A One-Size-Fits-All Approach Doesn’t Fit Digital Marketing

Month: February 2018

Nicole PieringBy Nicole Piering|February 1, 2018

When it comes to creating a digital campaign for enrollment marketing, it’s easy to assume that all tactics are created equal. In a previous blog post, we told you why digital media was a crucial element of your higher education marketing strategy, but now we have some bad news: Not all digital media is comparable.

Since we use digital media at all stages of the enrollment funnel and at all levels of education, it’s essential that each digital program takes a tailored approach. The digital tactics that may appeal to an incoming college freshman are very different than what may appeal to a mid-level executive looking to enroll in an MBA program.

Image via WordStream

According to Spark451’s 2017 College-Bound Student Survey of high school seniors, Instagram was the most influential social media platform in making a college decision, followed closely by Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. According to a 2015 survey by WeRSM, 61% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 30 and 64, so while Instagram may be the top influencer for a high school senior, a potential MBA candidate or graduate student is more likely to be influenced by compelling LinkedIn content.

When it comes to forming a digital media strategy, the most important thing to consider is your audience. Where do they hang out online? What social media platforms do they use? Are they on desktop or mobile? What keywords are they searching? These are all questions that Spark451’s digital media team members ask themselves on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to digital media. In fact, if something fit last year, it may not even fit this year. This was something the Spark451 team experienced this past fall, when we ran supplemental senior search campaigns driving students directly to apply. Despite this being something we had done in the past, our results were…depressing.

In an attempt to combat these underwhelming results, we looked at what we were expecting potential students to do. We were counting on high school seniors to click an ad and begin a college application. Talk about a huge ask.

We then shifted our approach, driving students to a simple landing page. If they filled out the form, they’d be redirected to the application. Additionally, if they completed the form, we could market to them in other ways, such as retargeting and e-communications.

Lo and behold, in comparing the number of conversions from a month before this change to a month after, our conversions increased over 1,000%.

Image via SAS

The most successful digital marketing campaigns are those that are fluid and agile. When we’re mired down in our ideas of what should work or what has worked, we may be missing out on testing what will work.

That’s where Spark451 comes in. With our experienced account services and dedicated digital media teams, we can craft a digital media campaign tailored to your needs and get the results you want.