where, and why we share these nuggets with our audiences can vary. “News” and “stories” may sound interchangeable to some, but when it comes to web content, there are some key differences.
A simple way to think about it is this:
- Stories are about a person, the heart of who they are
- News is about what a person did recently
“We should put our social media accounts on our website!”
That phrase — or some version of it — has been uttered by someone at nearly every college or university at one point or another. But is it always the right move?
At face value, it seems like a great idea. If you’re spending the time and effort to maintain a robust social media presence, why wouldn’t you want to feature that content on your site? When you dig a little deeper, however, there’s a lot to consider.
Website calendars pose one of the great challenges of higher education content management — there are a million options, every school needs one, but each school’s needs vary slightly, and nobody wants to own it. Who knows, if your college or university is like many others, a wide array of calendar tools may already be in place across your institution.
With over 85% of prospective students ranking the website as the top research tool during a school search, a critical part of any website project is connecting prospects with admissions counselors — by means of request information forms, campus visit forms, and admission microsites.