If you want to get the attention of graduating high school students or potential college transfer students, the best way to do it is online. Teens thrive on social network communication. So when Hilbert College wanted to promote its summer campus visit program, we stuck with good old-fashioned backlit screens and digital content. Each summer, Hilbert College runs a series of summer visits designed to showcase the best the school has to offer to potential new and transfer students. As anyone who has college-hunted knows, visiting the campus is essential to making the best decision. We knew we’d need to provide a compelling draw for people who are looking at colleges. Whether they’re looking at a bunch of different schools, haven’t found a good fit yet, or simply weren’t aware of what Hilbert had to offer, we needed to get the word out that Hilbert had a spot reserved for them. That’s the tagline of their summer visit campaign, anyway. We know that future college students spend a lot of time online and make most of their choices based on online content. We also know that, for new college students, their parents have a lot of influence. A LOT of influence. But no one wants to admit that their parents are making all their choices for them. Especially something huge like which college to attend. So we created ads and content that are directed to the future student, but appeal to the parents. We started by creating five separate blog posts that speak to the many challenges of going off to college. Things to pack that you won’t see on most lists. Questions to ask on a campus visit. Demystifying the financial aid process. Then we created a Facebook campaign promoting those blogs and encouraging summer visit registration. Then we sent out email blasts directed at the parents of future college students, inviting them to read the content and consider Hilbert. Choosing the right school is a big deal. And too often, students are bogged down with misinformation about how to make the right choice, what “kind” of school is right or wrong, and what’s reasonable to expect. We wanted to create a transparent campaign that was as much a public service to the target audience as it was a promotion of Hilbert College. And we did.
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