3 Marketing Strategies for Higher Education

With so many options when it comes to higher education, marketers need to get creative in attracting new students. While view books are still a hit with high school seniors and their parents who are exploring options, marketers in higher ed are embarking on more and more digital strategies to accommodate people of all ages who want quick answers and easy ways to navigate through options. Here are three options we offer our higher ed clients at Jet Marketing.

Get on Instagram

When it comes to providing quick information, social media is where it’s at and with the 35 and under crowd, Instagram is the place to be. Universities and colleges are jumping on Instagram to reach, attract and engage students. They use it to showcase their campus, highlight research and encourage student involvement—all the while providing calls to action with clever hashtags and incentives.

Several universities have Facebook pages for potential students where they post on exciting new programs and opportunities. The sky’s the limit when it comes to boosting enrollment through web, digital and social.

Boost class enrollment with email campaigns

When your college or university launches a new class, degree or program, it’s sometimes hard to get the word out. To boost enrollment, try an email campaign to students. An email marketing campaign involves sending a series of related emails within a set timeframe to current and potential students. They have grabby headlines, lots of graphics and infographics and an easy act now button for students to click on to instantly learn more.

Create a stunning view book or case statement that can also live on your website

College view books make an impact by telling student success stories, using infographics to highlight statistics, and relying heavily on large format pictures that pull the viewer in. Here at Jet, we are experts at making photos pop off the page and make an impact on readers. We are proud to have earned a Service Industry Advertising Award Best of Show on our Power Your Future campaign brochure for Gillette College Foundation.

Your view book can live on the web as a simple flip-able book, or crank it up by adding links to videos that go more in depth with student stories, research successes and faculty superstars.

Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating digital and print marketing for colleges and universities. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.


3Lynn Nichols, Content Director

Lynn understands the college search, having just gone through it with her youngest son, Evan. It’s tough having two kids in college at the same time!


What makes an effective healthcare newsletter?

At this point in the marketing game, we all know that content is king, especially when it comes to digital marketing. But healthcare is a unique industry. When you’re dealing with HIPAA and health subjects that can be touchy, how can you provide quality and relevant content to your patients to keep them informed and coming back to your healthcare organization?

Create a newsletter.

Not only are print publications still relevant, they are also an effective way to reach a patient base. But as with all content, it needs to be engaging, interesting, and relevant to your patients. To do that effectively, you’ll need a few elements

Tell a story

First and foremost, people want to read about people. Interviewing patients and getting the story about their health journey is essential to healthcare messaging. Their experiences with your providers and support staff, as well as their descriptions of the quality of their care, are all important to build your brand and instill trust in the readers of your newsletter. A patient story is proof that your claims about your organization are true – that your care is compassionate and effective.

Give a face to your providers

As the main face most patients will come in contact with at your organization, providers need to be approachable. The best way to do that is to humanize them with stories about them and photos of them with patients at work. Their approach to care will be important for patients interested in selecting a provider, and their personality can shine through a newsletter piece specifically about their specialty.

Educate about service lines

What services does your organization offer? Patients might not always be aware of what is available to them, which can lead them to choosing your competition instead. Let them know what you have and how it can benefit them. Specialized articles about particular serv

ices or new technologies shows off your expertise and lets patients know that your organization is up-to-date with the latest methods of care.

To round out the rest of your newsletter, it’s good to keep a few other things in mind:

Contact info – patients need to know where and when they can find you.

Events – what is going on with your organization?

Graphic elements/infographics – enhance your content with some eye catching graphics that are easily digestible and quick to read

Photography – the best kinds of photos are engaging photos with patients, providers, care being given, action. You want to capture your audience’s attention – photography is a great way to do that.

Keep it fresh – update the look every once in a while. Your care is cutting edge – your newsletter needs to reflect that.

With these elements, you can. Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating healthcare newsletters for organizations of every size. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.

View some other examples here, here, and here.


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten is a big reader, and used to sneak The Boxcar Children under her desk at school in 3rd grade to read during class.


Custom donor publications still relevant in digital age

You’ve probably been told that printed, custom newsletters or magazines targeted to your donors are old school.  Or maybe your governing board wants to save money and encourages the use of Facebook or e-newsletters as your mode of communication instead. After all, they’re free, so why not?

The first step before creating any marketing materials or custom publications is defining your audience. Who do you want to reach? What action do you want them to take after reading?  Depending on your target audience, Facebook or an e-newsletter might be an appropriate part of your mix but keep in mind that social media is often most popular among young audiences whose pockets might not yet be very deep. If that’s your target audience, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to consider a more traditional mode of delivery, like a donor publication.

The Value of Donor Publications

Donor publications are in fact not dead and if done right, they can provide an ongoing mechanism to:

  • Recognize donor gifts
  • Profile key donors and why they give
  • Recognize sponsors and special event participants
  • Announce upcoming events
  • Educate donors about your organization
  • Supplement your “ask” materials for new donor meetings
  • Tell stories of how donations make a difference in people’s lives
  • Introduce and recognize employees and staff
  • Provide a regular reminder or vehicle to encourage gifts
  • Recognize board members to help with retention and recruitment
  • Provide a sense of community among your donors

 

A current client of ours recently sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of donors. Nearly 75% went unopened. The same client sends out a quarterly custom publication and inevitably gets a good response with remittance envelopes. That’s not to say one is better than the other, but for this client, custom publications are their sweet spot. The downside may be the cost of the investment, but you might find that the return on investment is well worth it.

A past client explains it this way:

“Through our custom donor publication we are able to keep 10,000 of our supporters informed about critical advancements each month.  This continued outreach has recently resulted in a $300,000 gift from a former patient. While this is one of our larger gifts, each quarter many supporters contribute funds ranging from several dollars to thousands of dollars. This outreach effort has resulted in a better informed, more engaged and knowledgeable community, which in turn continually increases their financial support.”

Consider outsourcing for good results

Maybe you have the talent to create a publication in house, maybe not. Oftentimes, newsletters are tacked on to someone’s job. The boss says, “Hey, you’re pretty good with computers, why don’t you be in charge of newsletter?” The end result is often more amateur than professional. It’s not that the staff member has poor intentions; it’s that they already have a primary role in the organization.

Worse yet, if the newsletter looks unprofessional and disorganized, it projects that image of your organization to your donors. The last thing you want is for them to view you as not having things together. After all, they might think, “If they are disorganized and unprofessional, will they be able to handle my money well?”

Maybe your primary organization’s internal marketing or communications staff could help?  Yes, they certainly have the talent; but again, is it their priority to help the foundation’s mission? Usually their

first priority is the key organization and your work falls to the bottom of the list. The quality and timeliness of your publication is the first to be bumped when more important projects present themselves. Then you are back to where you started — a publication that is no longer timely or effective.

It is vital that your custom publication be interesting, relevant, professional, timely and in alignment with your organization’s brand.

To do it right, consider outsourcing to a marketing firm or syndicated publisher. While you could go with the latter to purchase a canned publication, where part of your contract is a customized cover and perhaps interior spread, you’ll sacrifice it feeling “custom” for your audience. For example, you might end up with photos of the Florida coastline when your organization resides in the mountains of Colorado.

A better route would be to hire a marketing firm that can create custom content, produce relevant images, and establish a consistent, professional look-and-feel for your publication on a set (and honored) schedule.  A firm like this is usually very motivated to keep you on task and will provide a turnkey product that has an impact with your donors.

If you’re intrigued, give us a call. Creating custom publications for foundations is something we do regularly, with good results.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Content Manager

Lynn enjoys the challenge of creating custom publications that create results and engage donors. 


A Publication to Love

They say people don’t read anymore. We all have shortened attention spans, and we want more graphics and video– not text.

While I don’t disagree with these basic trends, I would encourage you (especially women) to pick up the most recent copy of Darling and reconsider the values you place on reading.

IMG_3374

Targeted to women of all ages and walks of life, this magazine is like no other that I’ve seen. You’ll need a $20 bill, but if you don’t enjoy the format, the variety of stories, the photography, illustrations, graphic treatments and even the paper it’s printed on, I’ll reimburse you!

I so appreciate wandering through this publication that my husband started picking up for me each quarter. With just a few artful advertisements in the opening pages, this publication does not have any other advertising.

Each story is well crafted and synchronized with effective type treatments and rich, often monochromatic photography. There is nothing “stock” about this perfectly bound and perfectly done publication. In fact, editors at Darling embrace the raw, and real, non-photo shopped approach.

It’s artful and it makes me stop to spend a little time to feel the texture of the pages and listen to new perspectives or inspirations found within the covers. It’s an exercise in mindfulness really. This magazine doesn’t go out in my recycling pile, like most of my other magazines. I keep them. I treasure them. I share them with others.

IMG_3388At Jet Marketing, our approach to many of our marketing campaigns employs strategies of less text and more graphics. But we also create original newspaper article content, community newsletters and donor publications that get noticed. While our publications are different than Darling, they are relevant, professional and they speak to a target audience with specific education or awareness goals. Seem old-school? Well maybe, but sometimes what is old is new.

I believe that people still do read — however, Darling reinforces the fact that a high-quality piece that is relevant and attractive helps your marketing or publication rise to the top and increases the likelihood of perceived value.

What’s your favorite item to read and why? We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, pick up a copy of Darling, or stop by the office and I’m happy to share a back copy with you.

darlingmagazine.org

@darling on Instagram

facebook.com/DarlingMagazine

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

As the “boss lady” at Jet Marketing, Jackie is usually struggling to find time for herself. But when she does, there is nothing like a glass of wine and immersing herself in the latest copy of Darling.

 


The Latest in Web Trends

webtrends

While recently researching the latest in web design for an upcoming project, we came across some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) trends and best practices for the new year and thought we’d share.

  1. Phase Out Sliders and Sidebars.

The slider (also known as a photo carousel) has been incredibly popular, but when looking for conversions and engaging your audience it’s best to steer clear. They are often a distraction that users skim right past. They don’t have the patience to wait for each message to appear, and even if they are interested, the message often automatically forwards to the next one before allowing the user to fully engage with the previous.

People think that if they cram as many messages as possible above the “fold”, they will maximize their impact. In reality, their message is diluted or ignored. Worse yet, people may click away from their site.

With mobile devices being the most widely used way users interact on the internet, a scrolling website is your best option. Users are accustomed to and actually expect to scroll through sites. Make the most impact by having a powerful image and succinct copy and a call to action as the first thing a user will see on your site. That will draw them in and encourage scrolling down to see more content.

Sidebars are similar to sliders – often ignored. You have extremely limited time to capture your audience’s attention, so don’t complicate it with more static like a sidebar.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sliders and sidebars. Sliders are a great way to showcase your portfolio – but they certainly aren’t for every site, and they definitely don’t belong at the top of your homepage.

 

  1. Larger Fonts and Better Imagery.

This may seem like a no-brainer – but bigger fonts lead to bigger impact, especially when people are using mobile devices more and more. Readability is crucial. Keep the content succinct and to the point. A call to action is another helpful way to draw readers in and lead to conversions.

Having authentic, original imagery that occupies a large amount of real estate on your site is a great way to capture and hold attention. You don’t need lots of images, just a few impactful ones. The human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text.* Having powerful imagery helps the viewer to understand much more quickly what you are trying to convey.

 

  1. Using Semi-Flat design vs. Flat design

Flat design is a style that has no glossy or three-dimensional visual effects. It became popular with the release of Microsoft’s Metro design language and Windows 8 in 2011, along with Apple’s homepage in 2013.** It focuses on minimalism in terms of design.

It used to be apparent to click when something was either blue, underlined, or had 3-D effects. With flat design, it became more difficult to detect linked elements. Therefore Semi-Flat design has evolved to correct these issues. It adds subtle depth and dimension with shadows and shading, which has helped to mitigate the issues of flat design.

While still maintaining the sharp and sophisticated look of a Flat design, Semi-Flat design can improve usability on your site, which in turn can lead to the all important conversion.

 

  1. Video is on the Rise.

While video has long been around, it is becoming more and more powerful as a tool for storytelling and marketing. It is compelling, instantly engaging and quickly draws in its audience. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. *** And by 2020, video will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.****

Video needs to load and play quickly, because impact is lost if a viewer is waiting for it to load. All you need to create compelling video content is a smartphone so get started today!

 

  1. Simplify Your Navigation.

Complicated navigation systems create way too many options for people and can actually drive them away. Having clear, concise labels that allow readers to know what is in each category provides better usability. For example, don’t use adjectives, instead pick short, predictable words. The easier it is for a reader to navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay and click around.

 

These are just a few of the many trends happening in web design, but we think they’re some of the most important. They’ll help get you going in the right direction with staying on top of the latest strategies in excellent web design and presence.

 

Sources:

* http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256

** https://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-design/

*** https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000005pswuag36cweqpnrdp1zt26s

**** http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin enjoys a good, local coffee shop and family road trips.


Finding Your Inspiration

Driving on an empty road at bright sunny day

On a recent road trip as we were coming up over the crest of a hill, it struck me how flat the land was ahead of us. It seemed like you could see forever, and the shapes on the horizon formed a distinct pattern against the blue, cloudless sky. There was no one ahead of us, no one behind us. Everything seemed so still and vivid, even hurtling down the road at 70mph. I captured the moment in my mind’s eye noting the pattern of color, light and texture it revealed to me.

You never know where design inspiration is going to strike, and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in the moment. But later you reflect on that vision, and something sparks an idea. Maybe it’s not a direct correlation, but it’s the experience, the memory, and all of a sudden you can’t get your ideas out fast enough.

Designers often spend countless hours curled up behind their computer screens, cranking out ad after ad, poster after poster. When you have an established brand, with experience, it just becomes second nature to roll out different pieces of collateral for that client. But it’s different when all of a sudden you have to come up with a brand new look or idea. Where do you go for inspiration? Sometimes it’s other designs, or magazines, or even looking around online. But some of the best ideas come when you least expect it–the trick is being open to that moment, or inviting a recent memory to return when needed.

Here’s what helps: Getting away from the computer. Doing something totally different. Breaking out of your routine. That’s how you recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going to the bookstore, an art museum, taking a quick road trip, or just simply going for a walk outside, do something that shifts your perspective. In design it’s like everything else in life, you have to slow down and breathe it all in. . . or you may just miss it.

So when you’re hurtling down the road at 70mph, make sure to take in the moment, and hopefully flashing blue and red lights in the rearview mirror won’t interrupt your inspiration.

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and biking the local nature trails.