Averaging more than 40,000 views per week, the Ferris.edu homepage is one of the institution's most powerful marketing tools, and has the power to influence huge numbers of prospective students to become a Bulldog. To amplify the impact of this critical platform, the web team has developed a detailed editorial calendar for the homepage.
Planned at least one quarter ahead, the editorial calendar helps the university's marketing leaders make better decisions about which resources prospects are being directed toward. Similar planning efforts will be developed for other crucial prospect-focused web resources in 2022.
Content Plan For Upcoming Quarter
The Ferris.edu homepage is split into three content regions. The Web Marketing plan develops a flexible plan for each region.
New Sites Launched
In collaboration with News Services, the web team launched a new home for news at Ferris. This refreshed look and user experience will help highlight all the epic stories from our inspiring Ferris community members. Following the launch, the Web Marketing team has automated the process by which news and events are added to the Ferris homepage. This ensures that when News Services publishes a major story, our community can find it on the homepage immediately.
Center for Student Involvement
In collaboration with Student Life, the UAM web team built and launched a new site for the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). This prospective student-focused site provides future Bulldogs with new opportunities to get to know our campus and our culture, including traditions, events, and organizations before they ever set foot in Big Rapids. The web team also helped Career and Professional Success rebuild their web presence after the launch of CSI's new site.
Center for Virtual Learning
The web team is helping the university tell the story of the construction of the Center for Virtual Learning and the impact it will have on our students, our community, and the world. Ferris.edu/CVL provides the opportunity for community members to see the construction process, learn more about the programs and departments that will call the CVL home, request more information from our Advancement team, and read all the coverage of this exciting new development on our campus. In addition to the digital content, the web team collaborated with the marketing team to produce a comprehensive packet and offer it for print directly on the site.
Academic Program Pages
The Web Marketing team has engaged faculty members in the development of a web presence for the new academic programs coming to Ferris this fall. Expect to see the launch of these new web pages as soon as they receive all necessary approvals.
Programmatic Blogging Initiative
The web team has launched a new initiative to produce editorial, blog-style content that will attract prospective students browsing colleges. This effort has specific targeting for prospects that are not currently aware of Ferris and its offerings. Using improved digital analytics, the web team is working to identify academic programs and resources offered by the university with the potential to engage prospects who are actively browsing other institutions. Starting with the production of at least one piece per academic college, the web team will analyze results and begin to expand the project over the next year. Head to 10 Reasons to Major in Dental Hygiene to see an example of this content in action. Working with faculty members from the Communication Studies program, the Web Marketing team published a blog highlighting the many ways a communication degree prepares students for professional success.
Custom Request for Information Forms for Each College
The web team has begun the process of building customized Request for Information forms for each academic college to be used by prospective students.
Using the College of Business as a pilot, the web team created an RFI form that is specific to the COB's offerings. When a student submits the form, a representative from the prospect's chosen program receives immediate notification, streamlining the first-contact interaction for future Bulldogs. The prospect's data is also stored in Salesforce, allowing Admissions to continue the conversation via their communication plans. The web team will launch a custom RFI form for every academic college by the end of the year.
Preparing the University for GDPR Compliance
To provide visitors to our website with more choices regarding their online privacy, and to help the university comply with new regulations, the web team implemented a tool that allows visitors to control which cookies (small files utilized by your web browser) our website uses when they browse it. The tool, called OneTrust, was deployed on the main Ferris website. The web team will work with the administrators of all content on the Ferris web domain to implement this tool. Discover this new tool by clicking "Cookie Settings" in the footer of the Ferris website.
Web Template Implementation Nears Completion
The web team has now completed the migration of 97% of Ferris.edu to the new Ferris Forward web template. The new web template aligns the website with the visual language of the Ferris Forward platform and provides a significantly improved user experience.
Enrollment Growth University Podcast
Web Marketing Manager Eric Hazen appeared on the Enrollment Growth University podcast to talk about the future of higher ed websites and how Ferris is utilizing highly personalized content to move prospects through the enrollment funnel.
Over the last 30 days, the Web Marketing team tracked 13,022 conversions on the Ferris website. These include applications submitted, requests for information, event registrations, and more. During this period, 3.75% of all visitors to our website took one of the high-value actions we are targeting.