To say that 2020 was a whirlwind would be the understatement of the century. COVID-19 had an unprecedented effect on higher education and we at mStoner did our best to provide institutions with top-notch research, webinars, and thought-provoking commentary that could help our on-campus colleagues respond more effectively to the enormous obstacles created by the pandemic.
As we look back on 2020, we actually find ourselves focusing not on the negative, but the positive. We learned that our team is incredibly adaptable, agile, and scrappy. We learned how to better listen to our audiences, helping us to meet their needs even more effectively. We learned that over-communication, empathy, and compromise are key to virtual relationships. And most importantly, we learned from our clients how to hunker down and weather the storm.
We’d like to send off 2020 by saying thank you to everyone who has given us feedback, worked with us, and looked to us for ideas and inspiration. Below we have gathered all of the resources and content that we created in 2020 and grouped them by topics relevant to higher ed marketers. There’s no doubt that your institution’s website will be as important as ever next year, so we hope you find the following resources will be useful in 2021 and beyond.
As previously stated, COVID-19 had an impact on higher ed and we’ve yet to see the full effect. As campuses started to close and go into crisis communication mode — and staff began to rely on Zoom and other online platforms to communicate with each other and with stakeholders, most especially prospective students and parents — our team rallied to pull together a series of enrollment marketing panels and blog posts to help navigate the new landscape.
At mStoner, we take a user-centric approach to creative design. We believe in usability that makes sense for your audiences and design that illustrates your institution’s brand inside and out. This is particularly important now since your website is the primary way in which nearly everyone is connecting to your institution.
This year, realizing that our clients and friends in higher ed needed more help than ever with marketing strategies and tactics, we expanded our digital marketing services in 2020, focusing particularly on social media services. Social platforms help disseminate website content that your team worked so hard to create. We also became a certified Hubspot Solutions Partner which allows us to tackle a slew of marketing projects through Hubspot’s all-in-one suite.
In 2020, we researched an often underserved audience – transfer students. We partnered with the National Institute of Transfer Students (NISTS) to create a comprehensive transfer website strategy guide that details best practices and tools for creating and maintaining a transfer-friendly site that addresses students’ top concerns and paves the way for a smooth transition.
Generic content that doesn’t reflect your brand. Information that’s hard to find. Web pages that haven’t been touched in years. Sound familiar? Your institution serves myriad audiences — including prospective and current students, faculty, staff, donors, community partners — and each audience needs to find relevant, clear, compelling information quickly and easily. An effective content strategy helps you to ensure that these stakeholders find what they need. We bring content strategy into every project we take on in an effort to enable clients to tell the stories only they can tell and vividly illustrate their brand. You can learn to do the same!
As we dive into 2021, we’ll take the many lessons we learned with us from the past year. We have honed a highly effective process (that’s always open to change). However, it’s different every time we implement it because you’re different. Different strengths, different history, different culture, different people, different stories. Our solutions always thoughtfully aim to highlight what makes you distinctive.
As always, we’re here to provide you with resources that will make your job easier and your team more effective marketers. We’re always working to provide webinars, white papers, ebooks, and blog posts based on research and best practices. If there are topic areas you’d like us to explore in 2021, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Travis Koury Marketing Specialist As marketing specialist, Travis Koury shares mStoner’s thought leadership and service offerings across a multitude of channels. He thoughtfully applies digital marketing best practices to ensure higher education marketing and communication professionals can easily discover and access mStoner’s helpful resources, primary research, and on-demand content.