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Advanced Marketing for Higher Education Websites

Available Now.

The nine-part, on-demand course is available for $599.


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Why Should I Register My Team?

Transform your institution’s website.

Your website is your institution’s No. 1 marketing and communications vehicle, and yet the challenges to continually enhance your college or university website seem to only increase as:

  • Digital communications continue to evolve.
  • Content never seems to get any easier to produce or wrangle.
  • The appetite for powerful photography and engaging video continually increases.
  • Personalization for each of your audiences has become the expectation.
  • Delivering a rich mobile experience continues to be a top mandate.
  • Site design and content choices get lost in a sea of sameness.

Are you seeing the signs that your website needs some TLC? Whether you’re planning for a content refresh, getting buy-in for a full-scale redesign, or executing other high-impact web projects, this on-demand course on advanced website marketing will help you level up for the task.

Get ready to transform the way your institution approaches the web.

This course offers something for everyone on your marketing and communications team — especially for those of you who wear multiple hats.

For Strategists and Brand Champions

Learn how to:

  • Better understand your key audiences and prioritize your communications efforts.
  • Develop an action plan for tailoring your messaging.
  • Move your website from a capital project to ongoing process.

For Content and Communications Professionals

Learn how to:

  • Create exceptional content with better planning.
  • Use information design to communicate complex ideas with clarity and simplicity.
  • Produce fantastic in-house video on a budget.

For Digital and Web Managers

Learn how to:

  • Get leadership to understand and better resource digital and web marketing.
  • Improve your information architecture.
  • Impact SEO by understanding "local results" and "structured data."

For Creatives

Learn how to:

  • Use design sprints to push your project forward.
  • Work with other marketing and communication pros to bring the best ideas to life.
  • Improve the user experience of your website.

For Enrollment Marketers

Learn how to:

  • Identify trends and patterns throughout the prospective student user journey.
  • Use an experience map to improve key processes and touch points to best serve your audience needs.
  • Generate creative ideas for digital experiences.

For Advancement Teams

Learn how to:

  • Tailor communications to better reach alumni.
  • Use video to engage and inspire donors.
  • Improve the user experience on your giving site.

Classes and Speakers

Part One: Laying the Foundation

The ABCs of Gen XYZ

This presentation guides you through the landscape of audiences most important to today’s colleges and universities. We’re talking about three specific generations that are rocking the world, each known by a single letter: Generations X, Y & Z —who they are, what they want, and how they want it. What life experiences have they collectively undergone, and how have those experiences shaped their communication needs?

At the end of this presentation, you will be able to better understand the vast differences — as well as the numerous similarities — of these generations, and develop an action plan for tailoring your current messaging in ways that matter.

Tamalyn Powell, vice president and group account director, BVK 

Tam’s responsibilities include all aspects of marketing communications planning and strategy for higher education and healthcare clients across the country. Tam is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and growth of BVK’s higher education clients, as well as being the resident industry expert. Current clients include Michigan State University, Texas Christian University, and University of Louisville.

Making the Case for Website Resources

How do you get your senior leadership and colleagues to understand and buy into the time and resources needed for a high-impact, marketing-forward website? A panel of experienced higher ed marketers from a range of institutions will share insights from their experiences and provide you with strategies and tips to successfully navigate the process and build the case.

Moderator: Rob Zinkan, associate vice president, marketing, at Indiana University

Rob has been with Indiana University for 15 years and is currently in a systemwide role as associate vice president, marketing. In this role, he develops, champions, and deploys the university’s brand strategy; leads IU’s internal full-service marketing agency; and serves as marketing liaison to the flagship campus leadership and marketing community. Previously, Rob worked at the campus level as vice chancellor for external affairs at Indiana University East and assistant dean for advancement at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC).

Panelist: Claire Machamer, vice chancellor for strategic communications, University of North Carolina School of the Arts




Panelist: Terri Giltner, system director of marketing, Kentucky Community & Technical College System

Experience Mapping 2.0

Developing a visitor-centered strategy to your website requires a deep understanding of your audiences. This session will help you to go beyond the numbers and the demographics and into the thoughts, feelings, and core beliefs that drive actions and guide decisions. Using an experience map as the visual representation for qualitative research, we’ll teach you how to:

  • Identify trends and patterns throughout the user journey.
  • Create an experience map that visually represents qualitative research.
  • Use an experience map to prioritize your efforts.
  • Identify key points of improvement in your processes to best serve your audiences' needs.

As a primer for this session, we encourage you to download and view Map It Out: The Path to Better Digital Engagement with Prospects.

Voltaire Santos Miran, co-founder and co-owner, mStoner, Inc.

Voltaire works with mStoner client teams to forge and sustain transformative, memorable, and incredibly effective partnerships. He shapes all aspects of mStoner’s individual projects, overall planning, and companywide management in his role as managing director and co-owner. A natural storyteller, Voltaire enjoys teaching others how to tell stories and using his expertise in information architecture, content strategy, and governance to move institutions from a project mindset to a process mindset. Current clients include the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Dakota State University, Elmhurst College, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Part Two: Feeding the Content Beast

Advanced Writing for the Web

In today’s world, engaging web content means more than clear, readable copy. Great content requires a solid information architecture to make it easy to find. Great content teams have a plan to ensure content remains accurate and relevant. Great web writers know when a chart or infographic makes a point better than words alone.

Ready to level up? This session will cover information architecture best practices, advanced content planning, and what you need to know about information design. If you’ve mastered the basics and you’re ready to create more sophisticated content, don't miss this session.

Shannon Lanus, director of content strategy and services, mStoner, Inc.

As content strategist, Shannon works to make sure great content and amazing design coexist in every mStoner project. She crafts persuasive digital stories for our clients that are informed by their business goals, as well as mStoner’s market research and effective audience engagement methods. Shannon is adept at creating new content, as well as reimagining existing content to help an institution tell its story in fresh, efficient, captivating ways.


Google Is Becoming Your Homepage

Google wants to become the homepage of your website. In the past two years, search results have changed in significant but subtle ways. For as much as we search each day, it's easy to miss the impact these changes can have on your business. Higher education campuses, departments, and programs all need to add "Google" to their content strategy.

The two areas of focus for this presentation will be local results and structured data. Both of these types of search results will change how people find your services and programs. Brian Childs of Moz will show you examples of these changes, explain why they are happening, and offer some tips on how to make the most of them.

Brian Childs, senior project manager, Moz

Brian is the senior product manager for Moz, a search engine optimization (SEO) software company based in Seattle. Brian is the host of MozPod, the Moz SEO podcast, as well as the lead instructor in Moz Academy, a catalog of online courses that builds essential SEO skills for teams of all sizes. Prior to Moz, Brian owned a marketing agency and was the competitive intelligence and strategy manager for GE Aviation. Prior to his business achievements, he had a 10-year career as a pilot, where he flew for the United Nations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

Guerrilla Video Production: Produce More for Less

Online video is huge with many audiences right now, and video continues to be big for a long time. Possibly forever. But it's a complex mess of technical mumbo jumbo mixed with actual content strategy. How do you navigate through it all with growing expectations and shrinking budgets?

Learn how Cornell's team produced an in-house Giving Day video for a small fraction of what it cost in the previous three years. Adam Murtland will take you step by step through ideation, storyboarding, scripting, production, editing, and revising. He'll show you the equipment and software used and provide insider tips on how to make it all work on a shoestring budget.

Adam Murtland, assistant director for digital content, alumni affairs and development, Cornell University

Adam has nearly a decade of video production experience ranging from social media productions to feature-length films. He is nearly completely self-taught in the craft of guerrilla filmmaking and has used that knowledge in higher education for the past five years. Adam is the assistant director for digital content in the Alumni Affairs and Development division at Cornell University.

Part Three: Move from Project to Process

From Project to Process: One Year Later

Web communicators are weary of large, lengthy website redesign projects that repeat every three to five years. We’ll profile Elmhurst College’s website redesign into a new CMS — completed in just seven months, from kickoff to launch. Then we’ll discuss the transition from project to an ongoing process of enhancement, testing, refinement, and measurement that is generating results for a small team.

We’ll tour four examples of project to process from Elmhurst’s point of view with plenty of actionable insights on how you can adopt this approach.

Greg Zguta, director of web development, mStoner, Inc

Greg Zguta plays a key role in delivering the technical rigor and expansive capabilities for which mStoner is known. From discovery and planning through creative development and implementation, he is involved at every step to ensure that all of a project’s pieces fit together and function elegantly. He guides mStoner’s clients in selecting the best technology, including content management systems and other third-party technologies, and also provides diligent support to help our clients integrate these tools.

Jonathan Shearer, executive director, marketing and communications, Elmhurst College

Jonathan has worked in higher education for more than seven years. Institutional website redesigns on tight timelines have become his specialty. Jonathan also owned his own company for many years, and he helped small brands with everything from web development to package design.


Creative Ideation for Digital Experiences

Good ideas are everywhere. But how do individuals and teams capture the best ideas and bring them to life? How do institutions large and small agree on which creative ideas to pursue? And how can leaders harness creativity across disciplines to solve tough problems and influence new audiences?

In this session, we’ll explore a variety of techniques designed to get your creative ideas flowing in the right direction. We’ll explain the methodology behind design sprints that include discrete exercises for sketching, writing, presenting, collaborating, and prototyping. A supporting case study will demonstrate how your institution can use a structured, time-boxed workshop to push your digital project forward by leaps and bounds.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Decide on the problem.
  • Generate creative ideas.
  • Build consensus among team members.
  • Prototype website experiences.
  • Present your solution(s) to stakeholders.

Ben Bilow, creative director, mStoner, Inc.

Ben is a staunch advocate of user-centered designs, collaboration across disciplines, and the marriage of strategy and user experience. Previously, he worked in Columbia College Chicago's award-winning creative services office, in which he designed for print, web, and physical environments. While at mStoner, Ben has presented on "Visual Design for Digital Stories" and "Photography for Art Directors" at UCDA and on "Digital Storytelling" at WebCon, hosted by University of Illinois.

Smart Is the New Pretty

User experience is about much more than making a website beautiful — it's an ongoing exercise in analysis, strategy, and creativity. In this presentation, we'll discuss what makes great UX design and how we use that knowledge in the development of the upcoming refresh of UC Berkeley's giving website, give.berkeley.edu.

Siobhan Harris, creative director, University of California, Berkeley's Department of University Development Alumni Relations

Siobhan and her team oversee the design of all department materials and visual branding. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, she spent over a decade working as a creative director and graphic designer for some of New York's top financial companies. She would be delighted to tell you about the time she prevented a traffic accident with nothing more than a tube of lipstick.

Who Should Register?

We built this course with your entire marketing and communications team in mind. If you work in one of the following roles, you won’t be disappointed:

  • Marketing and communications professionals at all levels
  • Enrollment management and admission professionals who work with digital content and marketing
  • Web managers and directors
  • Writers and editors
  • Advancement communications professionals
  • User experience and visual designers
  • Project managers
  • Members of website redesign project teams



Praise from previous mStoner conference attendees:

“I watched the last three presentations and felt they were informative, engaging, and thought-provoking. Each provided useful tips and strategies that I'm excited to put into action.”

“I was surprised by how much I learned. The course ended with so many new topics and tools to dig into, and I have a notebook full of new strategy and content ideas, too!"

"The combination of web, social, content, and print touched on areas related to all team members ... hard to find this mix at a conference. Well done!”

“The content was useful, and we appreciated that the speakers worked within the higher education field, used very specific examples, and provided useful tools and tips.”

What’s Included in My Registration?

Professional Development for Your Entire Team

We hope you choose to project the sessions to a room full of your colleagues. Turn the on-demand course into a staff retreat! For less than the cost of one registration to most industry conferences, your entire team will walk away with strategies and tips to improve your college or university website immediately.

When you register, you will receive a unique login code that can be used by your team on multiple devices.

Unlimited, Yearlong Access

Access to each presenter’s on-demand recording and downloadable slide deck will be available to your team for one year. We encourage you to offer the training to new colleagues or those unable to participate in the live event. Your team can access on-demand content from an unlimited number of devices and rewatch sessions as often as needed.