Vermilion Design + Digital Vermilion

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University of Colorado Continuing Education

University of Colorado Continuing Education

Own Your Journey

for University of Colorado Continuing Education

CU Continuing Ed fills a unique niche in the University of Colorado system. Working independently from the main campus in Boulder, CE offers courses that benefit students on main campus and the community at large. Since 2006, Vermilion has crafted marketing campaigns that include print and online advertising, course catalogs, web design, and targeted social media strategies. Now we’re creating an integrated marketing campaign that will reach our target audiences during key decision-making moments.

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Repositioning the Brand

Building on a decision to sunset the printed CE Course Catalogs, we’ve led a comprehensive brand development process resulting in “Own Your Journey.” This campaign repositions CE within the lived experience of credit-seeking students, driven by both key audience and brand equity insights. We’ve reframed the expression based on three need-based student segments: those looking to “Get Ahead,” to “Stay on Track,” or to “Catch Up.” The brand platform connects to each segment using provocative moments that resonate with their experience and needs.

Delivering the Right Message

With the launch of the new Own Your Journey campaign, our digital marketing team developed a comprehensive annual media plan to reach each of the key audiences and need-based student segments. In addition, by understanding the most important decision moments for these students throughout the year, our team was able to tailor CE’s digital marketing plan to deliver the right message to the right person at precisely the right time.

The Own Your Journey marketing mix includes Branded and Non-Branded Paid Search, Paid Display, Video Advertising on YouTube and Facebook, and a variety of engaging display ads and promoted content on Facebook and Instagram. Our Vermilion team developed all creative assets for the campaign and then worked to A/B split test creative across all advertising platforms.

Humanizing the Target Audience and Their Needs

To demonstrate the remarkable support CE provides students in achieving their goals — and humanize what it means to “own your journey” — we produced a series of web videos celebrating the stories of students who represent the needs of “Get Ahead,” “Stay On Track,” and “Catch Up” students.

The result is incredibly engaging content that tangibly connects the CE brand to the bigger goal of their key student audience: becoming the person they aspire to be in life.

Community Awareness

Bus boards, prints ads, digital marketing, even Instagram posts all play a part in communicating the value of CE to prospective students, advisors, staff, and the community at large. The theme revolves around specific moments when CE is a smart solution.

527.94% Advising Page Sessions

35.42% Program Page Sessions

231.27% Paid Search Sessions

112.30% Clicks to Schedule an Advising Appointment (Paid Search)

Lifelong Learning

As the website for Continuing Education increasingly became the way students found courses, Vermilion produced a complete overhaul in 2014. The fully-responsive site focuses on robust course filtration, allowing students to browse hundreds of University programs quickly and effortlessly. The site gives students a user experience that is focused on the end result, a direct path to finding the resources and courses they are looking for.

Summer Campaign

CU Summer Session campaign “Use Your Summer to the Fullest” shows both sides of summer in Boulder — the academic rigor of CU combined with the unique facets of Colorado outdoors. The creative highlights real CU Students enjoying their favorite activities around Boulder. The full campaign consists of a wide array of media including digital ads, online flyers, postcards, posters, rack cards, website graphics, and book store monitor ads.

 

Course Catalogs

For the past 10 years, Vermilion has produced Spring, Summer and Fall course catalogs for the Division of Continuing Education. Designed to convey the student experience with class highlights and instructor profiles, community engagement programs and ways to advance careers. Gradually the website became the primary way students found courses, and the catalogs were discontinued in 2016.