ContentMarketingSurveyStudent search habit studySurvey conducted by
Survey OverviewAUDIENCE Sample Size: 876 Respondents Age: 18-20 Education: Last year of highschool to first or second y...
InsightsTop 5 Promotional Factors 73.9% - Word of mouth 50.8% - School’s website 45.6% - Private campus visit 43.6% - ...
InsightsSite Visit Frequency 33.3% - 2 to 4 visits 24.6% - 5 to 10 visits 21.0% - 0 to 1 visits 12.9% - 10 to 20% visi...
InsightsDescribe the most important feature you want to see? “I want it to look visually appealing. Ifthe college website...
InsightsTop 5 Characteristics (of school) 52.7% - Academic reputation 51.8% - Financial aid/scholarship 51.4% - Academi...
InsightsTop 5 Personal Influences 84.4% - Parents 71.0% - Friends 34.4% - High school guidancecounselor 33.0% - High s...
InsightsTop 4 Decision Impact 77.0% - Facebook 19.1% - Twitter 15.8% - University run blogs 15.4% - Google+Honorable M...
Insights “I found the College of William and Marysblog helpful and friendly at a timewhen I was stressed about my college...
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Research Study College Admission Student Digital Media Habits During Post Highschool College Search

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This study was conducted to determine how students utilize digital media, including websites, & social media when researching colleges and universities to apply to for admission. It provides marketers insight into the media habits of college students, and is especially beneficial for content marketing agencies and marketing personnel within the

The study provides interesting insights for marketers related to how students shop for schools, what people and other factors influence them, what types of devices they use, and more.

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Research Study College Admission Student Digital Media Habits During Post Highschool College Search

  1. 1. ContentMarketingSurveyStudent search habit studySurvey conducted by
  2. 2. Survey OverviewAUDIENCE Sample Size: 876 Respondents Age: 18-20 Education: Last year of highschool to first or second year ofcollege Gender: Random – even split Ethnicity: – random Geographic: all across theUnited StatesBREAKDOWN 45.5% Just completed highschool 51.1% Male 48.9% Female 100% 18-20 years oldPURPOSE: To gain insight into the habits ofcollege age students, in regardto how they search for colleges& ultimately arrive at their schoolof choiceStudy conducted via surveymonkey.com
  3. 3. InsightsTop 5 Promotional Factors 73.9% - Word of mouth 50.8% - School’s website 45.6% - Private campus visit 43.6% - Direct mail 43.3% RankingsSignificance: Website # 2 factor in decisionmaking process Word of mouth #1 (social mediaeffective here)Top 5 Website Features 87.7% - Majors & Minors 68.9% - Photos of campus 64.9% - Program descriptions 60.3% - Residence life 59.2% - Class descriptionsSignificance: Important to have solid academicallyfocused content Imagery and campus life important(visual content)
  4. 4. InsightsSite Visit Frequency 33.3% - 2 to 4 visits 24.6% - 5 to 10 visits 21.0% - 0 to 1 visits 12.9% - 10 to 20% visits 8.2% - 20 or more timesSignificance: 66.7% visited 5 or more times Theory: reputation of school mayhave impact on # visitsQuote“Varied greatly between schools.For example, I applied toDartmouth after only visiting thewebsite once, but I read everysingle page of Deep Springssite.”Significance:Website content may be of greaterimportance for school’s with a lessrecognizable brand.
  5. 5. InsightsDescribe the most important feature you want to see? “I want it to look visually appealing. Ifthe college website doesnt look like theyspent time making it appeal to prospectivestudents, or the personality of the websitedoesnt match my ownpersonality, it puts the school fartherdown on my list.” “The pictures of the college shouldconvince me and also I need day to dayupdate of the campus news ontheir website.” “An up to date picture of what studentlife is like (classes, socialmedia, student clubs, etc.)” “The website should be professionallooking and easy to navigate, themost important thing I think should beability to easily access information onclasses and majors.” “social media conveying the schoolsspirit” “I would say the most important feature onthe website is making the school seemwelcoming. Have pictures of peoplehaving fun.” “Thorough and exciting descriptionsof academic programs and courses”
  6. 6. InsightsTop 5 Characteristics (of school) 52.7% - Academic reputation 51.8% - Financial aid/scholarship 51.4% - Academic programs 51.1% - Cost/tuition 42.4% - Proximity to homeSignificance:These are the most important topics andwill typically be the first / most frequentlyvisited pagesDevices used 61.7% - Laptop PC 49.6% - Desktop PC 35% - Smartphone 26.2% - Laptop Mac 16.6% - iPadSignificance: PC is still more prevalent than Mac forlaptops Mobile devices are increasingsignificantly as search tools, sooptimize site for mobile
  7. 7. InsightsTop 5 Personal Influences 84.4% - Parents 71.0% - Friends 34.4% - High school guidancecounselor 33.0% - High school teachers 29.8% - SiblingsSignificance:Important not to lose site of theseinfluencers when designing universitymarketing strategy56.4% Used Social Media For Search 87.2% - Facebook 28.7% - Twitter 21.1% - University run blogs 18.2% - Google+Honorable Mention: Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube All visual mediums
  8. 8. InsightsTop 4 Decision Impact 77.0% - Facebook 19.1% - Twitter 15.8% - University run blogs 15.4% - Google+Honorable Mention: Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube Again…all visualsTop 5 Social Media Activities 76.0% - “Likes” Facebook 45.4% - “Comment” Facebook 18.2% - “Share” Facebook 15.1% - “Retweet” Twitter 10.4% - “Photos” InstagramSignificance: Hmmm? Any recurring theme standout? There are those visuals appearingagain with Instagram
  9. 9. Insights “I found the College of William and Marysblog helpful and friendly at a timewhen I was stressed about my collegesearch, and this ultimately played arole in my deciding to apply to thecollege.” “Their twitter account tweeted aboutan award that the university received forexcellence in a particular field.” “Seeing how quickly one of my collegesmade a Freshmen group foraccepted students was lovely andmade me feel excited about thatuniversity.” “UVAs Facebook page and bloghelped me know that their Early Actiondecisions would be coming out early, and Iwas accepted.” “An experience I can think of was when Icontacted an admission contactperson on Facebook and we spokeonline for sometime on how to apply forBerea college.” “Looking at the Facebook problemsolving page, seeing how studentswork together to reduce confusion oncampus and class scheduling.” “Social media sites allowed to me get incontact with other students myage who were already enrolled at thecollege or thinking about it.”Quotes About Social Media

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