In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads

College Admissions Scandal: Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin Named In U.S. Case

A composite photo shows Lori Loughlin (left) and Felicity Huffman — two actresses charged in what the Justice Department says is a massive cheating scheme that rigged admissions to elite universities. AP hide caption

A composite photo shows Lori Loughlin (left) and Felicity Huffman — two actresses charged in what the Justice Department says is a massive cheating scheme that rigged admissions to elite universities.

Federal officials have charged actresses Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and dozens of other parents with mail fraud in what the Justice Department says was a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat college admissions standards. They allegedly paid a consulting firm that fabricated academic and athletic credentials and arranged bribes to help get their children into prestigious universities.

“We’re talking about deception and fraud — fake test scores, fake credentials, fake photographs, bribed college officials,” said Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Lelling says 33 parents “paid enormous sums” to ensure their children got into schools such as Stanford and Yale, sending money to a man named William Rick Singer for faking records and obtaining false scores on important tests such as the SAT and ACT.

“Singer’s clients paid him anywhere between $200,000 and $6.5 million for this service,” Lelling said.

The scheme operated from 2011 through Feb. 2019, he said, adding that in most cases, parents paid Singer between $250,000 and $450,000 per student.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” Lelling said. “They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer, and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”

The scope of the case is massive, with either indictments or charges filed in Massachusetts, California, Florida, Texas, Nevada and other states.

The parents who are being charged, Lelling said, were already able to give their children “every legitimate advantage,” but he added, they “instead chose to corrupt and illegally manipulate the system for their benefit.”

Other defendants include university athletic coaches and college exam administrators — some of whom are accused of accepting bribes.

“There will not be a separate admissions system for the wealthy,” Lelling said. “And there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”

The charges are part of a complex case that has been kept under seal. Documents related to the case were revealed on Tuesday, as Singer pleaded guilty to a number of federal crimes from conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering to obstruction of justice, Lelling said.

Singer operated the Key Worldwide Foundation, a non-profit that was founded in 2014 and which promises to “unlock the door to academic, social, personal and career success.”

On its website, the group says it “has touched the lives of hundreds of students that would never have been exposed to what higher education could do for them.”

Citing one case, Lelling said former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith took $400,000 to designate a potential student as a recruit for the team — boosting the student’s admission prospects — despite knowing the student didn’t play the sport competitively.

Once the student was accepted to Yale, her relatives paid Singer approximately $1.2 million, including a $900,000 to one of the Key Foundation’s charitable accounts, according to court documents.

After that scheme succeeded, Meredith met last April with a second prospective student’s father in a hotel room in Boston — a meeting that was secretly recorded by the FBI. In it, Meredith offered to designate the man’s daughter as a soccer recruit in exchange for $450,000, the documents state.

Meredith resigned his long-held post in November. In a statement to NPR, a Yale representative said:

“As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by its former women’s soccer coach. The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward.”

On its website, Key Worldwide described many of the students it helped as having “only known life on the streets, surrounded by the gang violence of the inner-city.”

The organization says it has worked with a number of groups, from Los Angeles-based Ladylike to the Houston Hoops Youth Basketball Program.

The following individuals were indicted for conspiracy to commit racketeering. This is how they were identified in court documents:

Igor Dvorskiy: He worked as a “compensated standardized test administrator.”

Gordon Ernst: Former head of men’s and women’s tennis at Georgetown University — left that role in January 2018.

William Ferguson: He “was employed as the women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University.”

Martin Fox: He was the “president of a private tennis academy and camp in Houston.”

Donna Heinel: She “was employed as the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California.”

Laura Janke: Former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California — left role in January 2014.

Ali Khosroshahin: Former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California — left that role in November 2013.

Steven Masera: Accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation until Dec. 2017.

Jorge Salcedo: Salcedo “was employed as the head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles.”

Mikaela Sanford: She was “employed in various capacities” with the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation.

Jovan Vavic: Vavic “was employed as the water polo coach at the University of Southern California.”

Niki Williams: Williams worked as a “compensated standardized test administrator.”

Court documents also name the following defendants as being charged with mail fraud:


Automated Higher Education Marketing: You’re Doing it Wrong

College companies have in existing years been investing more loan and time on digital marketing, which is a great concept due to the truth that basic marketing is just “dated.” With everyone preventing TV ads and couple of people thinking of paper and publication commercials, putting your ads there would be a substantial wild-goose chase.

The concern, however, is that digital marketing itself does not seem bearing the fruits most high education online marketers longed for. A September 2017 research study by a popular digital marketing company found that 56% of college companies were having a tough time awfully with their digital tasks, with a multitude having definitely nothing to expose for their efforts.

So, what could be the aspect? Why does digital marketing seem working for all other markets besides college?

It’s fundamental– college online marketers have really got it all inaccurate with their digital tasks. The following are just 7 of the most normal mistakes higher ed digital online marketers make that can seriously hurt your task;.

  1. Email overkill

The variety of emails does your college or university marketing group send monthly? The variety of emails do you send to each contact on your list? How often do you send the emails? When specifically do you send the emails?

These are a few of the issues you need to ask about your email task due to the truth that certainly, many college online marketers have really made e-mail their only chance for interaction. Whenever you want to check out a lead, you comprise a message and drop it in their inbox– total stop.

This isn’t how digital marketing is anticipated to work. There are many other interaction platforms you can use to reach your leads and focusing on just e-mail is both boring and a sure approach to quit working. So, how about you start by reassessing your emailing tendencies?

  1. Neglecting the inbound approach

This is another big one. Lots of college online marketers simply put their ads online, release product, and hope that people will come going to their companies. Well, that does not happen in digital marketing. With rivals so stiff, you need to invite the term “inbound marketing” if you’re to succeed.

Simply put, inbound marketing is a method established to help online marketers find customers and keep them within the loop for as long as possible. As shown in the image above, the strategy consists of 4 actions: traveler destination, conversion, closing, and delighting. You can discover more about it from HubSpot.

If used well, inbound marketing has the possible to not simply get you new leads nevertheless also help you keep your finest customers.

  1. Not boosting for mobile

There are many mistakes you can be forgiven for, nevertheless failure to improve your product for mobile isn’t amongst them. If you still do not have a mobile-optimized site and do not improve your product for the mobile site, you’re predestined quiting working.

The aspect is fundamental– your target audience is primarily on mobile. College mostly markets to people who were born in the 90 s and early 2000 s. These are people who were born with cellular phones and currently bring their expensive smartphones all over they go. If they are going to have a look at anything, they will read it on mobile.

Luckily is– mobile optimization, though a bit intricate, can be done rather rapidly. Just find a terrific web designer to establish your mobile site or improve your present site for mobile. You’ll see an instant bump in your traffic.

  1. Quiting working to figure out

The most substantial difference in between digital marketing and basic methods of marketing is that digital tasks can be figured out. By quiting working to identify your advancement, you’re essentially losing on the most substantial perk of digital tasks.

The metrics to figure out will rely on a host of elements. Nevertheless, at a bare minimum, numerous business and business want to understand the amount of traffic they get daily and monthly. You’ll also want to understand the sources of this traffic. Are they stemming from social media networks, online online search engine concerns, direct searches, or suggestions? You may also want to understand what part of your traffic you’re changing and each channels contribution.

Put simply, there are many things you can figure out to improve your digital marketing task. If just you’re beginning, use the chart above to determine your important metrics.

  1. Making use of social media networks

To be affordable, let’s begin by congratulating colleges, universities, and other college companies for inviting social media networks. There are couple of college companies that do not have at least a Facebook account.

That mentioned, college is potentially the poorest sector when it worries keeping a strong social presence. The majority of the times, the company just produces a Facebook account and go back to other business.

If you want to get traffic from your social media networks marketing; if you truly want to get leads from your social networks networks, you need to start being social on social media networks. Make sure you’re on the platforms youths like such as Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure you’re releasing product routinely, beginning discussions, and actively engaging your fans. Many substantially, warranty that you have the right social media marketing tools for the job.

  1. Targeting done all inaccurate

This is a mistake a good deal of digital online marketers make, so college online marketers are not alone here. You establish product and ads, and launch them on many platforms online, uninformed that the sort of message you’re putting out there does not intrigue your target audience at all.

You can’t keep doing this. Otherwise, you’ll be losing all your resources. You need to comprehend that there is a type of message that delights your target audience. There is also a type of message that will not get their attention totally.

One approach to browse this is to use buyer characters for your marketing. You can even establish many buyer characters if requirement be. Just guarantee the character’s profile mirrors that of your best customer. This will help you develop more focused marketing messages.

  1. Weak product marketing tasks

Last but not least, college online marketers have really also been knocked for being casual with their product marketing tasks to the point where most of their tasks have really wound up being weak, unfocused, and almost unimportant.

Product marketing has really come a long approach. Gone are the days when keywords were the heart beat of any product task. Today, you may fill your blog website with just your keywords, and rather of Google rewarding you for it, the blog website may rather be suspended.

You need toembrace this evolution You need to start having the long type vs. quick type product argument, think about product aggregation sites, and limitation to particular niche topics so you can use greater worth for your readers.

Evolve or die a slow and uneasy death

Marketing departments that make these mistakes are bound to quit working no matter your digital marketing budget.

If you want to start getting the advantages of your efforts, start by evaluating your targeting strategy and do whatever it needs to keep an eye on Secret Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your task. Then, improve your entire task for mobile phones and tablets, handle your social media networks and product marketing, and settle by utilizing the inbound strategy to attract, change, close, and keep customers.

Awareness Chari currently covers tech news and devices atLaptopNinja She is a Worldwide speaker and launched author. When not making up, she invests her time as an enthusiastic specialist event organizer and part-time painter.


Higher Education Marketing: Paid Search Trends to Watch for in 2019

We’re already in the last quarter of 2018, and our minds are looking ahead to next year in terms of paid search trends. While this was a big year full of changes for paid search, digital advertising in 2019 is looking even bigger, solidifying some of the Google updates we saw this year. There will likely be additional small changes throughout the next year, but we’ve nailed down six trends to focus on in the coming year.

In September, Google announced a new text ad format that allows for two additional headlines (giving expanded text ads three headlines total) and a longer description (you can have two descriptions, 90 characters each).

More text means more visibility and advertisers using this format have seen as much as 20% higher CTRs. These ads also provide a better user experience, which will become even more important in 2019.

The extended description also means that paid search ads continue to push organic search results further down the search engine results page (SERP), and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

In July, Google rolled out its Speed Update, stating that page speed would become a major ranking factor for mobile searches. At first glance, the Speed Update seems like it would only affect organic search – wrong.

Google is looking at your page speed as a component of your Quality Score, as the landing page for your paid search ad affects that score tremendously. And, as you probably recall, your Quality Score determines how much you pay per click. If your site doesn’t load fast, you might be paying a premium price, or not be able to serve an ad at all.

In order to succeed in 2019 (and in the years ahead), you’ll have to decrease your page load time. You might even consider using AMP coding to ensure that your pages are loading quickly on all devices.

You’ll also want to check your page load speed to see where you stand. Keep an eye on your ads by checking your Google Ads account and looking at the status for any particular keyword. This will show you your current quality score and/or if your ads are running properly.

3. Cross-Device Reporting Leads to Better Ad Copy

One of Google’s largest (or possibly most-shocking) updates this year was cross-device reporting in Google Analytics. Not only was this a completely new feature, but it also allows advertisers to build and execute cross-device remarketing audience to use within Google Ads.

The cross-device reporting shows how users move from mobile to desktop (or vise-versa) instead of simply showing two separate sessions, and you can use this date to your advantage when creating ads.

Right now, there are three different types of cross-device reports:

• Acquisition Device reports – Combines attribution and traffic metrics to show the relationship between acquisition and conversion.
• Device Overlap reports – Shows the number of different devices people are using to engage with your content.
• Device Paths reports – Shows the last five device types a visitor used before completing a conversion.

However, with access to cross-device reporting, be prepared for Google to expect solid, data-driven ads to be increasingly important in 2019 and in the following years. More tools and data means higher expectations!

4. Smart Campaigns Make Paid Search Easier for Smaller Marketing Teams

Smart Campaigns are Google’s first solution under the rebrand of Google Adwords (now known as Google Ads). Smart Campaigns focus on small and/or local businesses that are looking to get into paid search without the help of an agency.

Although you may not consider your higher education institution a “small business”, if you have a small marketing team, or a one-man team in charge of your paid search, Smart Campaigns may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

These automated campaigns are set up to be easier to launch and include tools to build an audience, deliver ads, and will eventually (before 2018 is over) offer assistance with landing pages.

Smart Campaigns have the capability to run ads on the Google Display Network and the Google Search Network.

5. Responsive Search Ads Serve in Real Time

These go hand-in-hand with Expanded Text Ads… With the unveiling of Responsive Search Ads, Google got flexible! With these, you’re not creating a static ad – instead, you’re putting in up to 15 different headlines and four different descriptions. Responsive Search Ads can display:

• Three 30-character headlines
• A display URL with two 15-character path fields
• Two 90-character description fields

With this information, Google has more than 43,000 different ways it can arrange the text for an ad. Google tests these combinations to create the “perfect” ad (or maybe several ads) for the searcher.

In 2019, Google is going to continue to take user data – including search history, and most-used device – to create a near-custom search experience, including the paid ads that are served.

More and more we’re seeing artificial intelligence used to decipher search intent and/or voice searches – and this goes for organic and paid search. Artificial intelligence affects how we do keyword research, and will in turn affect your ad creation.

Artificial intelligence can also look at different data points to help you improve your ads, such as user engagement (even on longtail keywords with low search volume), and you can run simulations and make forecasts using data points using artificial intelligence.

Ever since artificial intelligence was revealed as a Google ranking factor, we’re seeing it more and more, and this is no different for 2019, 2020, and even in the years following.

All of these trends have their own focus and features, but they are similar in a few ways. Search updates are continually making efforts to understand all aspects of search queries, serve better paid ads and organic listings, and provide a better user experience (and a better advertiser experience).

To learn more about our EducationDynamics‘ higher education marketing services, please visit our website:

5 Social Media Tips for Recruiting College Students


Some companies instinctively “get it.” They know how to use social media to connect with college students and drive interest in career opportunities.  Others struggle with these relatively new methods of communication. Like cramming square pegs into round holes, they try forcing their old strategies for communicating with young talent into new media platforms — without much success.

Here are some tips on how companies can optimize their social media presence to attract college students for internship and job opportunities.

1. Make It Personal

Nobody likes talking to a logo. Show that there are real people behind your corporate HR accounts.  This can be accomplished quite simply. Just include a line in your bio with the names of the people who update your account or feature their photos somewhere on the page.  As an example, @StarbucksJobs has “Tweets from Jeremy at Starbucks in Seattle, WA” in its Twitter bio.  CitiBank takes it a step further, with many recruiters having their own Twitter accounts (@AmyAtCiti@JulieAtCiti@LaDonnaAtCiti, to name a few).

Give the people behind your accounts some freedom to inject their own personality, quirks and observations into their updates. By humanizing your organization’s social media presence, students will be more likely to interact with you.

2. Keep It Real

Skip the corporate press releases and sleek marketing videos. For social media, your happy and successful employees are your best asset. Let them show off why they enjoy working at your organization in real, authentic ways.

At Ernst & Young, a first-year staff member tweets about her day-to-day work activities and learning opportunities on the @EYstaff account.  At General Electric, recent grads in the Information Management Leadership Program update the IMLP Blog with firsthand accounts of exciting projects and travel adventures.  Through vehicles like this, students can get a feel for what it’s actually like to work for these companies.

Students don’t like feeling “marketed to.”  Instead of fancy recruitment videos, try walking around your company with a Flipcam, asking employees, “What’s your favorite part of working here?” Off-the-cuff content like this will probably resonate with college students more than a scripted recruitment piece. Plus, it will yield much more interesting nuggets of information.

3. Deliver Exclusivity

Job postings are great, but they’re already listed on your company website. Give your followers and friends something that’s not readily available to outsiders: a behind-the-scenes look at your culture or an opportunity to make meaningful connections with people inside the company.

Mr. Youth, a social marketing agency, posts Facebook photo albums from its lively holiday parties and special events. Google showcases its teams hard at work through a series of candid YouTube videos, “Working at Google.”  Photos and videos give students a real peek at the action.

To create additional exclusivity for your social media friends, create real-life connections.  Host a Facebook contest and offer the winner a personal lunch with one of your recruiters. Many students would be thrilled with the opportunity to get some insight in a relaxed, non-interview setting such as this.  Headed for a campus visit?  Announce an impromptu Tweetup for students who avidly follow your updates on Twitter.

4. Add Value

Students are flooded with information from companies on a daily basis. To make your organization stand out, provide relevant and useful content through your social media platforms.  When it comes to selecting an employer, students are often interested in knowing about the work environment, mentoring programs, advancement opportunities within the company and whether they’ll be able to jump in and make significant contributions in the workplace right away. Address these areas.

Maybe host a Twitter chat for prospective employees, allowing college students to ask questions and receive real-time responses from current employees. Or live tweet your company’s campus information sessions, giving students from other locations an opportunity to participate in the events remotely and gain important knowledge about your recruiting operations.

5. Stay Ahead of the Curve

If you’re fumbling with Facebook while your competitor is developing a mobile careers app, students might judge your company in a negative way. When trying to recruit a generation who is ahead of the curve technologically, you need to stay ahead of the curve as well.

Examine your recruiting strategy and see if it would make sense to utilize location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla in some way.  Consider other emerging technologies, like QR codes, as well.  In general, today’s students want to work for companies that are perceived as technologically advanced.

Now is a time of exciting possibilities in the world of campus recruiting. For companies that put time, energy and strategic thought into connecting with college students through social media, there is huge potential for pay off in the years to come.

Instagram Lead Generation for Higher Education Marketing

Over the past few years in social media advertising, lead generation ad formats have made it easier than ever for colleges and universities to collect quality prospective student leads directly from social media platforms. On both LinkedIn and Facebook, when a user clicks a lead generation ad, a form pops up within the platform with auto-populated information taken from the user’s profile. This form allows for easy submission without the user having to leave the platform and increases the likelihood that the leads contain contactable and quality information. While these formats have proven to be successful on LinkedIn and Facebook, what about Instagram?

Instagram as a lead gen driver

Instagram rolled out lead generation forms in early 2017, and while the platform has mostly been used as a brand awareness tactic, we have seen success with generating leads as well. Instagram now has over one billion active users on their platform, and as part of the Facebook app family, lead generation ads can easily be set up across both platforms.

We have seen great success using lead generation on Instagram with our undergraduate campaigns. For one college we work with in Florida, their Instagram ads generated 45% of the total leads across both Instagram and Facebook for their associate and bachelor’s degree campaign we ran this past June. For another college in Maine, their undergraduate transfer campaign saw 74% of their Facebook and Instagram leads being generated from Instagram tactics.

Instagram success for prospective graduate and continuing education students

While most advertisers assume Instagram is best used for undergraduate audiences, it’s important to note there is a large graduate-aged audience on the platform as well, as can be seen in the graph below from PEW’s 2018 social media use research.

With 64% of 18–29-year-olds active on Instagram, the ability to reach a graduate and continuing education audience is entirely possible. For one university in Georgia, about 15% of their total leads on Facebook and Instagram came from their Instagram tactics for their graduate EMBA and PMBA degree programs.

It’s not just static images that are seeing positive results

Instagram has added advertising options through Stories as well, and lead generation forms were recently added as an option on Instagram Stories. Through our initial tests, we are seeing great results with leads on Stories. For one university in Florida, 16% of leads came from Instagram Stories within the first few months of running.

With lead generation forms being auto-populated with user information and allowing users to stay within the platform, gaining quality leads is easier than ever. It’s proving to be an effective tactic across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Our success with Instagram is not limited to just one campaign type or tactic but across undergraduate and graduate audiences in both newsfeed and Stories ads.

Contact us today to learn more.