What is the purpose of your website? According to High Ed Web veteran Kyle
James CEO of @nuCloud and founder of @eduGuru, it’s all about marketing.
“Marketing is the single most important function of your website,” says James, “Fundamental changes in how we communicate has created the need for us to do more. Traditional marketing methods alone are not
During the course of his presentation, James defined several important points that
are key when marketing to prospective students. To begin, website goals should be
defined early and being versed in marketing is essential in order to fill in any gaps
that emerge as plans progress. It is not enough to manage a website – there should
be a clear understanding of the marketing goal.
He stresses that marketing is everyone’s responsibility. “It’s everybody’s job on
campus to be a marketer. Even the janitor should be marketing on your campus,”
James said. The key to mastering the marketing funnel is to understand the
recruitment funnel. “We should strategize how we reach out to students,” James
said, “If you don’t know where to begin, follow the money – what functions do you
have on your website that people pay money for?”
Students become aware of your college or university by visiting your site. It is
critical that we convert those visitors into applicants, thus bringing in the money.
Some ways we can increase the effectiveness of our websites for prospective
students are through the use of virtual campus tours and storytelling tools such as
blogs and social content.
James asked session attendees how many of them knew what monetary value each
incoming student brought to their institution. Only four people in the full session
room raised their hands. James challenged the audience to find out what their
students are worth so that they could better decide ways to market to them. He
cited the value of both traditional and virtual campus tours in terms of dollars
and cents. “We all know if we can just get those students on our campus we can
bring them in as applicants,” James said, “Campus visitors are worth money – it will
change the way you look at physical tours when you are looking at the potential ROI
of students physically coming to your campus.”