Next Steps Idaho 2022
Welcome to What If, Idaho
In 2022 we evolved the campaign to be evergreen, and flexible enough that content could be created for multiple channels and messages. “Welcome to What If, Idaho” became the destination for any Idahoan looking for their next step.
Broadcast Content We developed multiple edits for both traditional broadcast and all social and streaming channels.
Digital Content In production, we were especially considerate of the need to be as efficient as possible with our content. We captured a broad range of audience types and “What If’s” to be used in targeted social throughout the year.
Next Steps Idaho
The Idaho State Board of Education (OSBE) and S360 created the Next Steps brand and site, a one-stop postsecondary education resource that considered the unique needs of Idahoans and that was scalable to evolve with the education and workforce development programs over the years. Strategies 360’s advertising objective: get more Idahoans to consider and eventually enroll in postsecondary education, and develop an integrated and flexible strategy to grow with the program.
S360 was uniquely suited to develop the Next Steps research, brand, communications, website, and marketing program. With an office in Idaho, a strong understanding of the workings of the state government and funding, and a cross-disciplinary team at the ready. S360 was uniquely qualified to not only create, but to also maintain and promote this project.
S360’s initial research and brand development has remained the cornerstone to the work that has been created over the years, laying the groundwork for a consistent and unique voice across channels and content. We have honed a unique advertising voice for our brand with the “What If” campaign, essentially giving Idahoans permission to imagine all the possibilities available to them. This integrated campaign relies on a sharp media strategy and flexible creative production to serve our diverse target audiences. Next Steps has evolved to serve students and adults alike, as well as parents, educators, and career advisors. With a small marketing budget we continue to develop inventive integrated media plans that consider all paid, owned, and earned opportunities to drive traffic and encourage engagement with Next Steps Idaho.
Why it Worked
The work we have done on Next Steps Idaho has been a hallmark of our education practice statewide and a source of pride for our team and our firm—we have seen the efforts of our collaboration with OSBE bear fruit. While our web engineering team continues to develop innovative tools to help Idahoans, our advertising team continues to develop a nimble and responsive content strategy to create unique messages for disperate audiences.
The Next Steps Site has seen an increase in new visitors of over 20% year over year since its inception.
Scope and Services
Design and content development
Paid media strategy and management
Video and audio production
Web development and engineering
Next Steps Idaho – Product Development
Initially, Strategies 360’s role was to take one key objective—to get more Idaho students to consider and eventually enroll in post-secondary education—and figure out what tools and communications would most effectively support this goal.
We developed and executed a statewide research plan; from that thorough research, we developed a brand and a program: “Next Steps Idaho”. The brand values we established include encouragement, support, trust, and helpfulness. We photographed Idaho students in Idaho high schools as our subjects in order to give our audience relatable visuals and to create an initial library from which to pull for execution.
With an attractive brand to frame the content, we set out to gather, aggregate, distill, and simplify some of the best content that already existed on the web while researching and producing additional new content. We worked closely with high school counselors to create tools such as the grade-specific checklists—a popular site feature that helps keep students on track with a list of college preparation tasks specific to their grade.
We continue to build on our base of knowledge through annual user experience and qualitative research, interacting with students, parents, and educators to improve the website content and functionality, as well as the outreach materials promoting the website.
Idahoans Idaho’s students, parents and adults now have access to an ever-improving, comprehensive, easy-to-use resource that helps them explore career and education options and take concrete steps towards their future.for Idahoans considering college or some other form of postsecondary training.
Since 2016, tens of thousands of students have submitted applications to Idaho’s public colleges and universities using the common app hosted on the Next Steps site. The website is required training for new college and career counselors and is presented as the primary tool for helping Idaho students plan for college and careers.
Site traffic in June (during our campaign) was up has increased over more than 48% compared with the same timeframe last year since 2020, and the time on increased page has expanded over 160%.