Online and On-Brand: Making (First) Impressions Count

In digital marketing, it’s all about impressions—that’s how many eyeballs your message is getting in front of. To say the least, impressions count. Especially, if they are first impressions.
 
In a business setting, your first impression depends on how you choose to present yourself. Your shoes, your jacket, your power scarf—they all make a difference. These days, the weight of that first impression is often born by a website. This is especially true for community colleges, whose prospective students are often juggling added responsibilities and don’t have the time for a campus visit.
 
And yes, those students say it makes a difference. A huge difference, in fact.
 
According to Interact’s Media Preferences survey, an annual survey of how community college students use social media and technology, the vast majority of students not only use college websites to gather decision-making information, but also see them as key indicators of institutional quality. That’s right. How your website looks, how easy it is to use, and the kind of information it provides can make the difference between a boost in enrollment numbers or losing prospective students to competitors.
 
“A website is often a student’s first introduction to a college, and plays a major role in their decision to attend or go elsewhere,” says Cheryl Broom, President of Interact Communications. “So, we obviously wanted to make sure potential applicants have a great experience which means that the sites not only need to look good and be easy-to-use, but they also need to provide the kind of information a prospect is looking for.”
 
The recently-launched, Interact-designed career education websites for North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) are a case in point.
 
The two colleges and one continuing education center that make up NOCCCD knew they had the area’s best, workforce-driven career programs—they just needed to get the word out.
 
The project began with the complete research, writing, design and implementation of custom websites to act as a hub for each institution’s career education programs. Those sites combined sleek, simple design with dynamic, career-focused copy to create a welcoming entry point for those looking to explore career education options without being overwhelmed.
 
Interact then developed a marketing campaign with a new messaging concept based on their existing Future BUILT brand. The campaign employed original writing, photography, and videography to drive “top-of-mind” awareness for the district’s successful, but underutilized Career Education programs.
 
The results were almost immediate. Before the main campaign push even began, NOCCCD saw an increase in Career Education landing page traffic, as well as in-person visits and phone inquiries. In the short time since launch, this multi-platform effort has driven hundreds of thousands of impressions, yielding thousands of website visits and a marked increase in general interest and awareness.
 

As NOCCCD Director Raine Hambly says, “We are already getting tons of requests from the new website for more information about our programs. This is definitely very exciting for us!”

If your college is ready to start generating the traffic your programs deserve, Interact can help. Contact Jamie Wagner at (608) 385-4844 to learn what our team of web design and marketing professionals can do for you.