64 episodes

A podcast dedicated to helping higher ed marketers tell better stories and enroll more students.

Hosted by video producer and storytelling coach, John Azoni, these episodes provide quick-win practical advice you can put to use in your marketing right away.

Higher Ed Storytelling University John Azoni

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

A podcast dedicated to helping higher ed marketers tell better stories and enroll more students.

Hosted by video producer and storytelling coach, John Azoni, these episodes provide quick-win practical advice you can put to use in your marketing right away.

    #64 - In-house Marcom Staff vs. External Partners w/ Joel Goodman of Bravery Media

    #64 - In-house Marcom Staff vs. External Partners w/ Joel Goodman of Bravery Media

    My guest today is Joel Goodman, founder of Bravery Media. Joel helps colleges and universities increase their web conversion rates using hospitable design practices. In this episode, we discuss insights from the Simpson Scarborough CMO study and how it relates to budget constraints, staffing, and curating the best marketing communications team with the resources available.
    Joel shares his background, including working in web marketing roles at two universities before starting Bravery Media in 2012. He advocates for a "hospitable design" approach that focuses on caring for the user's journey and reducing friction.
    Key Takeaways:
    The study reveals significant variability in marketing budgets and staffing across institution sizes, directly impacting strategies and job satisfaction.Despite budget declines, website experience remains a priority with a focus on quality content for prospective students.Effective web governance, strategic digital investment, using analytics, and adapting to AI are crucial for meeting younger audiences' expectations.Salary levels for web roles are often too low to attract top talent, leading to subpar user experiences compared to other industries.Having an in-house video team can make sense for large institutions, but most lack the budget for a complete product team (producer, UX designers, developers).Hiring external partners can be more cost-effective and provide better quality for web design, video production, and content creation.AI tools should enhance research and data analysis, not replace authentic creative work that connects with prospective students.
    Connect with Joel:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelgoodman/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joelgoodman/
    Connect with Bravery Media:
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/braverymedia/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bravery-media/Threads: https://www.threads.net/@braverymediaWebsite: https://bravery.co/
    Connect with John:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnazoniWebsite: https://unveild.tvNewsletter: https://unveild.tv/newsletter

    • 1 hr 8 min
    #63 - How a Project Management Tool Broke Down Silos and Transformed Content Collaboration at UMass Lowell w/ Kristin Nichols

    #63 - How a Project Management Tool Broke Down Silos and Transformed Content Collaboration at UMass Lowell w/ Kristin Nichols

    My guest today is Kristin Nichols, a higher education marketing consultant with over 20 years of experience at top universities in the Northeast. In this episode, Kristin discusses how implementing project management tools like Trello helped unite her marketing teams, facilitated cross-pollination between departments, and enabled an efficient "internal agency" approach.
    Kristin shares how she successfully implemented Trello at UMass Lowell, creating dedicated workspaces for each college, enrollment marketing, editorial, and more. This centralized system allowed teams to see all active projects, easily identify content to repurpose across channels, and ensure brand consistency.
    Key Takeaways:
    Don't get bogged down as an order-taker. Position your marketing team as strategic brand stewards using an "internal agency" model.Establish a streamlined project request and approval process, limiting feedback rounds to 3 max to drive efficiency.Create content templates and approved vendor lists to empower distributed teams while protecting brand standards.Surface storylines and assets from across campus to repurpose content and create consistent thematic campaigns.Buy-in from leadership and practitioners is crucial. Forcing new processes without buy-in leads to failure.Use project management tools to showcase your team's work, justify budgets, and pull insightful analytics.Mental health storylines resonate; look for authentic examples showcasing how your university supports students holistically.
    Connect With Kristin:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholskristin/Nichols Higher Education: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nicholshighered/
    Resources Mentioned:
    Trello - Project management tool used at UMass Lowell Basecamp.Loom - Another popular project management platform. A screen recording tool for documenting processes.
    Connect With John:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnazoniWebsite: https://unveild.tvNewsletter: https://unveild.tv/newsletter

    • 50 min
    #62 - Enchanting a Nation: How R. Ethan Braden is leading a bold vision for Texas A&M’s Marketing & Branding

    #62 - Enchanting a Nation: How R. Ethan Braden is leading a bold vision for Texas A&M’s Marketing & Branding

    My guest today is R. Ethan Braden, Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Texas A&M University. In this episode, Ethan shares his vision for building a world-class marketing team and developing a national earned media strategy to amplify Texas A&M's brand.
    Ethan discusses the five priorities he's established for his team: building a world-class marketing team, establishing a comprehensive insight-based brand platform, providing brand assets for the campus to execute the vision, cultivating a united marketing community, and pursuing a national earned media strategy.
    Key Takeaways:
    Building a world-class marketing team involves hiring emotive storytellers, content strategists, and earned media experts who can "enchant" audiences with Texas A&M's stories.Having a distinct, insight-based brand platform allows everyone to "get in character" and consistently express the brand's essence across touchpoints.Providing a centralized library of high-quality branded assets (photos, videos, guidelines) enables campus partners to localize and execute marketing plans efficiently.Cultivating a united "marketing community" across campus fosters synergies, best practices, and a harmonious brand voice.Pursuing a national earned media strategy ensures Texas A&M is part of relevant national conversations, beyond just a regional reputation.Focus content creation on owning key subject matter spaces (e.g. Texas A&M's meat sciences department owning BBQ/smoking content on YouTube).
    Connect With Ethan:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertethanbraden/Texas A&M University: https://www.tamu.edu/
    Connect With John:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnazoniWebsite: https://unveild.tvNewsletter: https://unveild.tv/newsletter

    • 50 min
    #61 - Uniting Marketing, Enrollment, and Web Strategy at Rutgers Business School w/ Joshua Charles

    #61 - Uniting Marketing, Enrollment, and Web Strategy at Rutgers Business School w/ Joshua Charles

    My guest today is Joshua Charles, a senior marketing and communications leader at Rutgers Business School and board member for HighEdWeb, a professional development network for digital professionals in higher education.

    In this episode, we discuss Joshua's role at Rutgers, the structure and collaboration within his marketing team, their content strategy, use of marketing technology, and breaking down organizational silos. Joshua shares insights on the following topics.

    Key Takeaways:
    Keeping the web and marketing teams integrated rather than separating web under IT to maintain a cohesive vision and workflowThe importance of clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and processes for team collaboration and moraleTheir approach to the marketing tech stack spanning web hosting, CMS, CRM, marketing automation, advertising platforms and moreAligning content strategy by talking directly with students to understand their needs and journeysManaging changes and budget considerations when incorporating new marketing technology platformsBuilding relationships and lines of communication across student-facing departments to break down silos
    On The Future of Higher Ed Marketing:
    Joshua sees opportunities in continuing to learn from others in the higher ed community, carefully exploring AI applications while keeping the focus on the student experience, and positively influencing the narrative around the transformative value of higher education.

    Connect with Joshua:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuacharles/

    Connect with HighEdWeb:
    Website: https://www.highedweb.org/
    HighEdWeb 2024 Annual Conference: https://events.highedweb.org/heweb24

    Connect with John:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnazoni
    Website: https://unveild.tv

    • 54 min
    #60 - Hiring Videographers: Secrets to Thriving In-House and External Relationships w/ John Azoni

    #60 - Hiring Videographers: Secrets to Thriving In-House and External Relationships w/ John Azoni

    In this episode, Host John Azoni shares many tips for successful relationships with external videographers and as well as building in-house teams. 
     Key Takeaways: 
    Hire good editors who can create a compelling story and vibe that draws viewers in. Editing is where a video can fall apart, so prioritize finding videographers who are skilled editors.Look for videographers who are collaborative partners, both creatively and logistically. They should take scheduling and coordination off your plate.Request that the videographer provide all the B-roll footage at no extra cost. This is a good sign they want to be a true partner.For lower budgets, look for generalist solo videographers used to doing a lot themselves. For bigger budgets and commercials, hire studios with specialized on-set roles.When hiring in-house videographers, manage expectations and clearly define priorities. One person can't do it all. Consider outside help for marketing storytelling.For small in-house video teams, an efficient duo is a producer/director/camera operator paired with a dedicated editor.
    Join the newsletter: https://unveild.tv/newsletterConnect with John: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnazoni/

    • 44 min
    #59 - How to Craft Compelling Student Testimonials and Content to Increase Enrollment Yield, w/ John Azoni + Shiro Hatori

    #59 - How to Craft Compelling Student Testimonials and Content to Increase Enrollment Yield, w/ John Azoni + Shiro Hatori

    On this episode, John Azoni was a guest on the Higher Ed Demand Gen podcast with Shiro Hatori. We talked about telling compelling student testimonials. 

    Key Takeaways:
    Higher ed provides ample opportunity for meaningful, transformational stories that don't exist in the same way in other contextsStrong student testimonials have an arc - an "old normal," a turning point, and a "new normal"Getting specific in student stories, especially around the turning point, allows prospects to relate on an emotional levelAuthentically communicating student mental health struggles and support services can be powerful storytellingStudents crave specific content around day-to-day experience, dorm life, food, "day in the life" videosConsider leveraging student-generated content for relatability, not just official marketing videosVideo length is less important than providing value and "resolving something in the viewer's brain"Hook the audience by conveying what they'll learn or how they'll relate vs. just introducing the subjectRepurposing video content into shorter clips, stills, ads etc. can fuel years of content vs. one-off approachYour audience sees your content far less than you think - don't be afraid to repurpose frequently
    LINKS: Check out the Higher Ed Demand Gen podcast: https://concept3d.com/higher-ed-demand-gen-podcast/Check out Concept3D: https://concept3d.com

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

DomeTalker ,

Practical, timely info for all marketers

John has managed to pull together a show that is super relevant for everyone working in the higher ed communications space, regardless of the size of their institution. John leverages his relationships in the industry to unearth practical, thoughtful commentary from people actually rolling up their sleeves and doing the work, not just thinking or talking about. Really great listen.

WhoDeyBengals ,

Great podcast

This podcast captures the magic of stories in higher education marketing. John and his guest give you real, vulnerable stories about telling real, valuable stories in the marketing of higher education.

smb4977 ,

One of the best!

This podcast is invaluable to higher ed marketers. Relevant topics, excellent discussion and practical takeaways you can apply to your day to day work. John is an excellent interviewer and really allows for authentic content to come out!

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