Bob Johnson's Blog on Higher Education Marketing

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November greetings. Hoping to see many of you at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in December in Orlando just a few weeks from now.

Our Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group on LinkedIn continues to grow, with over 40 new members since the October newsletter bringing the total to 267. If you are on LinkedIn and work at a college or university, join us by requesting membership at bit.ly/2cyyLs5 

New to "top tasks" strategy that will increase the marketing strength of your website? My workshop presentation from the eduWeb Digital Summit in August, Top Task Content & Design: A Strategy for Website Marketing Success, is at bit.ly/2aDS5BV 

How well do future students, current students, faculty and staff, and alumni like your website? Now you can do our basic Customer Centric Index survey at no cost. Details at bit.ly/2f2g5VF 
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Conference Event in December

December 4-7, Orlando: Digital Marketing Strategy: Surviving and Prospering in a Changing World, pre-conference Tutorial E at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The tutorial description is at bit.ly/2buWkQM Early registration discount is open until November 6.

Join 7,300+ followers on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your November marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: How Much Content Marketing is Just "Crap"?

Not long ago Mark Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, referred to a "content crap trap" created by a huge increase in "content marketing" production that overwhelmed the people receiving the deluge of resulting messages. 

Tom Fishburne took inspiration from Pritchard's comment (and research reporting that a 35 percent increase in brand content happened in the same year as a 17 percent decrease in brand engagement) in a new cartoon at bit.ly/2f9JucT 
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Gen Z and the Future of Marketing: 5-Minute Video with Wunderman CMO

Gen Z, including college-bound folk under 18 years of age, is a key focus of an interview with Jamie Gutfreund, CMO at the Wunderman agency, about new challenges that marketers can expect. Anyone recruiting traditional students should invest 5 minutes to watch the video.

Key points: Gen Z is very marketing-savvy, very practical, and very much in search of transparency from brands that interest them. Find more to help improve your recruitment communications and website content at bit.ly/2f4L80Z 
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Promoting Early FAFSA Benefits: Moravian College

Here is a rare example of gaining marketing advantage from creating new content around the benefits that potential students might expect to receive from the early FAFSA opportunity that started this fall.

On a page that makes strong use of headings and an easy-to-read text size, the college explains why early FAFSA "makes things easier for students and their parents."

Moravian noted that students who file early will receive financial aid award letters in November or "three months earlier than in past years."

For more on an unusually strong effort to take marketing advantage from early FAFSA visit bit.ly/2dUQGd2 
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Branding with Substance: Furman University

New branding efforts often fall primarily into the "promotion" part of the 4 marketing Ps and less often on major change in product.

Furman University offers a different example. A new "Furman Advantage" program, fueled by a $20+ million-dollar donation, will create an elaborate array of mentors, internships, and research opportunities to strengthen the connection between a liberal arts degree and career success.

For more on how one liberal arts university seeks to strengthen brand position and increase first-year enrollment despite a less than ideal geographic location visit bit.ly/2fxF9Em 
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Ranking Canadian Universities: The 2017 Maclean's Magazine Report

The top "comprehensive" university this year is Simon Fraser, followed in the Top 5 by Waterloo, Victoria, Guelph, and Carleton. Sort schools by student satisfaction and reputation ratings as well when you visit bit.ly/2farKhq 
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Virtual Reality: Explore a New Shiny Object

If you are talking on campus about how to add virtual reality to your tactical marketing mix, add this Adweek Brand Share infographic article to your reading list. Spoiler: VR developers think this is a very good idea. If you are not a VR developer, move with caution as you explore.

My favorite point: "A lot of companies that are eager to dive into VR still have islands on Second Life they no longer use." You do remember Second Life, yes?

Explore more in "For Brands, Virtual Reality is All About Genuine Connection" at bit.ly/2esjyJC 
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Web Design: Top 10 Enduring Mistakes from the Nielsen-Norman Group

Some design mistakes persist through each new generation of creativity and so the visitor experience does not improve. And so, it is always good to check your web site performance against the warnings you will find here. 

My favorites are #5, "Hidden Fees and Prices," and #7, "Poor Search Results." See the other 8 mistakes that endure at bit.ly/2fwJh7A
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Digital Marketing Glossary: Quiz Yourself on 18 Terms

How expert do you want to be on marketing in the digital era? Test yourself on 18 terms from AdAge starting with Attribution and ending with Trading Desk at bit.ly/2fxBab2 
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Writing Right for the Web: A to Z Guide to Effective Language 

Making the words on your website as quick to read as possible should be an important content marketing goal. Alas, too often we cannot escape phrases that our bureaucracies seem to love but real people do not often use. 

To explore how well your website content, emails, and blogs use "real people" language, scan the A to Z list of "Simple Words and Phrases" at bit.ly/2efBCsB 
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Football Coach Salaries: 72 at $1 Million or Higher

How does the compensation of your head football coach compare with the top 119 reported by USA Today? 

University of Michigan leads the pack at nearly $10 million. See the rest at usat.ly/2erCGXW 
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Most Popular Topic in October Newsletter: Strong Graphic on College Ranking Press Release

Higher education folks often dismiss and disdain college rankings. Unless, of course, a college or university does especially well. 

Centre College created a strong graphic image to introduce a press release reporting how well the college did on a new ranking system from the Wall Street Journal. Check the image at bit.ly/2dopyWg 
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Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with one or more of these 5 services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Communication Audits
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Happy New Year! Best wishes to everyone for marketing success in 2016. 

My December article on "6 Great Website Examples" for connecting quickly on a website starts with a unique home page from Xavier University. See how 5 other schools distinguish themselves at bit.ly/1mfWFMl 

The Call for Papers for the 2106 eduWeb Digital Summit in August is open until January 15. Review the 5 track topics and send a presentation proposal. Start at bit.ly/1Or24vf 

Share with your marketing team: A full set of slides from my Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education last November atbit.ly/1N2cNgG 
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Conference Event in February

If you are planning serious website work in 2016, register for the Academic Impressions conference on "Higher Ed Web Redesign" starting February 29. Check the program and register at bit.ly/1NE7VyH 

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your December marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: 7 Marketing Resolutions for the New Year

How long will your marketing resolutions last this year? Every resolution you will see here starting with "This year I will focus on fundamentals" has merit. How long will you resist the last one on chasing fads?

Laugh, maybe weep a bit, and start your next marketing meeting with the cartoon atbit.ly/1OJzCGU 
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Customer Experience Trends: The Most Important Topic for 2016

We all can find a plethora of articles on trends and innovations to follow in 2016. If you only have the time and patience to read one such list, make it "The Year of the Customer: 16 Customer Service and Experience Trends For 2016" from Shep Hyken at Forbes Magazine.

No matter what type of students you are recruiting, take special note of the first item: "Customers are smarter than ever." 

After you circulate the Cartoon of the Month, have your team discover what is most important to marketing success when you scan the other 15 customer experience trends atonforb.es/1n321eM 
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Recruiting Out-of-State Students: Where Do People Travel?

How successful are you likely to be recruiting students who do not already live in your state? Distance from the home state is an important factor according to a new review of 2014 IPEDS data from Jon Boeckenstedt at DePaul University. California, New Jersey, Illinois, and New York are the leading exporters.

The legions of students exiting California, for instance, travel all about the country. University of Alabama and New York University are their most popular destinations. The many students from New Jersey, on the other hand, stay close to their home state.

Pick your favorite state(s) or school(s) to review when you visit bit.ly/1PLpHiU 
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Writing Right for the Web: New Academic Program Introduction

Every once in a while you see an example of academic program writing and content presentation that you wish would spread throughout higher education. This example from the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University is one of them.

Visit the unusually clean, simple, and easy-to-scan presentation at bit.ly/1mrCkE9 
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CollegeNET vs. Common App: Wrestling in the Mud?

CollegeNet is appealing an adverse court ruling on an anti-trust suit against the Common Application last spring. CollegeNet is the choice of the Coalition for College Access, Affordability, and Success to deliver future application services.

Review the reasons why a U.S. District Court dismissed the suit as well as the reason CollegeNet is challenging that decision at bit.ly/1Z5Dg2D 
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Goldman Sachs and College Value: Avoid the Bottom 25 Percent

A December note from Goldman Sachs reporting that graduates of the bottom 25 percent of universities earn less on average than high school graduates received no small amount of media attention. A quick Google search brings links to CBS News, CNN Money, Business Insider, and more. 

Estimate the PR impact from a typical report that "gives parents good reasons not to send kids to college right now" at bit.ly/1PLxkpI 

The original Goldman Sachs warning is in a PDF at bit.ly/1PebfeM 
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Digital Marketing Campaigns: The Best in Higher Ed in 2015

I have known the smart folks at Terminal Four since I first met Piero Tintori at a J.Boye conference in Denmark years ago and started my collection of red-covered notebooks.

And that is why it is easy to recommend a visit to the first installment of "The Best Higher Education Digital Marketing Campaigns of 2015." No guarantee that you will be a fan of each one but check the variety of approaches for insight and inspiration for your 2016 efforts.

My personal favorite: several faculty simply reading short notes about why students liked Keele University.

To review campaigns from the U.K. and the U.S., visit bit.ly/1Rg7xYl 
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Disney World Marketing Content: Two Schools Merge in Philadelphia

The merits of the impending merger aside, the December press release announcing the tentative deal is a truly remarkable example of over-the-top content marketing. 

See how many superlatives can dance on the head of a pin when you read the announcement story at bit.ly/1Ms4uDY 
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Nielsen Alertbox Report: Website Simplicity Almost Always Wins

Do you need more reasons to convince people that keeping lots of links on a website page isn't harmful, even when many are almost never used?

To help clean the clutter from your web pages and increase top task completion, get people to read "Simplicity Wins over Abundance of Choice" at bit.ly/1mzZmcz 
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A Fad You Can Miss in 2016: 9 Reasons to Skip Virtual Reality

You do not have to rush to create a virtual reality version of your campus visit experience if you believe the AdAge take that this emergent 2015 marketing darling just is not practical.

If you insist on early adoption, follow the link to the example for Stanford University football.

Root yourself in reality by reading "Reality Check: 2016 Won't Be the Year of VR" atbit.ly/1S2yAWJ 
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Most Popular Topic in December Newsletter: Content Marketing Cartoon

Everyone loves content marketing, ice cream, and apple pie. Cartoonist Tom Fishburne gently urges that we spend more time editing and less time publishing in his "Branded Content" cartoon at bit.ly/1UuSF5Y 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me to schedule your project at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Communication Audits
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects
Connect in 5 Seconds or Less to Create Marketing Strength

Yes, you have 5 seconds or less when a web page opens to make a connection with someone visiting that page. People have to immediately see something they understand and that "something" had best be based on a top task the visitors want to complete.

Quick top task completion gives visitors a good experience. That makes them more likely to return to the website again. Your brand reputation benefits. 

An immediate connection depends on the power of words that stand out on the page. That's true for desktop and laptop visitors. It is especially true of mobile visitors. Today we pay homage to 6 higher education websites that distinguish themselves by their ability to create an immediate connection with the impatient, task-oriented people who use higher education websites.

These "immediate impact" examples are taken from the 2015 Link of the Week selections.

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Most higher education home pages are dominated by a huge hero image, sometimes still part of a carousel series that few people stay on the page to see. Visitors have to search about the first screen or scroll down through layers of images and words to find the path to complete their top tasks.

The home page design at Xavier stands out for the "can't miss" placement of the search box. Potential students are prompted to use search to "find programs" that interest them.

Yes, there is a large image of a campus building. But nice as the building might be, it does not say anything distinctive about the school. Placing the search box right over that image says: "We want to help you find what you want to find." It creates a distinctive approach right from the start. 




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Here is an alumni page with a single primary purpose: make it as easy as possible for alumni to connect with one another.

If you view this on a desktop or laptop you'll find a discrete right column link to "Make a Gift to Carlton" but making a gift is not a top task for most alumni visiting a website like this. 

Alumni have several connection options: 
  • "In Your Area" for people and events
  • "Classes and Eras"
  • "Careers"
  • "Interests and Affinities"
  • "Majors"
Of course, if you are searching for a particular person you can try the directory at the start.



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Numbers are powerful because they draw immediate attention. Visitors to this financial aid page first see 3 key points that support the "You Can Afford" Harvard headline that follows right underneath them:
  • 70% receive financial support.
  • 100% have no debt at graduation.
  • 20% pay nothing at all to attend Harvard.
Large-screen visitors will see the same 3 points horizontally across the top of the page.

The Net Price Calculator is visible in the center of the page.

The language used in the "How Aid Works" section is a remarkably jargon-free example of "Writing Right for the Web."




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Can I get a scholarship at your university? That or something similar is a question often heard by admissions counselors at college fairs. Most schools do not make the answer as easy to find as Eastern Kentucky does on their 4-part form for "First Time Freshman."

Your estimate is available immediately after you tell EKU your high school GPA, your ACT or SAT score, and your state of residence. 

Just below the estimated scholarship amount are links to apply for admission, make an inquiry, or schedule a campus visit. That's perfect path positioning for a potential student encouraged by the scholarship possibility to take the next step on their college selection journey.



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This page wastes no time letting visitors know how much money has been raised and the major ways in which that money will be used.

Just as quickly as people scan the numbers they well also see:
  • How many people invested in the campaign.
  • How many "alumni champions" participated.
  • The amount dedicated to financial aid for students.
  • The number of "Perpetual Scholarships and Fellowships" created.
After people have scanned the top data points, they can remain to note the sizes of various donations and the sources of the money.






Like the Xavier home page, this program entry page takes the unusual but strong step of placing key links right on top of the video that opens the page. The video is visible as background, but it does not push the important words further down on the page where they are not immediately visible.

After the opening "Learn Everywhere" statement, the path to answering four questions is obvious:
What can I study?
Where can I study it?
How do I participate?
When can I study it?

The result? Another clean and simple page that takes people quickly to the content needed to complete their study abroad tasks.



That's all for now.

Subscribe to "Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter" for monthly marketing news and notes and weekly Link of the Week selections.

Join 7,050+ people and follow me on Twitter.
Greetings in December. And a special welcome to new subscribers from my Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education last month. Review the complete set of tutorial slides at bit.ly/1N2cNgG 

The Call for Papers for the 2016 eduWeb Digital Summit in August is open until January 15. Review the 5 track topics and prepare a presentation proposal. Start at bit.ly/1Or24vf 

Make time on December 8 for a new Gerry McGovern webinar on Measuring the Customer Experience at your website. More than anything else online, the experience people have at your website will influence what they think of your school. Register at bit.ly/1lUOFR0 
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Conference Event in February

Are you renewing your website in 2016? Attend the Academic Impressions "Planning for a Higher Ed Website Redesign" conference in February. Check the details and register to join us at bit.ly/1NE7VyH 

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your December marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: The Danger of Mixing Content Marketing and Brand Promotion

In rushing to feed the "content marketing beast" are organizations failing to edit content to deliver what is of interest to the intended audience? The Cartoon of the Month is at bit.ly/1NE9RHx 
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Social Media Strength: Top Media-Savvy Universities in the U.S.

If you like infographics you will love this view of the top social universities in categories that include total online mentions, facilities, professional schools, Twitter mentions and followers, and Facebook likes.

As you might expect, size and reputation help. Start your scan at bit.ly/1Or9oHx 
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Advertising Online: The Ad Blocking Challenge

If you advertise online the strong trend to use ad-blocking software, especially among Millennials, raises new challenges to a decent ROI from your advertising dollars.

Visitors to gaming sites are most likely to use ad blockers, at 26.5 percent. Visitors to education sites are at 16.9 percent adoption. Both charities and government sites are under 5 percent.

Discover a useful resource when you download the 17-page "2015 Ad Blocking Report at bit.ly/1YEhpvv 
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Content Marketing and Your Website: Two Priority Goals

Two goals are most important to the success of a content marketing strategy. First, reduce the content of your current website by at least 50 percent to improve search and navigation. Second, focus on making it as easy as possible for visitors to complete their top tasks.

What quickly dooms content marketing? The wide-spread addiction to "ego content" that is difficult to escape. Think welcome messages from presidents and deans and "Disney World" photos and stories.

Gerry McGovern writes more in "Less Content Marketing, More Quality Content" at bit.ly/1lqFdEx 
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Student Recruitment: Communicating with Latinos

The Pew Research Center has published a new report on the challenges of conducting surveys among the Hispanic population in the U.S. If you or your agency are planning marketing research surveys that include a sampling of potential Hispanic students and their families, "The Unique Challenges of Surveying U.S. Latinos" is required reading at pewrsr.ch/1lUQqhi 
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Financial Struggles in Higher Education: Another Pessimistic Moody's Report

Moody's is back with a November report based on a survey of 169 private sector universities and 129 public sector schools. The report: 50 percent in the private sector either expect falling tuition revenues or gains of less than 3 percent. Similar "softness" was reported in the public sector.

Continuing price-sensitivity and fewer students in the Midwest and Northeast again were cited as the culprits, fueling increased tuition discounting to maintain enrollment levels.

Bloomberg Business summarizes the report at bloom.bg/1Tp3GWy 
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Digital Marketing Strategy: 9 Key Questions

Sean Carton is a smart fellow. And he has just written a blog entry to help marketers navigate their way through the sometimes arcane world of digital marketing strategy, with a special focus on avoiding magical declarations from digital oracles masquerading as high priests. 

Study and answer the 9 questions from Sean "when developing a digital strategy" to keep your plans as realistic as possible. My favorites were Question 4 (What resources do we have available?) and Question 7 (If we do this, what are we going to do less of?) because both force the strategy discussion down to the real world.

Visit and review each important question that Sean asks in "How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy" at bit.ly/1PpB0xW 
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Net Price Calculator: A New Easy-to-Find University Example

At most college and university websites, finding the Net Price Calculator from the home page is still rare even though cost information is a top task for many if not most potential students. Carroll University joins a tiny group of four schools I have found so far, with versions for both freshmen and transfers.

Visit bit.ly/1NEhXQ9 
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A Most Unusual Scholarship: For Terrier Lovers Only

Hiram College athletic teams are known as the Terriers. And starting in 2016 up to 5 new freshman students can receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship based on how well they show a love for terriers.

To win, students will need a photo or a 15-second video showing their terrier affection. While the bull terrier is the official Hiram mascot, love for any terrier makes a person eligible. More at bit.ly/1QQk0kL 
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Advertising in the 1980s: 5-Minute Summary from AdAge

Did people like this really exist in the 1980s? It, for sure, was not a time of reality marketing.

Spend just 5 minutes to go back in time and watch a mash-up of TV ads from the 1980s at bit.ly/1SsI1vP 
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Most Popular Topic in November Newsletter: Marketing Lessons for Student Recruitment

Since it was published in August more than 1,400 people have visited "4 Top Marketing Lessons for Student Recruitment" at bit.ly/1PAwtER 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Tell me about your most important challenges at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Website Reviews
Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects
September greetings. A bright new 2015-16 academic year is underway almost everywhere. Let us all enjoy the feelings that come with welcoming new students, opening new classes, and awaiting fine fall weather. 

In the digital marketing era the website is the most important element for successful student recruitment. See why that is true at "4 Top Marketing Lessons for Student Recruitment" atbit.ly/1PAwtER 

My partner Gerry McGovern is interested in what you think about how organizations adapt themselves to the Digital Transformation underway. Take his 60-second survey at svy.mk/1fRO9jc 
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Conference Event Upcoming

The program for the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in November is online now. Add my Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial Sunday afternoon when you register at bit.ly/1mIBYqb 

Invite a friend or colleague to subscribe to this newsletter. Just 30 seconds at bit.ly/aRePLm 

And now here are your marketing news and notes for September.
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Cartoon of the Month: Marketing to Younger Generations

Check this cartoon for a reminder of why it is not always best for an organization to adopt the language and look of a particular generation in an effort to gain acceptance. See bit.ly/1fRJ36r 
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Content Marketing: Sorting the Definitions

How much of content marketing is "really just convoluted advertising"? And is producing more content a strategy for effective marketing?

Those questions are posed by David Germano as he reviews the variety of definitions and practices used by people with different marketing backgrounds. Do not miss his link to 40 "anecdotal perspectives."

If you are serious about content marketing have your team read and discuss the article you will find at bit.ly/1Q4lEfi 
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10 Innovative College Presidents: How Does Yours Compare?

Washington Monthly has compiled a list of 10 college and university presidents it believes may well shape the future of higher education. The list begins with Mark Becker at Georgia State University and ends with Cheryl Hyman at City Colleges of Chicago.

The complete list and reasons for selecting each president is at bit.ly/1VsNh4D 
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Bold and Brassy Landing Page: Best Campus Visit Ever at Best University in the State

Take a moment to visit a landing page for an online ad that "guaranteed" the campus visit to this school was the "best ever." The landing page itself makes the claim that this is the "best university" in the state.

The faculty is "outstanding," the campus is "gorgeous," and the facilities are "first-class." Visit a landing page for potential students that knows no restraints at bit.ly/1JxJgUe 
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Tuition Discount Rate: Still Climbing at 48 percent for 2014 Private-Sector Freshman Class

How high is too high? NACUBO reports that 89 percent of full-time freshmen in 2014 received a discount of some sort, based on either need or merit. Price sensitivity is cited as a continuing factor. Many if not most private colleges cannot maintain the number or blend of students they seek without substantial price discounting. In 2008 the average discount rate was 39.9 percent.

More details are in the Inside Higher Education report at bit.ly/1NRLm5o 

Money Magazine notes that the size of the average discount increases with higher acceptance rates and adds mentions of Freddy Krueger and retail store discounts at ti.me/1O4f0o7 
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Writing Effective Headlines: 5 Tips from Nielsen Norman Group

Headlines, whether for email, web pages, or search results, play a key role in marketing conversions.

An August Alertbox tells us that "Headlines are Pick-up Lines" and offers "5 Tips for Writing Headlines that Convert." My two favorites: "Do not succumb to cute or faddish vocabulary" and "Omit nonessential words."

See 3 more tips to help improve your web writing at bit.ly/1N3Fcke 
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Digital Ads in Higher Education: Not Working Well in the U.K.

Decide for yourself if this translates to online advertising in the U.S. and elsewhere, but do read the results of a recent survey reported in the Journal of Marketing for Higher Education.

Only 26 percent of university-bound students said they trusted higher education ads. Social media did even worse at 14.4 percent trust level. University websites did better at 46.6 percent. Printed publications were trusted by 42.8 percent.

Read more on the survey results at bit.ly/1JpZRMJ 
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College Tag Lines: 88 that Create Poetry

Would college tag lines disappear if someone could figure out how to calculate the ROI from the time and money spent creating them?

Whatever you think of their marketing value, check this enterprising effort to combine 88 higher education tag lines into a single poem. Poetry starts with "Change Your Life. Start Here" and ends with "You're One of a Kind. So are We."

See if your school in included among the 88 when you visit bit.ly/1IAgJMI 
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Defining Affordability: The Lumina Foundation Makes a New Effort

Policy proposals to make higher education more "affordable" are sprouting from presidential candidates but the definition of how much cost is affordable to how many people is elusive.

The Lumina Foundation is proposing a new formula that asks families to save a percent of disposable income over 10 years along with a student work load while in college of 10 hours per week.

One Lumina goal was a definition that was "easily understandable." See how close you think they came when you start at bit.ly/1KnV81D 
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World Without FAFSA: Is That Possible?

An "Economic View" column by Susan Dynarski, a professor at the University of Michigan, in the NY Times argues that more low income students with the ability to complete college would actually attend college if the FAFSA were not required for financial aid consideration. 

Dynarski highlights a bi-partisan proposal in the U.S. Senate that would reduce the present FAFSA to just two questions. Indeed, she questions whether any version is needed at all noting information already available from income tax returns.

The highest anticipated benefit would be an increase in low-income students attending college.

Decide if you agree or disagree after reading the article at nyti.ms/1Uiluqo 
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Comparing Graduation Rates: Pell Grant Students vs. All Students

How do 6-year graduation rates compare at the schools enrolling the highest numbers of Pell Grant students? 

In many cases, the rates are remarkable close. Harvard leads the way with 97 percent completion for Pell students matching the overall rate. At Cornell, there is only a .5 percent difference. Other highly selective schools have rates over 90 percent for both groups. Yale, we must note, was not on the list. 

Perhaps more of note: the 69 percent Pell rate at DePaul University nearly matches the overall 70 percent rate. At a few schools, Indiana Wesleyan is one, the Pell rate is higher than the overall rate.

Review the full list at bit.ly/1UnUBw8 
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Most Popular Topic in August Newsletter: Prominent "Search" Feature on Xavier Homepage

Xavier University makes a bold departure from the usual home page design by placing a large "Find Activities, Programs, and More..." search box on top of the opening image. See bit.ly/1SWaUPQ 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects




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