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How to Select Programs for NEW Content Campaigns
[00:00:00] Jamie: Have you ever wondered if there is a different, maybe even a better way to tackle an enrollment or marketing issue? Are there processes or practices in your institution that you wonder why does this exist and why has no one bothered to disrupt it?
[00:00:19] Tony: Or what about a hot new enrollment marketing trend?
[00:00:23] That you've been asked to jump on, but you're not really sure how to do it the right way or even if it's worth doing at all. Believe
[00:00:31] Jamie: me, we get it. I'm Jamie Gleason, a 20 year veteran of higher ed who has worked both inside and outside the institution and on the vendor side of enrollment
[00:00:42] Tony: marketing. And I'm Tony Fraga, an 18 year recovering higher ed marketer who has seen just about every enrollment marketing model in the industry.
[00:00:50] And we've teamed up to launch the Pivot Podcast to take an issue, a hurdle, or an outdated process, and suggest ways [00:01:00] to pivot into a new direction or launch into a better process. Us as much as possible. We'll use actual examples, but we'll try to keep all the takeaways as fresh as possible.
[00:01:12] Jamie: You'll laugh, heck you might even cry, but we promise this is a podcast that you won't want to miss.
[00:01:19] The Pivot is proud to be a part of the Enroll of Five Podcast Network, and you can subscribe to this email@example.com or wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:01:34] Shane: Hello and welcome to episode nine of The Pivot. We took a little hiatus over the summer, but we're officially back. Tony, Jamie, how are we doing? How's the summer
[00:01:45] Tony: flying by? Super
[00:01:48] Jamie: fast and super hot too. Oh my word. I'm like so sick of sweating. But I guess it is summer, so sweat on.
[00:01:58] Shane: Yeah, well, could be [00:02:00] worse.
[00:02:00] We have a team member who's in Tempe, Arizona, and it's been averaging 116 degrees a day, which, that's it.
[00:02:09] Tony: I guess she could take off the coat. Yeah.
[00:02:12] Jamie: Anything that even gets remotely close to triple digits, I just kind of go into my shell. So,
[00:02:17] Shane: Yeah. Scary thoughts. Okay, so let's pick up where we left off. We, in episode seven talked a lot about building a 12 month enrollment marketing game plan, and then in episode eight we went into the audits a little bit and using that to help determine where you should lean into.
[00:02:35] With, you know, your marketing budget and or just your own team's time and energy. And so one of the other kind of core things that you all said was super important in your 12 month game plan was content, whether that was new content or remarketing content. So I think focusing on new content for this, for this episode will be super important in helping folks understand.
[00:02:57] How they should be thinking about new content. So [00:03:00] right before the episode, I was prompting you all of saying you're gonna have a lot of things you can't promote all the things. How do you even make a decision? So little different spin on the pivot. This time we're gonna start with you have nine programs, three are doing well, three are doing average, three are doing poor.
[00:03:19] You can only create four resources. Which do you pick? Each of you get one clarifying question to ask me, and then you have to make decisions based on that.
[00:03:30] Tony: I already know my clarifying question. I'm gonna start, that's a good one. And actually I'll give you credit, Shane. I literally feel like I came out of a few meetings just recently, literally in very similar situations with some schools and some enrollment managers and marketing folks.
[00:03:51] My question is, when you say poor, can you clarify a little bit more like the three that are poor? Are they poor in numbers, like apps are down in [00:04:00] enrollment numbers, or are they poor? Which could also be in numbers. Are they poor marketable, for instance, like teaching and nursing programs right now are suffering a massive market drop.
[00:04:13] This is no secret. This is a trend since the pandemic. It's really, really hard for nursing schools and schools of education to attract people into those degree programs because those professions are no, you know? So like, are we talking about facing market? Massive market factors or not? I think that
[00:04:32] Shane: has a bearing.
[00:04:33] I knew that was gonna be your question. So yes, market factors for the most part. Obviously those market factors then impact enrollment to a degree, but it's not like you have a great program that's just, you are terrible at marketing. That is not the situation. It is, yeah. Mostly market factors, which do play an impact on enrollment, obviously, but none of the programs are dying.
[00:04:54] You know, having two people apply things like that. Got it.
[00:04:59] Tony: [00:05:00] So three programs that work, that are, that are doing well, three programs that are okay, not great. And three programs that are really struggling. Yep. Nine total programs we can make. How many pieces? Four. Four.
[00:05:14] Shane: Jamie also gets a clarifying question.
[00:05:16] Jamie: Yeah. I feel like I have so many questions, you know, and they run the gamut and I have to, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna kind of verbally like, you know, say them even though I'm not actually asking the question, but like, who controls the website and what sort of type of resources, like what campaigns have you run in the past and how much budget is there?
[00:05:38] This is so hard to commit, and especially on the spot, like if I had like, 15 minutes to think about this. Maybe it'd be better, but like on the spot it's very tough. So let's go with
[00:05:52] are the programs that we're seeing not do well? Uh, actually let's, uh, [00:06:00] go all nine programs are the ones that are doing poorly, historically doing poorly. Are the ones that are doing medium, like historically, kind of, are they all trending in the same direction or is this something that's like. A market shift in the last say 12 months.
[00:06:16] Shane: Yeah, the latter. I think it's something that kind of coming out of Covid, starting to see some dips in these programs and or, you know, increase in awareness or interest in the programs that are doing well.
[00:06:34] Tony: There's a couple ways I would tackle this and I think a curve ball pivot here is. Historically, I'll just say in a lot of the conversations I've been having with higher ed professionals, the immediate desire is like, well, some of these programs that are struggling, they're struggling from these market factors.
[00:06:51] There's really nothing we can do about it. Let's avoid those and go with our winners. And I, I would actually argue right now from the top, from the leadership, [00:07:00] there's a lot of pressure on enrollment managers, marketing communication professionals in higher ed to. Squeeze the most market, the best programs.
[00:07:10] And often I lean that way too. And so some of my questions with schools is like, okay, what? Don't just gimme the three programs to market for you that are like really difficult to sell right now. It's gonna be an upward battle and you don't have the budget to fund it. So I normally go that way, however, I would pick a little differently this time.
[00:07:30] I'd pick one from each. I'd pick one from each. That's three outta my four. And the fourth one, I wouldn't pick from any of the nine programs. I would pick a brand general piece that is more brand powerful and has a universality and appeal and value to anyone interested in any of the programs, and that is why I'd spend one of those.
[00:07:54] Of the four, and then I'd pick one. One that's from the strong, one that's from the media, you know, doing [00:08:00] okay. And one that's from the poor programs. I might of the poor ones, pick the one I think is most marketable of those. But still, I, I wouldn't be afraid to pick the ones from the bottom. 'cause I, this is a content question and I believe content is the answer to outdoing the negative market rhetoric.
[00:08:19] For example, if. We know that becoming a teacher isn't cool right now. A school that puts out really good content that counters the, the trend or the kind of stereotype right now. I actually think that kind of content is edgy and provocative and helps the school get noticed. You have to actually do thought leadership, but what if you challenge the status quo?
[00:08:44] And sometimes that's the stuff that gets most attractive. So anyways, I think content can win. Again, it's work, but that's how I do three program specific, one general universal piece, and that's how I
[00:08:55] Shane: picked my four. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. One of the things, [00:09:00] the other questions that I prepared for thinking you may ask was around the competitiveness of the programs and thinking, you know, we have one.
[00:09:09] It's a very competitive space to be in. We're not gonna create content there because then the promotion of that program becomes incredibly challenging, where you're like kind of sinking money just to stay afloat potentially. And that becomes, you know, this big challenge. And so I think, yeah, picking the ones that are most marketable and being strategic about those.
[00:09:28] And also kind of, again, sharing the. The work across programs so that you can kind of move a couple balls forward and have some level of, you know, benchmark of, okay, our good program, if we were to do this again, we could roughly expect. This, and you can try it out once, rather than let's dump all our money into the three low performing ones and try and make them average or better.
[00:09:51] And then none of the three were, and it's just like you're gonna feel so defeated. You're never gonna make content for the average or good because you're gonna feel like content doesn't work and it's gonna, you're gonna [00:10:00] rub you the wrong way. Jamie, what about you? How would you approach Yeah. Thinking through
[00:10:03] Jamie: these.
[00:10:04] And so I agree these conversations are happening very often and I think that. I also like Tony, I've had lots of conversations where people are kind of like leaning in toward the winners. I go back and forth on this because I think partly because I'm just a guy who likes to challenge things. Um, so I feel like whenever people just wanna like lean into that, which is working, I feel like it's a little bit of a, well, historically I probably felt like it's a little bit of a cop out, but.
[00:10:35] In the higher ed space. Philosophically, I do feel like there's this space where schools shouldn't be offering everything. They should actually be nuancing themselves and figuring out what their niche is and kind of like grabbing onto that Jim Collins kind of hedgehog concept. It, it's just so hard to figure this out.
[00:10:55] There's so, it's, there's too little information for me to make, make this decision. I just wanna say that I, I'm just like [00:11:00] gonna own that one. But I think if I had to pick. I would probably try to look at which ones have lost the most market share in the last like 24 months, and then figure out if there's any marketability to that, and then go, I would put that one on, put one or two of those on the list.
[00:11:21] I love Tony's idea of doing a general one, and I might even lean into that to a little different angle in, in that it wouldn't be general just about the. The institution or the UV VPs of the institution or grad programs at said institution, but more like making a case for graduate education or in, or in the case of undergrad, making a case for education.
[00:11:43] One other spin I might put on it is, and literally just had a, some come in last night's for a client that asked me this would be like, what could we do? And this is more than a content campaign, but like, are there ways to like, Deconstruct our program to [00:12:00] then pack, repackage it, do a content campaign toward repackaging it different, and then putting that into the mix as well.
[00:12:07] So maybe for one of those programs that's kinda like staying steady, what's it look like to like break that into more of a certificate style program or some sort of blockchain program that then you can put a content campaign together and potentially. That could change the trajectory of how you think about education.
[00:12:26] Might you, when you some professional points of like, Hey, here's a person who's thinking about education differently. Thinking about how we package it differently, thinking about how we're putting it together, and then if I'm really kind of changing gears and thinking about the undergrad side, there might be just a place for just doing one campaign just on experience.
[00:12:46] Like, I think sometimes we just, I, I said this to my wife not too long ago about a school that will remain unnamed and I said, there's just too much selling of [00:13:00] education that goes on there and not enough thinking about what we as consumers think about, and that's the experience that we get when we buy.
[00:13:09] What's the experience that you get when you buy and the experience that you enjoy when you buy something? And how do we talk about that? It's not just, I mean, like we've gotta get over in, in higher ed that's like, this is about a piece of paper, right? It's not. It's about showing yourself as a person who's driven, it's about getting yourself a, a credential that will move you in a certain space.
[00:13:29] It's about like building a network. It's about living on campus and being a part of a big community. Let's start talking about experience and build a content campaign that's about experience, whether it's grad or undergrad, like those experiences matter and they have different levels of like how much they matter and how they matter.
[00:13:46] But I think that's a, that's a big part of this. Personally. I think it's a big part of where we might be missing. You know, those, those content pieces in a lot of communication flows. We love to talk about like ratios and [00:14:00] spaces and things like that, but we don't do as good a job talking about like the, the emotive experience that students really have when they're, when they're at a campus or wherever.
[00:14:10] Shane: Yeah. Yeah. That's a really good point. So, You both alluded to or straight up said, there's not enough data to make a decision, so let's play. We're gonna put another spin on the game. If you could pick three data points that would help you make this decision, what three data points would you pick and
[00:14:32] Jamie: why?
[00:14:33] Year over year application numbers for three years. Yeah, that's one. That's one.
[00:14:40] Shane: Okay. Approved.
[00:14:44] Tony: would pick, I'll go next. I would do, uh, dollars. I want to know how much budget we have to aggressively market the four content resources we're gonna [00:15:00] make. It doesn't mean. Yeah, I just wanna know what budget is available to promote and market the content throughout the year.
[00:15:12] Jamie: Actually, to add to that point, I think it would be awesome really if you could have know what you have and know what you know, like where it's been spent. So like what has that been allocated to our previous to toward previously in order to really understand like, Has it worked? Or where has it, you know, where have they been kind of wasting money or spending money that hasn't really returned.
[00:15:35] Tony: Jamie, clarification in your year over year enrollment numbers. Does that mean
[00:15:40] Jamie: all I just said? I only just said application. 'cause I'm really Oh, you only said, okay. Like I just wanna know like what's the demand? How are we creating demand and like,
[00:15:49] Tony: yeah. See, I wanna know the full thing, Shane. So like I would say, can we get, is that one thing, can we get the full funnel for each your funnel report?
[00:15:56] Yeah, sure. Yeah. Three years from leads [00:16:00] inquiries. App started, app completed, accepted, deposited.
[00:16:07] Jamie: Showed up at several hundred data points.
[00:16:09] Shane: I think you do you guys know what a data point is?
[00:16:13] Jamie: That's why I
[00:16:13] Tony: said that you can fit it all in one slide. Okay. You can fit it all in one slide.
[00:16:16] Shane: That's fair. We can maybe we'll boil it down to like a one pager report.
[00:16:21] You get three one pager reports in different areas, so you would get an enrollment one pager report. Yeah. It shows year over year data of your funnel for these programs. Then you would kind of get like a budget report of what's been spent for the last couple years and what can we spend moving forward.
[00:16:36] Then what's your other data points are out the window? What's your other one pager report that you feel like this would really help us make an informed decision where we feel like we're moving forward with, you know, our best foot forward as far as plan of action and budget and pound per pound going to be able to then also prove to leadership this worked.
[00:16:55] Let us do it again four more times next year and give us more budget to dump into this. [00:17:00] I
[00:17:01] Tony: know what I would want of this, the last one, but I don't think it's possible to get, because I have yet to have any school ever give this to me, ever in 18
[00:17:10] Jamie: years. I think I know what you're gonna say. Yes, go ahead.
[00:17:13] No, guess an overview of the com flow on one P page.
[00:17:18] Tony: Oh, that's good. That wasn't gonna be it. I've gotten that a few times, but very rarely. That actually would be really, That actually might be more valuable than what I was gonna say. That is more valuable. I'd take Jamie's, but I'll tell you what I was gonna say.
[00:17:33] Yeah, I was gonna say, I would want to know the metric. I would want the data point is I. What their organic rankings are for each of the programs right now, like and currently, what do they rank for related to those programs? Either they could gimme pages or they gimme number of keywords or positions.
[00:17:54] I'll, I'll take anything. SS e o, that is the current, I'd wanna know where they stand right now [00:18:00] because, and I'll tell you why, and I'm not, and I know I care a lot about SS e o and we've preached that several times in the pivot, but it's actually not just about s e o knowing that one metric. Lets you know it's related to the other things we wanted to know.
[00:18:15] It tells you how much we are gonna have to spend due paid promo or how much we don't have to spend because there is something, it tells us how hard we're gonna have to work to rank whether there's any existing traction to piggyback off of and just move it up a few spaces versus there's no traction and we're gonna really have to do a lot more rankings.
[00:18:35] It's rankings it, it might even tell us whether or not we have to get involved with the website folks, whether we can ignore that. Just make a landing page that ranks on its own or some blog posts. I just think that has such a bearing on the overall marketing strategy. And that's, that's why I'd want that metric.
[00:18:51] Jamie: I might actually take yours. You took mine. I might take yours. I think yours might be more important. So let's play a game. What keywords does
[00:18:59] Tony: your [00:19:00] website rank for? What doesn't it rank for that you think it should? I. What are a few opportunities you could be winning on if you tweaked some website copy.
[00:19:07] Okay. How'd you do? Not? Great. That's okay. Because our friends at DD Agency want to answer all of those questions for you. And then some DD agency is a higher ed specific marketing technology agency that has conducted countless s
[00:19:20] Jamie: e o audits for colleges and universities across the country. In these audits,
[00:19:24] Tony: they detail where you currently rank
[00:19:26] Jamie: what you could be ranking for, exactly how a copy should be tweaked on website pages and much more.
[00:19:31] If this sounds like something you could benefit from, give those
[00:19:34] Tony: folks a pinging and be sure to mention that Enroll Fify sent you to claim a
[00:19:37] Jamie: 10% discount on any of their s e o offerings.
[00:19:39] Tony: Head on over to enroll
[00:19:40] Jamie: fify.org/dda
[00:19:43] Tony: ss e o, or simply follow the link in the show notes below. That will guarantee you a 10% discount.
[00:19:48] Off of your audit. Again, head on over to enroll fify.org/dda
[00:19:53] Jamie: SEO to
[00:19:54] Tony: learn more now onto the
[00:19:56] Shane: show.[00:20:00]
[00:20:00] I think if you do an s e O report like that as well, using any of the popular tools, you're also gonna get some insight into the paid search component and the cost per click, which I think is gonna give you a better indication of the money that you're planning that you have. Is that actually gonna be enough?
[00:20:17] Right? If you're marketing an M B A with no specialization, that's gonna require a bit more money than, you know, marketing a very niche degree. While demand may not be high quantity wise, the quality of the people searching these certain terms is super high and you know that you can attract them for a little bit cheaper than that other program and still be getting, you know, pound per pound much better results.
[00:20:37] One of the other things I was thinking too, is doing that S E O. Research and having that one pager, the monthly search volume of the keywords will also give you a sense of demand. Like you were saying, Jamie, about the demand for your school's program, but the demand for, at the programmatic level across the country is their demand for this type of program Gives you a little bit of insight into that.
[00:20:57] If you're looking up, if you know around your [00:21:00] very niche leadership program or nonprofit management, and they're, they're very specific, you might even realize like, we're not gonna pick that one because nobody is looking this up. And so we could create the content. It's not gonna increase the overall number of eyeballs that we want pound per pound better than some of these other programs would.
[00:21:17] And so while it might be easier to make compelling content for that program, the overall impact is actually smaller than other programs that might just be able to be exposed more to new eyeballs than what you're kind of currently making. So thinking about those kind of three reports and let's say they get packaged up, how do you think that might influence what you pick?
[00:21:38] Meaning if the data. What would the data have to say for you to change your mind on what you originally selected as far as your four resources?
[00:21:47] Jamie: Yeah, that's a good question. I think for me, and part of the reason I thought about the email com flow was like if there are like traction gaps where you, Hey, leads are great, but [00:22:00] to complete an applications, there's massive decline, like, Then it automatically goes, you know, the fixer in me says, okay, something's broken, and how we're communicating at that section of the funnel and how do we fix that?
[00:22:11] I forget what your question was now.
[00:22:13] Shane: More of like what the data points or just holistic reports that you would read them and be like, oh, you know what? You know, in Tony's example, I'm gonna do, yeah, one of each and a brand one. What kind of data would make you say, actually, I do this instead. Or if I,
[00:22:27] Tony: or to take this a little further, further audience to explain it.
[00:22:30] In my example, if I'm picking three program specific ones, in a general one, how would I pick one of the three for the top, one of the three for the middle? What data points? You wanna know what data points would sway the strategy? Right? So, I think you already said a good one. I wanna, and you went over something fairly fast that I, I actually want to go slow on and reiterate for the audience 'cause this is, uh, kind of a secret play that I think is often misunderstood.
[00:22:58] I, I've been in meetings and I've been [00:23:00] presenting on this, and this is one that I can tell people they just aren't familiar with this. We're talking about ss e o, we were talking about the data on an ss e o report. You said you would get cost per click. You would get paid info. And this is what confuses people.
[00:23:14] An S e o search engine optimization. This is organic search is about unpaid, and yet we're talking about a paid metric cost per click. What place does a paid metric have to do when we're talking about organic and unpaid rankings? And this confuses people and, but it's probably, I think, one of the, arguably the most important metrics, and I'm answering your question here.
[00:23:37] I would pick programs that have high monthly search volume on keywords that are also ones that cost a lot to market. As that tells me not only is there interest in the population, like prospects are looking for programs with these words, but it also tells me there are a lot of competitors potentially buying.[00:24:00]
[00:24:00] Those keywords and I would bank on the fact that those competitors probably have pretty bad ads like that just go to like apply now or learn more. This is the run of the mill higher ed ads you see for programs that everybody has. And I would bank on the content being more attractive and I'm just gonna assume we don't have a big budget.
[00:24:20] So I can't just win by throwing dollars at Google and Facebook and LinkedIn and paying a hundred thousand dollars to get my thing out there. So I've gotta win on the organic. If I can win on high volume and high cost keywords that if you wanted to win, get that traffic paid, you'd have to spend 15, 20, 30 $5 cost per click, which is really expensive.
[00:24:45] That data would help me pick the program. As I pick programs, there's some level of traction the school has and there's enough volume where I know there's enough market demand where putting out this content piece would actually generate [00:25:00] views and clicks and leads that we then would nurture throughout.
[00:25:03] That's why I think that would
[00:25:04] Shane: be so valuable. Yeah, definitely. And what do you feel like from a, you mentioned kind of the. More macro brand or school specific resource. Going off of, you know, what Jamie said and tying in the experience and a lot of these other things that the intangibles of, you know, higher education, does that data have a place for that resource?
[00:25:26] Is that really meant for inquiries that are already in your funnel, that have seen about a program or about a school or whatever they're interested in, and this is more of a, once they've kind of gotten to a certain point, then they're ready for that? Or can you use that as a, a lead gen tool that will it actually have value?
[00:25:43] How could, right, because you're just talking about your university. The ss e o play is much harder. You're, it would have to be somebody searching your school, so, so how do you use that resource?
[00:25:52] Tony: That one's easy. I think that answer is, it depends, and it depends on the other metrics. So you said how would we use the data and how would that inform us?[00:26:00]
[00:26:00] Earlier we said we wanted, Jamie and I agree, we wanted the inquiry app enrolled data. Even if we just got those three, by having that data, we would see where they're weak, where the school is weak. Where we are weak, and I would make the decision on that general piece to fill the weak area. So it could be top if, wow, you don't really have a lot of leads for this program.
[00:26:21] You just, you just need more names. And once you get them engaging with you, you guys are pretty good and efficient, but we're just, it's weak at the top or we're getting a ton of leads, but they're not starting apps. We need a mid funnel piece. Or they're starting apps, they're not completing or they're completing.
[00:26:35] And then, Really low deposits are really a lot high melt. We need a bottom funnel value piece that reinforces value. So I would make the decision for the general piece based on where the weakest part of the funnel was based on that data we asked for earlier.
[00:26:52] Shane: Gotcha. Makes total sense. Jamie, would any of your answers change based on any of the data that could [00:27:00] be, could be available, obviously, you know, if you pick one and the enrollment gap is just massive.
[00:27:05] Avoiding any circumstance like that? Like what kind of data would change your mind? Or is there, maybe let's pick on a different one other than s e o or even enrollment from a budget standpoint, let's say the budgets were not all, it's not all, here's 50 grand for each program. It's, you're 70 for this one and 30 for this one, and 50 for this one, and what, what would kind of make you hesitant on the budgetary side to pursue.
[00:27:27] A certain
[00:27:28] Jamie: program. Yeah, the budget document alone would be hard. I would wanna couple the budget and the enrollment document to understand, say for instance, we have 70,000 going toward a particular program and it's trending like the opposite direction at the steepest rate, and it's like, okay, something we're doing there is not working.
[00:27:46] That one might be worth just abandoning and saying, Hey, let's put our dollars towards something that's a little bit more, you know, mid-level, something that could be worked on. I think that those. The budget, I think has to be almost coupled with that [00:28:00] enrollment in that enrollment information. Otherwise, it's just kind of like, okay, we did that, but we don't know where, you know, what, what it led to.
[00:28:07] Shane: Think about your, your, I mean, going off of that point a tiny bit, like if you had as soon like a leads problem for a program, but that program had a small budget and then you had a inquiry to app problem for another program and that one had a massive budget. Well, you. I wanna flip flop those. You want the smaller budget for, you know, a retargeting campaign and an audience that you can then kind of, you're really going after getting these people that are already this far a little bit further is way cheaper than we need to generate a ton of names for this program and we'll do well once they're in there.
[00:28:38] But that requires a much larger budget. And so it's also, where's the gap in that enrollment data and then what type of money does it take to fill that gap? And the higher up in the funnel, it is likely the more expensive it's going to be.
[00:28:52] Now we haven't talked
[00:28:53] Tony: about, and we're probably running outta time, but I don't know if this is where you wanted to go, but we haven't really talked about what kind of content we're [00:29:00] talking about. What is a content campaign? What we'd put into it, because I think that has a lot of bearing on some of this too, is.
[00:29:06] We're talking about one asset, one thing. Are we talking about a full campaign where there's multiple things, multiple touchpoint, multiple pathways, and um, yeah. So just curious how much we wanna get
[00:29:18] Jamie: into. I think that's a great question. I actually, so as a recovering outbound marketer, I think this idea of campaigns and kind of coupling campaign, the campaign methodology or our mentality with.
[00:29:31] Topic clusters, which is what we, you know, kind of where we live a lot. I actually think that'd be a great topic for another show where we could kind of get into that. I know, you know, shameless plug and it probably will be too late by the time this actually airs, but like when we talk about deconstructing an inbound campaign or an in inbound retainer, I think putting that idea of what is a campaign and why is it like, Why do we put some digital dollars towards something to then draw, you know, to have these rippling effects [00:30:00] later on?
[00:30:00] I think sometimes we don't think about that. I think as you know, higher ed, we think we need more leads. Let's put some money in a budget, let's send more emails and let's keep that going and as long as we can. Which is not altogether wrong, but I also think that we miss a lot in that kind of mentality.
[00:30:17] We miss a lot of the nuance of what are the pathways we're offering, what are the offers that are in the, you know, CTAs and all that kind of stuff.
[00:30:25] Tony: We don't, but I would summarize, Jamie, you've just highlighted so well, that's the difference between inbound, inbound enrollment marketing versus outbound enrollment marketing.
[00:30:34] Inbound versus outbound. Inbound is like bunches of campaigns put together in a more strategic and sophisticated way. Outbound doesn't have to care about that. Outbound just turns things on for as long as you can turn it on and says, Hey, what are we getting? It's different and I think that's worth unpacking because I do think there's still even like 10 years later, there's still a lot of confusion and, and, and a lack of understanding on what really is [00:31:00] inbound.
[00:31:00] Enrollment marketing. What does it mean for a school to market itself and promote its programs and recruit prospective students via an inbound methodology, an inbound strategy? We're talking about a small component of that, which is these new content campaigns. Yeah. You start with this pivot, which is great, but I think we do need to give some time to like how you bring that together, because I think that is the difference here.
[00:31:24] Shane: Yeah, and I think that's the, the goal of the content piece is, The goal of the episode is it's one res, one core resource. You can surround that with tons of things, right? You're gonna obviously do email promotions. You're obviously gonna promote on digital ads. You may want to create supporting blog content since you basically have this SS e o report, right?
[00:31:43] Or audit that maybe you did from the last episode. And there's so much that you can do. You can't cram all that into one resource. And I think going back to your points too, of the enrollment gaps, but depending on the enrollment gap might depend on what that core resource might be. It might not be your downloadable ebook, it might be more of like, [00:32:00] you know, a student testimonial video because it's that last mile that you're trying to get people through.
[00:32:04] And I think that's one of those things we could spend. Hours, not even an episode. We could spend hours talking about the potential opportunities for types of content pieces that, you know, could fill the various gaps. And there are, I think there's a case for each content type could be a good play for anything.
[00:32:21] It really depends on how you position it. But thinking about, let's say the most common challenges, let's say one is generating leads, and then the other one is getting applicants to. Submit and or deposit. What are your rough gut instinct on what type of resource? Again? Style. Got it. Ebook pillar page. I got mine.
[00:32:45] Video. Text campaign. Yep. What's
[00:32:48] Jamie: your thing? Yeah, we're seeing a lot of this right now. It's very, very popular with our clients and with our team, and I actually think there's a reason why it's so popular, but it's really this like, [00:33:00] Um, I like to call it an inventory. I think it's aptly known around the DD hallways as a quiz, but I feel like it's more of like an inventory to talk about, Hey, who are you?
[00:33:11] Like what drives you, what motivates you, what makes you tick? What excites you and like really putting these resources that are there. What I love about them is that fir, first of all, it's a great lead generation tool because people are. Submitting their information, but they're looking for something in return, right?
[00:33:28] It's like they're, they're dir and it's also, I think, brilliant because people love talking about themselves. So anytime that you can have people talk about themselves, but then also get some insight of like, oh man, like that program would looks like so cool, and it kind of drives you toward this program.
[00:33:46] And that, I think that's a total win right now. So that, that's where my, that's my preferred piece of content du jour.
[00:33:54] Tony: I'm gonna piggyback on that. It kind of falls in a similar category, but it's an unsung hero. It's a secret [00:34:00] weapon that is not leveraged enough, and it's not really new. It's just not done.
[00:34:05] Enough today it's surveys, and this would be for lead gen at the top of the funnel. I think there's a huge value in doing short, simple surveys, even if that's not a prospect lead tool. What it does for the institution is at first it helps you establish more thought leadership. You get to make a survey on a program specific related topic.
[00:34:25] You're gonna get people in there who are not qualified. I get it. But what you get is data on what the needs and what the questions and what the desires are. Then out of that survey, you then now have very clearly the content piece. You should make a, you can publish the results of the survey. That becomes a premium content resource, which could attract more prospects.
[00:34:45] You can then listen to the answers and make a piece tailored towards the areas of biggest need. As people answered the survey for the industry, like for instance, I'm thinking of a nursing school that did a nursing survey of nurses in the in, in the [00:35:00] industry at hospitals and just, and not at hospitals and the data they got of that, that then led towards this school being able to publish a premium content piece that was based on the data they got from the survey.
[00:35:10] So they're learning about the prospective student audience. And even from not prospective students, from industry practitioners, from doctors, from people in the medical community. So the survey itself is a piece, it's results are a piece, and then it gives you the creative ideas to make your next piece.
[00:35:26] It's triple in value. You just have the other patience to do it and, and put it out there. And that's the con is it takes time to do all this and you need like six months, but. I think surveys are underutilized and are really, really good tools for schools to get leads at the top of the funnel.
[00:35:42] Jamie: Yeah, it's such a, so great for like just understanding your market.
[00:35:45] Right. And I think, you know, we hit on early on post pandemic markets have changed, right? Especially particular markets survey is a unbelievable way to kind of put your finger on the pulse of like what exactly happened there and why is this [00:36:00] trending downward or flat, or like, why can't we get more energy in this one?
[00:36:03] Because. You're right, people are gonna answer that for you, and it's gonna be so helpful.
[00:36:09] Shane: And that's one of those things that you're saying it takes six months, but if you pick one of your average or you know, higher performing programs, the need isn't there right this second, so that you can start to build that up over time.
[00:36:20] You're not gonna suffer necessarily because you're still doing all the same old things you're doing and this one additional piece, gathering some insight, and then ideally using that to continue to propel it forward without experiencing a dip. Whereas the other program that may already be declining, And then you're waiting six months to really develop more of that additional content could be seen as like, well, that's not enough at the moment.
[00:36:40] And so how do you kind of strategically, you know, place those different types of tactics depending on the performance of the program as a whole, which seems to be common theme. Awesome. This was super insightful, especially given the limited data that you can work with, but that is some people's reality.
[00:36:57] They don't have the luxury of. Every [00:37:00] data point to make every decision. Um, thinking about what you all are working on, we're heading into the middle-ish of August. What's on your hearts minds or to-do list?
[00:37:15] Tony: Lately I've been, it's just been awesome. This is one of my favorite times of year, the kind of, for most schools, it's the beginning of the new recruitment cycle and where I've been spending a lot of time is in strategic planning.
[00:37:29] This is one of my favorite things to do, and it's looking at the fall, it's looking at the entire year over, generally about 10 or 12 months and thinking about where we wanna place certain things. Budget allocations when we're gonna spend more aggressively on this kind of campaign, which generates folks here, so then those folks get nurtured here to hit this app deadline.
[00:37:50] I love the Gantt chart planning things out based on certain deadlines. I. Start terms and we're just spending tons of [00:38:00] time strategic planning, outlining, developing a content strategy, an ad strategy, an SS e o strategy, and essentially ultimately an app and enrolled student development strategy for an entire school.
[00:38:14] I've been spending lots of my days doing that and I have plenty more coming. Uh, but that's my favorite thing to do right now because for me, I go back and I can sleep at night and I'm like, we've got a plan and I know it will change. We'll need to pivot. But the overarching plan isn't because everything's gonna go exactly as we planned.
[00:38:32] It's because when it doesn't go as planned, it's November and something's off. We know what to measure against in order to get back to center. So we end up being really grateful we made the plan, not because it's gonna go perfect, but because we know it won't go perfect and we have that to measure against.
[00:38:50] Jamie: Yeah. I think probably the thing that's most on my mind is actually what leads up to that strategic planning, and that's like really the assessment. Like I'm [00:39:00] notorious as being a fixer, and I feel like this time of the year you get to look at everything that's kind of broken or the things that you think are broken.
[00:39:07] Then make a plan toward what's, where do we go from here? So whether that's who didn't show up to events or what events did we have that were totally like fails, or which ones were total winners? Where do we like, where do we allocate? Where do we like, have to? And actually, this pivot was kind of good that way because it kind of fits into exactly where we are thinking of like, Hey, the R O I here is not where we want it to be.
[00:39:31] We've gotta mitigate for next year. We've gotta overcome, like, you know, we've got really bad. Or not as good as we want, like app start rates, but we have lots of leads. What's missing? Like let's assess what's missing. Put our resources where they, they're gonna make the biggest difference in the next year, um, to then get to that plan.
[00:39:48] So that's, you can kind of tell where our, where the company's at right now.
[00:39:52] Shane: Love it. It's almost like somebody planned this episode or something. That's crazy. Yeah. Yeah. All righty. Well, thank you all for [00:40:00] listening to episode nine of The Pivot, um, talking all things new content creation. Next episode we will talk, be talking about remarketing campaigns.
[00:40:09] So if that is of interest to you, we'll see you again in two weeks.
[00:40:23] Zach: Hey all, Zach here from Enrollify. If you like this podcast, chances are you'll like other enroll I shows too. Our podcast network is growing by the month and we've got a plethora of marketing admissions and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks that are all designed to empower you to become a better higher ed professional.
[00:40:42] Our shows feature a selection of the industry's best as your hosts learn from Mickey baes, Jeremy Tiers, Jaime Hunt, Corin Meyers, Jamie Gleason, and many, many more. You can learn more about the Enrollify podcast network @podcasts.enrollify.org. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals [00:41:00] find their next big idea.
[00:41:01] Find yours @podcasts.enrollify.org.
About the Episode
The what's what...
Summer is coming to a close and schools are getting fully into the swing of things. If one of your priorities is to select a few high-priority programs for promotion, this episode breaks down how best to make that tough choice.
All of your programs need love and attention, but here’s how to evaluate them and make the best decision to achieve the maximum level of return on effort for you and your team.
This episode is brought to you by our friends at DD Agency:
DD Agency is a higher ed-specific marketing technology agency that has conducted countless SEO Audits for colleges and universities across the country.
In these audits, they detail where you currently rank, what you could be ranking for, exactly how copy should be tweaked on website pages, and much more.
If this sounds like something you could benefit from, give those folks a ping and be sure to mention that Enrollify sent you to claim a 10% discount on any of their SEO offerings.
Head on over to enrollify.org/ddaseo, or simply follow the link in the show notes below…that will guarantee you get a 10% discount off of your audit.
About The Enrollify Podcast Network
The Pivot is a part of the Enrollify Podcast Network. If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!
Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, admissions, and higher ed technology shows that are jam-packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional. Our shows feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Jeremy Tiers, Zach Busekrus, Jaime Hunt, Corynn Myers, Jamie Gleason, and many more.
Learn more about The Enrollify Podcast Network at podcasts.enrollify.org. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea — come and find yours!
About the Podcast
Tony is the CEO and a marketing strategist at DD — an enrollment marketing technology agency that specializes in implementing inbound, content-based methodologies. He leads a team of fast-paced marketing innovators, who handle everything from content creation to marketing automation, and thrives at the intersection of strategy and technology. Tony speaks regularly at higher education and non-profit marketing conferences on the topics of content marketing, SEO, and the latest trends in digital media.
Shane is the Chief Edutainment Officer for Enrollify. He takes any opportunity to make marketing fun and enjoyable while maintaining a healthy level of helpfulness and data-backed information. When he’s not being sarcastic or irritating Zach, he’s enjoying a sports game or nice brunch – mimosa, hold the OJ. His goal is to make higher ed even more fun and lively by injecting new ideas wherever he can.
Jamie Gleason is the Vice President Of Enrollment Strategy at Direct Development. He brings over 15 years of higher education experience to the team; almost a decade of which was spent on campus(es) and nearly six years was in edtech. A self-proclaimed "farmer + fixer," Enrollment has always provided the perfect challenge for him! He's happiest when mining through spreadsheets, results, and (generally) any type of data!
We partner with the best, to provide the best information.
A full-service marketing technology agency
DD Agency is a digital marketing agency for higher education with a propensity for marketing technology. They're the only HubSpot Platinum Partner Agency that exclusively serves the enrollment marketing space. Living out their mission statement "We help Davids beat Goliaths" means DD helps clients develop inbound marketing strategies that use content and marketing automation to achieve their enrollment goals. Whether you're looking for a full-fledged, 12-month strategic marketing plan, or just a fresh approach to a blitz campaign, they're the marketing partner you want in your corner! The DD team is guided by 6 core values: treat clients like family, be ridiculously helpful, challenge conventional thinking, treasure transparency, adapt and improve, and "make it fridge-worthy."learn more
The Pivot is a bi-weekly podcast that addresses real-time enrollment marketing challenges and meets them head-on with strategic insights and tactics. Join Tony Fraga, Jamie Gleason, and Shane Kehl to get inspired, build a game plan, and find your next great pivot.
This show is hosted and brought to you by the giant slayers at DD Agency —an enrollment marketing technology agency that helps colleges and universities recruit right-fit students through SEO, content marketing, and marketing automation. Learn more about DD Agency here.
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