10 Higher Education Agencies That Get Content Marketing | Outbrain Blog


10 Higher Education Agencies That Get Content Marketing

| Jennifer Bassett

Higher Education Agencies That Get Content Marketing

It may be back to school season for students, but for content marketers in the higher education space, there’s been no summer respite. That’s because the category is becoming increasingly competitive.

A 2015 Higher Ed and Gallup Survey of admissions directors revealed that more than one-half of the administrators reported that they were “very concerned” about meeting the year’s enrollment goals, while almost another third stated that they were “moderately concerned.”

A Crowded Category

The pressure is on and schools have increasingly leaned into content marketing to capture the attention of students and win over new ones. With so much to communicate, websites have been a focal point, with dedicated content portals for prospective students, current students, alumni, and staff. Additionally, social media is increasingly becoming a focus, in an effort to capture young eyeballs.

But with pinched time and resources, it can be difficult to get to the next level relying only on internal resources and capabilities. That’s why, for higher ed content marketers looking to ramp up their efforts in the year ahead, agencies could be a great option to consider. But with so many out there, where to start?

That’s where we come in! Here’s Outbrain’s 10 best higher education agencies picks for 2016. Learn more about them below and view some of their work.

Top Higher Education Agencies

Up and Up

Up and Up, based in Greenville, South Carolina, has worked with University of Kentucky, Florida State University College of Education, The University of Georgia, Clemson University, George Mason University, and Auburn University College of Architecture, Design & Construction. Recent work includes a digital experience for University of Kentucky that helps lead students and prospective students through the difficult decision process of choosing a major. Additionally, for University of Kentucky, rather than maintaining a changing library of PDF course catalogs, Up and Up’s solution centralized the course and major information into a searchable database. This made it more manageable for administrators and more interactive and simplified for students.



Ologie, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, has worked on William & Mary, Northwestern, The University of Arizona, Sewanne: The University of the South, University of California, Purdue University, Pratt University, Gonzaga University, and many more. Ologie’s work includes branding, video, and digital experiences. Take, for example, recent work for Northwestern. Ologie created a fresh and modern new direction for the already renowned school, which including rebranding, a redesigned the website, and a beautiful new video to illustrate the new brand direction.

The Primacy

The Primacy’s higher education clients include Yale Law School, Monmouth University, Emmanuel College, NYU Gallatin, Saint Michael’s College, and Regis University. Its approach incorporates data, technology, and ideas. A great example of recent work includes Yale Law School’s new website, which allows prospects and current students to explore areas of interest and features compelling news articles and video perspectives from students.


Sullivan NYC

New York-based, Sullivan NYC , has worked with Duke, Brown University, NYU Stern, and most recently, the newly launched Cornell Tech. For Cornell Tech, Sullivan created the new school’s twisty, memorable logo, designed and launched Cornell Tech’s website, and oversaw a school’s successful recruiting campaign, which filled all the campus visitation spots for the Spring 2015 semester.



Paskill Stapleton & Lord do a mix of strategy and creative work for the higher education space. Clients include Manor College, Wayland Baptist University, Mitchell College, Marywood University, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, and many more. For Middlesex Community College, one of the largest community colleges in Massachusetts, PSandl conducted a complete website assessment and redesigned the school’s website to better serve students, staff, and prospects. Meanwhile, for Thames Academy at Mitchell college, a residential post-graduate program for students with learning disabilities, it focused on what differentiated the college and created a website that communicates the school’s story of “inclusion.” The final site includes rich imagery and parent testimonials.


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MStoner has been working with higher education clients since 2001 and has offices in Chicago, St. Louis, and Woodstock, Vermont. Its list of higher education clients is extensive, so here’s just a few: Heartland Community College, Tufts University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Nevada State College, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. It also has some independent schools, like Latin School of Chicago, which is a pre-K through 12th grade institution. MStoner’s recent relaunch of Tufts.edu garnered a 2016 Web Award Standard of Excellence. The site saw pages views 2015 and 2016 increase 145% for faculty and staff sections and 173% for student sections. Additionally, MStoner relaunched the challenging Heartland Community College’s site. The school, which serves a highly diverse audience, required multiple personas and new audience pathing.



OberlanderGroup has worked with University of Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Maria College, SUNY Cobleskill, Williams College, and many more. It has a history of doing college magazines, annual reports, and online publications for schools. For example, its “Inside Rensselaer,” is an online publication that communicates the many varied things happening at Rensselaer to faculty and staff. Meanwhile, it dramatically changed the feel of Maria college’s brand, to help its effort in expanding from a two-year nursing college to a baccalaureate institution with a broader curriculum. An aspirational TV commercial reached its primary commuter audience and a digital campaign took advantage of search, paid, and retargeted ads. OberlanderGroup also created an engaging microsite overview of all of Maria’s new and old programs and Maria’s first alumni magazine.

Lipman Hearne

Based in Chicago, Lipman Hearne has worked on communications and branding with University of Pittsburgh, Chicago Community Trust, University of Iowa College of Law, University of Miami, and many more. Lipman Hearne has been doing some particularly innovative things, when it comes to social media. For example, for University of Pittsburgh, it designed a gamified social media ambassadors program, with a team of eight freshman, who provided prospects with a more authentic view of Pittsburgh student life. The program ultimately generated tens of thousands of engagements, thousands of clickthroughs, and numerous deposits.

Converge Consulting

Converge Consulting focuses on inbound marketing, web design, digital advertising, content strategy, measurement, and SEO for a number of higher education clients, including Creighton University, UCLA, University of Southern California, University of Missouri, and University of Notre Dame. A recent project included the redesign of Creighton University’s nine college and university websites, including 40 college specific personas and 10 site architectures.


Carnegie, located in Westford, MA, is one of the leaders in marketing and enrollment solutions for education. It is very performance focused and offers services for digital that include SEO, paid search, online display advertising, retargeting, mobile marketing, social media, google analytics, and IP targeting. Carnegie runs the leading student portal, CollegeXpress, with over 3 million student visitors annually. One of its offerings is to get customized online profile for schools on the portal. Carnegie’s blog is also worth a look, as it provides great advice on how to target recruits, measure success, and experiment with new tactics like text ads and geofencing. Recently, Carnegie partnered with Google to co-host a series of free, one-day digital marketing workshops for over 250 higher education professionals.



Higher education agencies are doing some excellent work in a highly competitive space. We hope this higher education agency round-up is a helpful resource for content marketers looking for new opportunities to breakthrough to their target audiences in this category.

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Jennifer Bassett

Jennifer Bassett

Jennifer is Outbrain's Managing Editor. She has 10+ years of experience in the content strategy and editorial space. She began... Read more

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