MediaCross initially sparked Washington University in St. Louis' interest by sharing our deep understanding of veterans and our history of recruiting personnel for the government. Since a focused campaign reaching out to military members was new to the Olin Business School and the university hadn't established enrollment goals for that demographic, we decided to start small and focus on brand awareness through compelling online content.
Connecting with veterans on higher education websites is often overlooked, so we created content specifically for military members interested in earning their MBA. The primary audience, veterans and active duty military members, often are high-ranking. By the time they want to transition out of the military and into the business world, they have become mid-to-senior-level officers. We took this into account. The content we crafted communicated the benefits service members receive from attending the Olin Business School and highlighted the ways the programs are tailored to them. We pulled out important aspects of the MBA programs, including:
- Boot camp
- Internship opportunities
- GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs
- Veteran organizations, etc.
The direct content connected veterans with answers and information that address their specific questions and circumstances. The copy also prompted them to reach out to Olin staff and alumni and to start meaningful conversations to highlight the close relationships that are a hallmark of the MBA programs. All the while, these pages integrated with the Olin Business School's current voice and tone for the web.
As a way to draw more engagement and interest on the veteran MBA pages, the Olin Business School also wanted to develop veteran video profiles for these pages. This gave MediaCross another opportunity to apply our knowledge of veterans. To support the video development, our staff researched and wrote interview questions to aid the university as it filmed promotional videos. These videos highlighted interviews of veteran alumni discussing their Olin Business School experience. Together, the videos and website copy work hand in hand to further position Washington University as the top choice for military servicemembers considering obtaining their MBA.
Since integrating the new veteran-specific pages, the content has performed well. Analytics show that the pages we created boast a significant uptick in views: 42%. Interpreting data such as time on site—decreased 18%—coupled with the bounce rate—0%—indicates that viewers are connecting with content they need seamlessly as they navigate within the website in its entirety. Since incorporating the new content there was a 27% increase in viewers who spent at least three minutes studying the business school and new military-focused pages indicating they are truly interested.
Now that Olin is equipped to connect with veterans year-round, we are looking ahead. In the future as the university sets enrollment goals, MediaCross will be providing a strategic communication plan geared specifically to veteran recruitment.