If you’re a university marketer, you’re certainly not spending all of August at the beach. Now that clearing is (almost) out of the way, chances are that you’re already thinking about the student intake for 2016/2017. Everyday, I speak with many colleges and higher education providers to help them target the right prospective students online. Here’s what I’ve learnt from these discussions:
IT IS IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN PROGRAMMATIC TECHNOLOGY NOW
You are likely facing increased competition within the UK but also from abroad, while tuition fees continue to rise. On top of that, you may be struggling to fill certain courses and facing a lot of demand for others. This is why I think that there is no better time to invest in programmatic since IT IS THE SMARTEST WAY TO GET THE MOST VALUE OUT OF YOUR MARKETING BUDGET. You want to engage with the right students for your courses. No traditional marketing channel can do this for you in such an efficient and flexible way.
PROGRAMMATIC FITS AT ALL STAGES OF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
Programmatic, unlike other online marketing channels, covers the full customer lifecycle from discovery to engagement. For example, you can help students discover your university and courses through building brand awareness with wide reaching campaigns.
To complement the discovery and exploration phase, you can run targeted prospecting campaigns to really capture the interest of students at the purchase phase (where they’re making the final decisions about their choices of university) before following up with retargeting that ensures they remain engaged with you. All within one group campaign that makes your online advertising life simpler than ever before.
QUICK PROGRAMMATIC TIPS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETERS
PLAN YOUR CAMPAIGN WELL:
What do you want out of your campaign? With clear goals and objectives you’ll get the most of programmatic.
Review your creative and landing page. Think of the user experience and make sure it’s relevant and have a clear call to action.
Is your budget and time frame realistic? Programmatic activity improves as campaigns run and machine learning comes in to play.
STRATEGY TO COVER SEVERAL LAYERS OF THE CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE:
Set up multiple line items in your campaign where you target different criteria. This way you can clearly see where the results are coming from. A good way to do it, is one targeting category by line item so you get a basic mix of reach, contextual targeting and retargeting in your campaign. That way you’ll cover a large portion of the lifecycle.
OPTIMISE AND READ YOUR RESULTS:
Even though programmatic runs on machine learning and auto optmisation, your campaign isn’t telepathic! Check that settings are doing what they should be, and tweak and test your campaigns. This will help you deliver the best results from your budget!
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