5 Ways To Strengthen Higher-Ed Websites through Diversity of Voice

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By Chris Rapozo — Jul 6, 2023 11:00 AM


Managing website content effectively is crucial for higher education institutions. With the increasing competition and diverse audiences, it is essential to showcase a variety of voices, personalize the user experience, and provide authentic, engaging content. Understanding the significance of these elements can help create a compelling online presence. 

Kat Liendgens, Hannon Hill’s CEO, recently spoke about the topic on an episode of The Higher Ed Marketer Podcast titled: 

Diversity of Voice: Attracting Mission-Fit Students with CMS Deliverables.

This blog post recaps the most important parts of the episode, exploring the importance of effective content management in higher education and providing practical insights to enhance a college or university website's impact and set content contributors up for success.

1) Showcasing Diversity of Voice

The looming demographic enrollment cliff poses significant challenges for higher education institutions but also opportunities. Higher-ed marketers and admission professionals must change their enrollment approach and adjust communication tactics to safely navigate this period.

To resonate with a wide range of prospective students and their influencers, it is vital to feature diverse voices on a university’s website. By widening the pool of content contributors, schools can provide a comprehensive understanding of an institution's cultural fit, goals, and the types of students it attracts. 

“You want to attract the right types of students and at the same time, you also want to repel the wrong types of students who are not a good fit,” Liendgens says. 

It goes beyond just marketing departments; involving alumni, faculty, and staff who are passionate about their fields can create authentic storytelling experiences. 

By highlighting the achievements and contributions of these individuals, higher-ed web professionals can showcase the true value and appeal of an institution beyond employment statistics and attract students from minority groups who previously did not consider an institution as a cultural fit. 

2) Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming higher education marketing by enabling personalized experiences for students and families. By leveraging AI-powered tools, institutions can analyze data and tailor content to meet individual needs, preferences, and goals. 

AI can assist in providing recommendations, guiding students through the decision-making process, and delivering a more personalized journey. 

Particularly for international students and career changers, this level of personalization can be invaluable in showcasing the institution's offerings and support services.

3) Personalization for Prospective Students

Delivering personalized content is key to capturing the attention and interest of prospective students. By leveraging web personalization tools like Clive, higher-ed marketers can tailor content based on visitors' preferences and behaviors, creating a more engaging and relevant user experience. 

“So many tools help with personalized content delivery to show the most relevant stories to each segment of your audience,” Liendgens explains. 

This approach ensures that each visitor feels understood and valued, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Starting with small steps such as displaying different images or messages based on user interactions can have a significant impact on engagement. 

Personalization is especially crucial for first-generation students, as it helps them feel supported and connected.

4) The Power of Collaboration and Training

Successful content management in higher education relies on collaboration and training. Engaging with a diverse range of content contributors across the institution enriches the content beyond the status quo. 

Providing the necessary resources, knowledge, and confidence for contributors to edit content effectively, based on the marketing team's strategy, is vital. Investing in professional development and training ensures that content authors understand the importance of publishing the right type of content. 

By establishing a united content strategy and team, colleges and universities can effectively convey their mission and create an emotional connection with their audiences.

Of course, it’s equally important to set users up with the necessary technical skills to successfully navigate a CMS.

Hannon Hill offers monthly user group meetings, Groupcamps, and the Annual Cascade CMS User Conference to ensure all end users possess the knowledge and skills to efficiently share their brand stories with the world.

5) The Role of Content Management Systems

A robust Content Management System (CMS) plays a vital role in effective content management for higher education websites and helps less seasoned writers produce the best possible work for an institution.

“For me, a good CMS keeps content contributors focused and helps them understand how they can make their content more effective,” says Liendgens 

As mentioned above, a good CMS keeps content contributors on task and ensures adherence to specific parameters that align with an institution's core content strategy. 

With features like eliminating distractions, fixing broken links, reviewing readability, and adding appropriate metadata, a CMS enhances the efficiency of content creation and maintenance.

Additionally, a CMS with proper guardrails prevents unvetted content from being published, reducing the risk of incorrect or inappropriate information reaching the public.


Effective content management is a fundamental aspect of creating a compelling online presence for higher education institutions. By showcasing diversity of voice, providing personalized experiences, leveraging content management systems, fostering collaboration, and utilizing artificial intelligence, colleges and universities can enhance their websites and engage with prospective students and their influencers effectively. 

Through storytelling, authenticity, and personalization, higher-ed marketers and web professionals can create a captivating online environment that resonates with target audiences to drive enrollment and engagement.

To learn more about effective content management strategies and stay updated with the latest trends in higher education content marketing, visit Hannon Hill's blog for news, updates and education content. 

If you need help getting your website on the right track to support your content contributors, fill out the form below and let us know how we can help.

Photo of Chris Rapozo

Chris Rapozo
Marketing Specialist


Content Marketing