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It’s mid-July, your recruitment marketing plans are set for the fall and now you really need a break.

But the problem is you have that nagging feeling of doubt that you’ve left something undone or even worse that you have not done everything humanly possible to ensure your institution will meet your 2012/13 recruitment goals. And to make it even worse, you used up all your holidays on your spring trip to the Caribbean, so you can’t even take a few days off to recharge and come back with guns blazing, full of new energy and ideas.

Well, as they say, a change is a good as a rest, so instead of the holiday, (which, of course, is always a good idea), here are a few marketing ideas to help you change up your thinking a bit, to stir the creative juices and to come out feeling better for having done them.

1) Create a Pinterest Account for your School

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform for a reason and the reason is that visual thinking is really engaging and fun. Just start collecting the very best images that represent you and your school’s interests and you will be amazed at how rewarding it can be. Don’t sell out and just dump in all your standard stuff. Keep it high quality and really push yourself to do it well. You, (and your marketing efforts), will be better for it. Here’s a link to some good examples of higher ed institutional Pinterest accounts.

2) Create an Infographic for one of your College Programs or Campaigns

I personally love infographics. Done well, they capture ideas and information in a way that really appeals to my brain; visually, logically and with lots of details available if you want or need them. Here is a really helpful infographic summary on how to create one. Here’s an example of one I particularly like, created by St Xavier University for their online Masters in Curriculum and Instructions degree.

3) Boldly, and I mean boldly, experiment with one of your PPC campaigns

This isn’t for the faint of heart but if you really want to learn about pay-per-click marketing then you need to get your hands dirty. Take an existing campaign with a modest budget or create a new one and then push the creative envelop to optimize the settings, copy, and the landing page. Then A/B test it against your standard approach. You will learn a lot about how to optimize your campaigns and it is great fun watching the two ads compete towards a statistically significant winner.

A/B Testing


4) Start writing blog posts

I know this is hard. They take time, energy and creativity. Three of the things you have least of you say? All true, but if you would like to reconnect with some of the topics around higher education and marketing that really excite you,(and that probably got you the job that you now have) , then start writing about them. One of my favourite marketing blogs is by April Dunford. Read a few of her posts and you will quickly recognize her passion, intelligence, and humour, not to mention her amazing marketing insight. You have to know that she gets great personal satisfaction from crafting a blog post so well done. You can do this too. You just have to start writing and challenge yourself to keep at it.

I hope these ideas will stimulate you to try some new things and energize yourself with new knowledge and experience in these areas. Please let us know about your favorite tactics that you use on yourself to stir things up creatively and we’ll certainly pass them along.

Scott Duncan