At VONT, we’re using a new approach to help the community colleges in Maine. Instead of promoting each of the individual community colleges around the state, we’re promoting the entire community college system – and experiencing great results by doing so.
Here to tell you about it is Kim Laramy, strategist and account director at our partner Ethos Marketing.
Promoting the Entire Community College System Transcript
If you are more of a reader, here’s the transcript of the video:
Hi there. I’m Kim Laramy. I’m a strategist and an account director here. I want to talk to you today about how you can promote a community college system – not an individual community college, but the system as a whole.
One of the reasons that we’ve taken this approach is that it really helps to elevate all of the colleges within the system by talking about the value of community college.
There are a lot of things that research tells us about promoting the value of community colleges. For the person coming right out of high school, we work to reduce stigma because community college is not seen as being a great option. For some of the non-traditional students, we promote community colleges as a way to reduce the fear and make it easy for them to go back to school to get that career, to get that credential value.
There are a lot of different ways that we approach this from the digital standpoint in particular.
In our experience, we really sort of re-branded. It was Maine Community College System and we re-branded that as Maine’s Community Colleges. Again, the idea was that a rising tide raises all boats. So, if we could talk about the value and the benefit of a community college: affordable, a great way to get started, people there to help you, in your neighborhood, in your community, tied to workforce development. There were all kinds of great reasons to do this.
What we wanted to do though was also make it easy, make it very easy for anyone who wanted to access a community college to find the one that was right for them.
A couple of factors on that: some people want to be close to where they live and work, some people might want to go further away. Some community colleges have dorms, some are just located in urban centers. So, there is a little bit of something for everyone and trying to figure out what the person is looking for when they come to the landing page.
Our landing page was designed and optimized so that you could pick the area that you wanted to study in or the geographic area and find the programs that were near you.
One of the other things we did that was really important was we developed personas for our potential students. We did video vignettes with them and also turned those video vignettes into 15-second and 30-second ads. Again, they were not talking about a specific community college, but rather about the benefit of community college in that person’s life…what it meant to them to be able to get that education, to be able to transfer to a 4-year school, to be able to start a career.
Our vignettes were tied to the personas. We had a college student, someone right out of high school. We had a non-traditional working student, and this was a 27- to 28-year-old. These are the people who have decided that they are tired of flipping burgers or working landscape jobs and they want a real career, so they go back to community college and get that credential.
And our third persona is a 50-year-old, someone who might have been displaced because of changes in the workforce. Similar to our 27-year-old but someone who makes it even harder for them to go back to school.
All of this resulted in some great numbers – increased enrollment in all of the community colleges, and increased awareness, more particularly, of the benefit of a community college.
About VONT Performance Digital Marketing
At VONT we believe that change is the only constant in the digital world – and that excites us. Over the years, digital marketing has played an ever-growing role in higher education recruitment. From lead generation for inquiries, campus visits, and applications to increasing brand awareness and student yield – digital marketing and ongoing optimizations can have a significant impact on the objectives that confront today’s higher ed marketer.
We believe in this idea of continual fine-tuning so much that we named our company VONT, which means to achieve exponential improvement in incremental steps. It is our core belief, and the reason why we are not simply a web design company or simply a digital advertising agency, but rather a long-term, single source partner providing a comprehensive array of web development and digital marketing capabilities for higher education clients.
In short, we’re here so that our clients achieve success in the ever-changing digital world. If you’d like to learn more about VONT and the work we’ve done with our higher education clients, visit our Work page. Or, if you have a question, contact us. We’ll get right back to you!