Hats Off! Prestigious College Launches New Website and Digital Marketing Strategy

Apr 03, 2017 | 3  min
author Bonnie Horner

Despite being the newest of the military service academies, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s history is rich, and their mission is constantly evolving to match the demands of a changing world—graduating first-rate second lieutenants ready to accept their role as leaders in missions of cyberspace research, flight mechanics, cross-cultural dynamics, and more. And because a cadet’s experience at the Academy is unlike any other college experience, we took on the challenge of helping this prestigious college redesign and launch a unique new website, as part of a larger digital marketing strategy.

The new website streamlines each visitor’s journey—from cadets and parents to visitors and beyond—with consistent page layouts, familiar user experience techniques and clear calls-to-action. The website also features custom photography of real cadets, faculty and leadership to engage site visitors with the many stories of the Academy.

Air Force Academy Website

Click here to see it live

Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy

Also working to modernize the Academy’s marketing are newly optimized social media channels, including updates to tone, post timing, types of content and more. In 10 months, these modifications—primarily the use of video and storytelling—helped grow the Academy’s Facebook following by 35,000. Here is an example of one of those videos (that just so happens to be a 2017 Addy Award Winner).

Supporting the website and social media updates were a branding effort and comprehensive digital strategy to increase brand awareness and the Academy’s reputation across the Colorado Front Range.

Air Force Academy Social Media

Where the Academy Ranks

The Air Force Academy is continually ranked in the annual top college lists from Forbes and U.S. News. Here are highlights from 2017:


  • #3 Top Public College
  • #5 Top STEM College
  • #17 Top Liberal Arts University
U.S. News

  • #3 Top Public School
  • #1 Best Aeronautical / Astronautical Program
  • #7 Best Undergraduate Engineering Program

Despite being so highly ranked, the Air Force Academy isn’t widely known, especially outside Colorado and when compared to its older brothers – The U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The new website, social media, branding and marketing strategy efforts were all developed to help boost brand awareness, locally and nationwide.

More Than Just Pretty Pictures

The backend of the website, developed in WordPress, was set up to include several repositories to host information like facts, events, news stories and staff biographies. These repositories ensure consistent styling and help ongoing content managers easily keep the site up-to-date. Administrators can add/change/delete information in the backend and be confident the changes are reflected on associated pages where the “post types” are used. This means the Academy won’t have to worry about out-of-date department staff listings or varying counts of the number of students, majors and more.

An objective of the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development is to “lift others to be their best possible selves.” At Pyxl, we like to think that we operate with a similar M.O, and we would love to help your organization achieve similar results. Contact us to see how we can develop a customized solution for your digital marketing needs.

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

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