Digital Viewbooks – Solving an Interactive Problem

As we use printed Viewbooks to share the information and campus of an institution, schools need an interactive way to convey the same experience. However, just because something is online does not make it interactive. Print or digital, an interactive piece must enhance the user’s experience beyond the flat, one-way communication of the 90’s.

Below is Gardner-Webb University’s engaging Digital Viewbook at

Gardner-Webb University Viewbook


Before delving into Digital Viewbooks there are five key steps we look at when beginning an integrated viewbook strategy.

Digital Viewbook Sample

  1. Research the Audience
  2. Define your Strategy
  3. Select from Four Channels
  4. Launch and Test
  5. Measure and Report

Research the Audience

Uncover where your audience consumes media and what they respond to. This will help you determine the appropriate strategy and channels moving forward. For example at TWG Plus we found that 10% – 25% of our traffic is mobile. Leading us to find an innovative way to reach these students.

Define your Strategy

A clear strategy that is inline with your research will help you find the right students who are most likely to enroll. Articulate goals that can be tested and compared later.

Select from Four Channels

Once you’ve researched your audience you can select channels that hit at multiple key touch-points. Such as:

  • Traditional print viewbook
  • Web enabled viewbook
  • Mobile web enabled viewbook
  • Mobile app viewbook

Launch and Test

Research doesn’t stop when your viewbooks launch. Take note of response rates, clicks, views etc. for each channel and every launch.

Measure and Report

Be sure you are tracking the progress of you viewbooks at regular intervals. This will help you improve any other communications with students and adjust your strategy for more growth in the future.

Now that we’ve reviewed our 5 steps, let’s say we did our research and found that supplementing our print viewbooks with a Digital Viewbook would create a fuller experience and draw more prospective students to apply and enroll. A Digital Viewbook may be a:

  • Web enabled viewbook
  • Mobile web enabled viewbook
  • Mobile app viewbook

As you develop your own strategy for incorporating Digital Viewbooks, meet with your staff and establish what they want to accomplish and form a definite list of requirements. For example when developing our Digital Viewbooks we established several key goals to keep it effective and interactive.

  • Two-way feedback through analytics and analysis
  • Consistency with current communications
  • Convey an accurate and relatable depiction of the institution
  • Clean and clear navigation and end user experience
  • Attractive and eye-catching creative and photography
  • Incorporate social interactions with icons
  • Encourage multimedia assets such as Youtube videos

How do you think a Digital Viewbook would affect you current strategy? Let us know in the comments below. Also to learn more great things from us here at TWG Plus. Please click here and subscribe to our RSS feed.

Happy Holidays!


Join us at the CCCU Chief Enrollment Officers Conference

Join Nathan Alexander, our Senior Marketing Consultant and Director of Christian College Marketing, at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities' 2013 Chief Enrollment Officers Conference, January 3-5.

This year re-tool for success. As we kickoff 2013, updating your multi-channel marketing, college branding, and enrollment management becomes imperative.

Come see a sample of our new Digital Viewbook - the new way to reach students and parents online. Also, be sure to grab your USB drive with a copy of our groundbreaking research, How does your school rank on Facebook?.

Maryville University Earns Top Over-performing College.

U.S. News & World Report ranked our very own Maryville University as the top over-performing school in the National Universities category. This ranking was determined by comparing the U.S. News & World Report's Best College of 2013 list with peer assessments of the schools.

"Studies such as this one communicate to parents, students, other universities and prospective employers of our graduates that Maryville University exemplifies a daily commitment to excellence."

- Maryville University President Mark Lombardi

Learn more from the U.S. News blog, The Huffington Post, and Maryville University.

Let us know what you think about the current collegiate ranking system in the comments below!

20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching a Campaign

Before you undertake a new marketing plan for your school, it's wise to run both an internal and external situation analysis.  Changes in headcount can change your choice of integrated marketing tactics just as easily as shifts in presidential vision.  Likewise, federal or local government intervention can force your team towards a new tack. Taking a hard look at the market forces that affect you will go a long way to creating a complete audience centered, measurable experience.

Even if you have been running campaigns for years, assessing your people, process, goals and technology before every campaign will give you the opportunity to improve upon last year's  techniques.  Examining the external landscape will focus your efforts on the positions you need to take.

With that said, here is a short list of 20 questions that will give you insight into next year's objectives, strategies and tactics.

Internal Assessment
  1. What are your school's established goals?
  2. What are your department's goals?
  3. What are your previous year's results?
  4. What resources and teams do you have available?
  5. How are your internal teams organized?
  6. How will they share information?
  7. What is your internal marketing process?
  8. What technology are you using to track your results?
  9. How will you test, measure and report your results?
  10. Who are your internal audiences?
External Assessment
  1. Who is your direct competition?
  2. What other substitutes exist beyond the direct competitors?
  3. What are your competitor's messages to your target market?
  4. What touchpoints are your competitors using?
  5. What does your competition use to differentiate itself?
  6. Where is  your competition strongest and weakest?
External Trends
  1. What are the projected shifts in enrollment rates and demographics - nationwide and in your state?
  2. What are the recent changes in government regulations that will affect how you will compete?
  3. What are the shifts in executive perspectives across the industry?
  4. How can you capitalize on changes in technology?