Growing Sanmita’s Services

At Sanmita, we are always reinventing and exploring new ways to assist our higher ed clients. With our deep experience with web solutions, we help our clients maximize their web, mobile and digital products. Now, we want to grow these relationships even deeper. So we’re in the early stages of planning exciting new products and services.

One promising new project is a collaboration with our partners at Cornell’s Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research. We already have a strong relationship with BTI, having worked on the BTI website and advising on digital communications. Now, Sanmita is stepping into a new role as advisor on BTI’s annual report. The BTI team wants to rebrand its annual report that goes out to donors and supporter. The goal is to make the report more engaging, with a fresh layout and new messaging.

To assist BTI, we’re drawing on our experience creating many types of reports. We’ll also work with our new design partners at IE Design + Communications. Together, we plan to build a catalog of this type of work, and present a fresh product for BTI. In the future, we could offer this service to other higher education institutions.

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Introducing Generation Z – Under 20 And Coming On Strong

The “Millennial” generation, born 1976-1994, has been called the most researched generation in history. The well-documented habits and attitudes of these children of the baby boomers are the driving force behind the way businesses and organizations have conducted their marketing for years.

But there’s a new generation starting to take center stage — Generation Z — and while most aren’t yet legal to drink, they are already demonstrating distinct differences in their outlook and choices compared to Millennials.

No matter what your business or organization does, it’s time to get to know Gen Z!

This handy infographic from Marketo encapsulates the trends that are defining America’s youth, who make up over a quarter of the population.

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Three Handy Content Creation Infographics

Content, content, content! By now you realize how content is vital to your website promotion and maintenance.

But where do you get all this content? How do you go about keeping your blog fresh, crafting irresistible email newsletters, and regularly sharing fascinating social media posts?

With all the different options to consider, just finding where to begin can seem overwhelming!

Fortunately, the web itself provides a gold mine of information that can help you create meaningful content.

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4 Ways To Improve Your College Website Right Away

We’re into the dog days of summer, but it’s not too late to make some easy upgrades to your website before students arrive in the fall!  Here are some ideas for easy fixes you can do right away.

1. Take A Look At Other Websites

Have you looked at other college’s websites recently? It’s important to keep up with the competition! Things to look for include ease of navigation, forms, scheduling, user interface and graphic appeal. What things do other sites do better? Identifying areas that could use improvement is a good place to start.

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Coming Soon: New and Improved BTI Site

At Sanmita, we believe a good website can be made even better. That’s our mission with our partners at Cornell University’s Boyce Thompson Institute of Plant Research. We’re taking the BTI website and upgrading its look, content and web architecture. Our goal is to showcase BTI’s fine work and build on its research, education and innovation. The new website will accomplish that and more!

In just a few weeks, BTI will launch the revamped website. Behind the scenes, our team is upgrading the BTI website’s design, organization and its informational architecture. We’re thrilled to share some sneak peeks of the new design. Working in concert with the BTI team, our goal was to streamline the website’s content and navigation, and create a user-friendly site that showcases the BTI’s work. The current BTI site is full of interesting research and valuable information, but it can be challenging to navigate.

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Making International Connections

Higher education is increasingly an international affair. U.S. schools are eagerly growing their international enrollment, which adds diversity to the student body and, eventually, to its alumni. Competition for these foreign students is already fierce and, every school year, grows more competitive. A strong mobile product is key to reaching foreign students.  (Just in case we needed to give you another reason to be mobile-ready!)

Need some evidence? New data backs us up. In 2014, 28% of international students used mobile devices (that includes smartphones and tablets) to search the Internet, according to research by the Noel-Levitz firm. That figure shows steady growth from last year, when 17% of foreign students reported using mobile devices for web searching.

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Specifically for higher education, 60% of international students surveyed said they looked at school websites on a mobile device. That’s in line with American students’ behavior. In 2013, 68% of American students said they looked at higher ed websites on smartphones or tablets, according to a recent Noel-Levitz report.

A university or college’s website is its key digital marketing tool and essential to recruiting, both domestically and internationally. Unlike many American students who go on college tours to visit potential schools, most international students enroll without ever visiting campus. Their experience with a school is shaped largely by their digital introduction.

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Mobile Use Surges, Smartphones Lead Charge

Across the U.S. and on college campuses, mobile use is exploding. Mobile is no longer the future — it is very much front and center. Now, new research offers some fresh ideas on which devices mobile users favor and what content they are seeking. This is valuable information for higher education web and IT staff.

College students, quite simply, can’t live without their smartphones. An overwhelming 89% of college students own smartphones, according to a new report from Ball State University.  And the ownership has grown quickly. In 2009, about half of college students owned smartphones. The vast majority, 92%, use their phones to access social media, up from 49% four years ago. In addition, in 2014, 74% of college students used their smartphones daily to browse the Internet. Watching video on smartphones has become increasingly popular, with 82% of students reporting using their phones for video in 2014, compared to just 24% in 2009.

These figures offer a few lessons for higher education:

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Growing the Wheaton Team

As experts in web solutions, we can help our clients tackle any digital project. This time, we’re assisting Wheaton College to grow its web team. Sanmita is leading the search for a new web developer to join Wheaton’s website staff. This is just one aspect of our growing partnership with Wheaton College, located in Norton, Mass.

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Sanmita is helping Wheaton evaluate all of its web infrastructure, and we’re advising on strategies to improve the school’s digital products and platforms. Wheaton is intent on improving and expanding its digital and web capabilities, and we are thrilled to be their partners in this process.

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Share Your Best Face

Today, we’re talking Instagram and Snapchat. Photo sharing sites are incredibly popular with young social media users, and a picture can convey so much more than any text-based message. These 12 to 24 year old web users are the prospective students higher ed marketers are trying to reach.  So don’t just tell them about your school — show them!

Young adults 18 to 24 years old are the most avid Instagram users, with 12.2 million of Instagram’s 50 million users falling into that age group. Instagram counts another 6 million users among teens 12 to 17 years old, according to new data from eMarketer.com. These 18 million Instagram users are the very prospective college and graduate students that your higher ed institutions wants to reach on social media.

Snapchat is the third most popular social media site with young users, trailing only Facebook and Instagram, according to a recent survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital. Snapchat doesn’t release specific data, but 46% of US teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 have used Snapchat, according to the Edison/Triton report. But the very nature of Snapchat presents marketing challenges.  On Snapchat, photos or short videos (up to 10 seconds) are posted and then disappear once a user views the content.

So how can a university or college harness all this potential reach?

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The Case for Mobile-Friendly Sites

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Still contemplating a mobile-friendly website? Don’t put it off any longer. Higher education websites need to be mobile-friendly to reach prospective students, as teens are avid users of handheld devices.  Among adults 12-34 years old, an

impressive 80% now own smartphones and 55% own tablets, according to fresh data from eMarketer.com. In coming years, those figures will only rise. Any school that doesn’t have a mobile-friendly web product risks missing recruiting and marketing opportunities.

Teens are overwhelmingly using handheld devices to browse university and college websites. Last year, 97% of students have visited a university or college’s website on a mobile device, according to 2014 Social Admissions Report by Chegg, Zinch, and Uversity. But two-thirds of students said their experience with schools’ mobile sites was “challenging” or “just ok”. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

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