BY Anthony Campisi | October 30th, 2019
Data-driven marketing: It’s not as complex as you think
Data can be your most powerful marketing resource. But using it can also become one of your biggest challenges if you’re not used to working with statistics, crunching numbers or harnessing large amounts of information to make informed marketing decisions. Here are some simple ways to start using data to strengthen your marketing campaigns, regardless of your comfort with data visualization tools.
Segment your communications
Even with a wealth of available market research and your own analytics, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming to use data if you look at it in simple groupings. If you know 2-3 things about your audience – for example age, gender and zip code— you’re on your way to a segmented email campaign that can match programs to certain age ranges, discuss career benefits for men or women and promote on-campus or remote classes based on geography.
Diversify your channels
You can use data to expand your marketing campaign beyond emails. If you know from an industry whitepaper that video ads are trending or that millennials are using Snapchat more than Facebook, you can use this to develop a multi-channel strategy. For example, you may be surprised to find out that 60% of your prospects are on LinkedIn daily but that they don’t check their personal email more than 2 times a week.
Enhance the experience for your prospects
Using small, digestible pieces of data (from your own analytics) can make a huge difference in optimizing your school’s website and marketing campaigns. For example, if you notice that the area of your site with the largest viewership is student testimonials, you may think about curating ad content using personal student stories. Or, if your ROI page has high viewership, but not a lot of time spent on the page, consider beefing up that content since ROI is a huge decision factor for many prospective students. Starting small and expanding as you gain confidence with your data can have far-reaching effects.
If you’re looking for ways to use industry data or need advice on how to use your own analytics to improve your marketing, contact GPRS today.
BY Anthony Campisi | October 23rd, 2019
Investing in landing pages that are user-friendly, informative and optimized
Say you’re aimlessly scrolling through social media or you’re on your favorite news site and all of a sudden, you see it – the thing you’ve been waiting for. It’s going to change your life. It’s the price you want. So really, it’s perfect. You must buy it right away. You click on the link while anxiously reaching for your credit card. The link takes you to the company’s homepage and you scroll and scroll. You may even click over to another page looking for the very product you wanted. It’s not there. At this point, you’re frustrated and less likely to buy.
Don’t let this happen to your prospective students. While this may be an over-exaggerated scenario, and it’s not likely that your prospects would be applying and ready to pay for tuition in one simple click, you certainly don’t want to lose them at this stage, or extinguish their enthusiasm for your brand. If it’s the first time they are engaging with you, you’ve done the hardest job which is to grab their attention. But the next step is to make sure the experience is consistent. When they click on your link, you want to secure their interest and action.
Ways to optimize your prospects’ experience with customized landing pages
- Address directly what they have seen in your ad so the messaging is cohesive.
- Keep your branding front and center, use imagery and make the landing page visually intriguing
- Give them enough (less is more) details about your school to be intrigued and request more information. Think 3-5 bullets.
- Provide a simple call to action, i.e. request more info, download a brochure, see a list of admissions events.
- Keep the form simple with 4 fields – first name, last name, email and phone number.
- Ensure the transfer of data (to your organization) is clean. Route it directly into your CRM to avoid manual labor and minimize mistakes.
- Employ “thank you” pages (after an inquiry is completed) to redirect to your website.
Why invest in a landing page?
While you have spent a lot of time building and optimizing your school’s website and it may be seen as the primary source of information for your prospects, it’s not always the right place for them to land after they’ve seen one of your ads. Custom landing pages can offer your future students a simple solution for the specific information they seek. If they’ve clicked on an ad, they’re willing to go a step further than just browsing your website. And if they’ve never seen your website or they’re not aware of your program, you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much information. Using a gateway landing page can make all the difference for that first connection, and give your prospects confidence to keep exploring further through the information request phase.
Not to mention, a landing page that routes to your CRM that is properly coded can help you determine how well your advertising is working, response rates and ROI. And with a sophisticated Prospective Student Data Platform, you may even be able to track your ads and landing page activity back to seated students.
If you’re looking for ways to build your next campaign and structure your landing pages to collect information that can also integrate into your CRM, contact GPRS today.
BY Anthony Campisi | October 9th, 2019
Embracing the digital video advertising trend for your school
You don’t have to be a marketing pro to notice that video ads are taking the digital advertising world by storm. It is likely that 50% of your social media feed is populated with videos or that a friend or colleague has recently shared a video with you on their phone or computer screen. Although video advertising can work for any company in any industry, it’s becoming imperative in the higher ed world because of the personal scale connection required for large buying decisions like a degree.
Here are 4 reasons to embrace the video advertising trend:
- Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter
- Connecting visually can form stronger relationships
- Social media is dominated by video, especially Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook
- Customers expect it and your competition is doing it
What are video ads and how do they differ from the videos you have on your YouTube channel?
Video ads are shorter and more succinct than the traditional 3-5 minute video you have on your website or YouTube channel that tell about your program, the benefits of your school or highlight a professor or student testimonial. Don’t misinterpret – those videos still have a place and purpose. But for marketing strategies, advertisers are starting to opt for 30 second video ads (like a traditional commercial) or 10-15 second micro-videos that can be produced in a series. Although you may have many points to make, you can do this over time with varied versions of video ads pieced together to form a journey for your prospective students.
Secrets to successful digital video advertising
Although you may be ready to jump on the video ad bandwagon, you can’t just do it haphazardly. Consumers are smarter than you think and they can recognize quality in an instant. Additionally, they can make snap decisions on your brand so you want each interaction to be a quality experience. Here are some keys to creating good video advertising:
- Mix and match lengths; vary with 10-30 second videos
- Keep the message simple – you don’t have to say everything, just say something that spurs their interest
- Make sure it can make an emotional connection without using sound since many people browse on silent mode
How to integrate video into your marketing strategy
When you’re developing your marketing strategy, it’s critical to examine your target market, pick the right channels and develop messaging that supports your programs key features and benefits. Make sure that your messaging is conducive to video, distill your information into key points and even use existing video footage pieced together to showcase your school in a way that maintains your brand.
If you’re looking for ways to integrate video advertising into your school’s marketing strategy, contact GPRS today.