On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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Communication with an Impact - Overview
Shift Toward Students
Text for “Bots”
Content for People
Messaging for Success
Landing Pages Explained
Marketing Shift New Paradigm : You Marketing Traditional : We Marketing Focus on PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS & PARENTS ACADEMICS STUDENT LIFE FACULTY/STAFF Let us tell you all about us and how wonderful WE are. You will want to attend because we are great. CULTURE The Past : Institution-centric Marketing Moving Forward : Student-focused Ideas
Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics Your website is not just a static brochure but rather an interactive “conversation” with your users consisting of three key elements:
Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics Findability Search engines
Ask, Alta Vista, etc..
Other interactive outlets
Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics Usability Focus the user
Whether direct or clever, use plain language, short sentences and bullets
Give the user choices, as if having a conversation
Let the user decide what’s important on your site
Facilitate a positive user experience
Clear, consistent navigation across the site
Distinct value proposition: try to convey WIFM – what’s in it for the visitor
Utilize images and video to tell the story – more than words!
Make it easy to take the next step
Talk with us or schedule a face-to-face visit
Sign up for E-newsletter
Connect with us on social media/bookmark the page
Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics Personality Communicate the spirit of the school
What would you tell a prospective student who was visiting?
Create feelings which become thoughts/actions (with images and minimal text)
Engage them and inspire them
Represent the people at the institution
Their fellow students
Suggest related items you offer and link to them
Appeal to multiple audiences
Depict various demographics in images/video
Showcase a variety of activities and student life elements
Highlight resources and student services
Communication with an Impact – Geek Speak Geek Speak = the terms and crazy jargon you’ll hear throughout the session Value proposition – the unique advantages or “selling points” of your department that students and parents would find compelling when choose whether to attend school Differentiation – the characteristics that set your department apart from other institutions SEO – Search Engine Optimization – the art/science of affecting the search engines to consider your pages most relevant for a given search PPC – Pay per click –the method of paying for ad space on search engines for placement on desired key phrases Keyword/Key phrase – a word or phrase that students/parents might use to search Google, Yahoo or other search engine for education-related information Meta tags – (a/k/a meta data) words used in the building of the pages that help search engines determine what your page is about Keyword Density – the ratio of keywords to total word count; ensuring proper keyword density will help search engines find your pages and deem them relevant Landing page – a page created specifically for a certain audience, message or marketing purpose; can be linked within your navigation structure or not Social Media – websites or platforms used for relational connections, entertainment, opinions/recommendations, etc. ; ex: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, De.licio.us, StumbleUpon
Communication with an Impact – Who Cares?
How will the students know unless you tell them?
Signal: noise – rising above the noise connects you with prospective students
In an age with so many choices… you can affect the students who choose your programs
No one tells your story and your value better than YOU, so share with students and parents
What you portray to prospective students and parents AFFECTS THEIR DECISION to enroll!
Each of us can impact the success of SIUE
What are your goals for your pages?
What are you hoping to learn today?
Communication with an Impact – Text for Bots Search engines “crawl” your pages looking to establish what they are about so that they can display YOUR pages to searchers. What are they looking for?
Meta tags/data – title, keyword and description tags
Content with keyword density for search terms relevant to the page
Hyperlinks to relevant content within your site (a/k/a “cross links”)
Hyperlinks from outside websites linking in to your site with specific keywords
“Fresh” and updated content
Communication with an Impact – Text for Bots mba programs stlouis
Communication with an Impact – Content for Humans Your future students read your pages to find out more about your department and why they should attend. What are they looking for?
WIFM – Rule #1
Personalization – which means you give them their choice of info
People they can connect with – images, video, audio
Stories of other students who have done it before and succeeded
Real answers to their actual questions
Future job outlook and opportunities
Data to substantiate your information
Social proof (we’ll get to that later)
Communication with an Impact – Messaging Sound hokey? Not really. Content is words on a page. Messaging is more than the words you write…
It is your promise to the students and parents
It is the logic-based value you can provide
It is the emotions are you creating to “connect” with your prospective students
It is your opportunity to tell stories and share ideas rather than talk AT your future students
Your willingness to listen is important; invite participation where appropriate
How would you define your KEY messages?
Communication with an Impact – Landing Pages Goal for landing pages should be “relevancy”
Create and maintain pages by segment or area of focus
Pages can line up with traffic sources you’ve created
Keywords are a must to affect search engines
Make your page clear and easy
Most of info “above the fold” & use bullets!
Distinct value proposition (as specific as possible)
Highlight department characteristics and appeal
Suggest related topics you offer and link to them
Offer several calls to action – ways to interact
Get to know us – simple contact info/form
Talk with us or schedule a face-to-face visit
Friend us on Facebook/Follow us on Twitter/Bookmark the page
Download a ____ (research brief/capabilities paper/staff bios)
Communication with an Impact – Social Proof Your future students are interacting with social media daily, hourly – and in some cases by the minute!
Go where the students are – but have a plan
Be purposeful and control your message
Participate in the conversation, starting with LISTENING & OBSERVING
Encourage your current students to get involved
Don’t be afraid of video, podcasting and more
Link back to relevant pages on your site
Communication with an Impact – Sitemap Logic Imagine a real life prospective student conversation
What questions do you ask students and their parents? How do they respond?
And what do they ask you? How do you answer them?
Pictures are worth a thousand words
Review your media gallery for images that support key ideas that matter to prospective students
Never stop taking new pictures – even if they’re not professionally shot
Be sure to address fears and concerns
Open honest communication is just as important on the web as it is in person – students and parents appreciate transparency
Concerns are usually a signal that more information is needed – this is where the site can become more deep with content
Let’s create your sitemap – and Jim can work with you on developing your sitemap further.
Communication with an Impact – Hands-on Exercises Create three concise ideas for why a student should choose your programs
Try to make a “you” statements
Think about what’s important to the students and their parents
Think of at least two points of differentiation from other nearby institutions
With which specific schools does your department “compete”?
How are you better than them?
Can you quantify the results?
Think outside the box…
When developing these lists, what other creative ideas, images, student stories, etc. come to mind?
Communication with an Impact – Thank you! For more information on the information in this session, please feel free to contact me @ Joy Milkowski Access Marketing Company 720-536-8650 Email: Joy@AccessMarketingCompany.com Follow: www.twitter.com/joym Connect: www.linkedin.com/in/joymilkowski