University implements new marketing ventures

By Erin Rockey

The university uses Instagram to promote the campus.

The university uses Instagram to promote the campus. (Photo provided)

The university’s marketing team has been busy making changes to the school’s marketing strategy. Rather than focusing on specific campaigns, the school is concentrating on a holistic branding approach, Heather Barkley, director of communications, said.

“While we still have specific campaigns and pieces directed toward traditional undergraduates, graduate students and adult learners, we devote a significant portion of our budget to promoting the whole university,” she said.

The new strategy strives to create a cohesive theme and look throughout all advertising, which is a change from previous campaigns.

Barkley said the website has become the university’s most significant marketing tool, which is why it is currently being redesigned by alumnus Nate Reusser and his team from Reusser Design in Roanoke, Ind. The website was last updated in 2011.

“One of our major priorities is to incorporate more video and engagement opportunities into the site,” Barkley said.

Reusser and his team have consulted with various student leaders about what they want from the website.

“We can’t wait to see what they come up with for us,” Barkley said. “They are a very forward-thinking group.”

Prior to this year, one staff member was responsible for all social media marketing. This summer, the university implemented the Social Media Task Force. It is comprised of staff members from university relations, admissions, student life and the digital media arts program.

“Recently, we have taken a strong team-oriented approach to social media,” David Solloway, admissions counselor, said. “Working as a team allows us to tweet about multiple happenings, post a variety of relevant updates and take photos from multiple locations and angles.”

The first trial run of the task force was at the Fandana Festival in August. The team covered the event through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Solloway said the primary benefit of the social media marketing strategy is to bring attention to the university. He also said that social media marketing is an exceptionally affordable way to reach thousands of people.

“What I hope these new ideas accomplish is to bring Huntington University to the forefront of more people’s minds,” Barkley said. “We believe our new strategy and approach will open up new markets for us geographically and demographically, giving us more opportunities to share our unique brand of higher education with more folks.”

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