Acting Fast During Uncertain Times
On March 12, 2020, leadership at Great Minds decided they would launch a new offering that would help students continue to learn despite not being in a physical classroom. Great Minds built Knowledge On The Go in order to keep building knowledge in the midst of the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation in the United States -- allowing students and teachers to continue lessons with or without textbooks. They set a lofty goal for themselves: launch a new website in just six days that included the lessons and videos needed to support students as they pivoted to remote learning. Their first step was to choose which platform they would use to build the website. “Our current website is built across two different environments -- a private server that we manage, and CMS Hub,” said Andrea Toman, HubSpot and Web Content Administrator at Great Minds. “We needed to ensure that we chose a CMS that could handle high levels of traffic, and scale with us as we continued to upload new lessons and content.”
To make this decision, Andrea and her team analyzed the technical capacity of CMS Hub, and also the difficulty to build and manage the site they envisioned on HubSpot. After comparing CMS Hub to their in-house CMS solution, CMS Hub was the clear winner. “We could only guess at what capacity we might need, but HubSpot’s 1,000 page views per second, plus the scalability of HubSpot made it the clear choice,” said Eric Nelson, Senior Cloud Engineer at Great Minds.
Creating a website that prioritized the student’s experience
Knowledge On The Go also marked the first time that Great Minds would be trying to reach students directly, instead of school districts and educators. “A good student experience is inherently different from the experience we want potential customers to have,” notes Andrea. With this in mind, they knew they had to prioritize the experience that students would have when visiting the site. The team at Great Minds worked to provide students with all the content they would need in one location, and also streamlined the navigation to the bare minimum to minimize distractions for these students. CMS Hub’s content editing tools made this process easy for them. The marketing team at Great Minds was able to quickly make edits to the navigation that optimized the website experience for students and made it possible for anyone to enrol in their courses, regardless of whether or not their school district had access to a learning management system (LMS).
HubDB also proved to be a huge help for the Great Minds team. Leveraging dynamic content, Andrea and her team could update content across multiple pages at once. “We had never used that feature prior to building Knowledge on the Go, but once we had it up and running, we were able to reduce our time to post, refresh, and update content by 90%. We can now assemble ten pages in the time it used to take to do one.”
Managing a results-driven website
As more and more students move online, Andrea is keeping a close eye on Knowledge On The Go. “We’ve built out several dashboards that we look at every day to see which personas are visiting our site, what pages are frequently visited, what countries are viewing videos, lesson completion rates, and more. We’ve also scheduled an automated email from HubSpot that shares the stats on the new website, so everyone is aligned on how the content is being received.”
The numbers speak for themselves. Since launching, Knowledge On The Go has gotten more than nine million page views. “We’re amazed by the results we’ve been able to achieve with CMS Hub given the tight turnaround for this project. I’d recommend CMS Hub to any organization that’s looking to grow their business and reach new audiences, but still wants to quickly and easily manage their content.”