Your Website Is a Window, Not a Billboard (UAD1)

When Beloit College retooled its recruitment materials and positioning, the approach hinged on the college’s ability to showcase the accelerated pulse of what seemed, from the outside, to be a small and sleepy campus. Under the theme “Liberal Arts Amplified”, the communications and web team set out to illustrate this energy on the website and elsewhere, and found along the way that in this case, less was more (and more was more). Borrowing from new approaches (in HTML5) and best practices, we built a new site that serves to highlight campus life, offerings, and students, and to do so in a way that is more authentic, more powerful, and less time consuming than preparing video package after video package. Along the way, we found that we could easily and cheaply replicate this approach across campus, through retargeting, and even on livestreaming holding slides -- and do all that with a ¼ time videographer and a half dozen student workers. This session will provide an overview of how we implemented video across our site (the plan, process, and implementation) and what we’ve seen and heard as a result. We’ve discovered that while a picture might be worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.

Demystifying Responsive Email (DPA2)

I won't sugarcoat it. Creating responsive email isn't easy. In fact it's hard. Like, harder-than-coding-for-IE6 hard. But everyone is saying how valuable email marketing is. Furthermore, having responsive email designs is just as important as having as having a responsive website when you consider that more than 50 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. Multiply that by the millions of emails your institution delivers annually, and that adds up to a big problem. Or a big opportunity, depending on how you look at it. In this session, we'll roll up our sleeves and cover the best practices in responsive email. Like responsive web design, mastering responsive emails involves changes in how we write, design, and code. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Redefining Content with Infographics (UAD6)

There are a million reasons to use infographics. Studies have shown over and over how fascinated we are by graphics and images, and how averse we are to text. Infographics are -- when done right -- entertaining, informative, and enticing. So why don't we see them more in higher ed? Well, they can be difficult to create. It's hard to know where to start. And they take a heck of a lot longer to design than it takes to write a paragraph or two. In an industry that's often short on staff, how do we find a way to take advantage of the infographic in higher education? This session aims to educate on infographics in and for educational institutions. We'll start with a background on infographics and why they're so compelling. We'll look at all the different kind of infographics out there. We'll then consider when it's appropriate to create infographics, and talk about some of the ways it can be done -- whether that's using a simple, free tool, or opening InDesign or Illustrator and getting your hands dirty. Finally, we'll look at examples of when infographics do and don't work, and the range of outcomes, both good and bad.

Finding Your Way (AIM7)

Wayfinding and map data: so many (conflicting) data sources out there, so little time . And so much potential for losing your future students before you can even make the pitch. We’ll look at ways to correct your campus data in major mapping systems, and then look at some fairly easy-to-build and inexpensive options for building mobile-friendly interactive maps for your campus.

Looking Good, Looking Forward: Tips and Tricks to Give Your Content a Visual Makeover (UAD8)

We live in a visual world. With the growing popularity of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat -- and with Facebook and Twitter becoming increasingly more image-driven -- it is essential that higher ed marketers and social media managers be able to engage student audiences through dynamic imagery. Information that used to be presented in text-heavy flyers and emails is now forced to compete for our students’ attention alongside Grumpy Cat memes and ten-second Vines. If you’re not a graphic designer nor professional photographer, this new landscape can seem pretty scary! But here’s the good news: By following a few simple tips, anyone can create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and effective visual content. This presentation will guide you through the process of visual content creation, including tips and tricks for planning your image strategy, taking the perfect photo with just a smartphone, editing and adding text, applying basic design principles, and implementing your new and improved material into existing communications channels.

Why a Beautiful Campus but a Digital Wasteland? (UAD10)

Every college has access to shovels, soil, seeds, and trimmers, yet why are some campuses places of beauty for education while others are not? It's not the tools, it is an expression of values, leadership, and discipline that enable physical campus beauty over the decades. It's time to do the same in the digital environment. A content-management system, a few web developers, and varied ideas don’t make digital beauty (or effectiveness). It's time to bring the discipline from physical beauty to the digital campus.