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.
BY Anthony Campisi | September 26th, 2019
Industry Benchmark Data: How do you compare to the competition?
In higher ed marketing, a competitive analysis can help you gain insight into program trends, offerings and innovations. You can even determine how your competitors are creating their messaging to prospects and channels they are using. But if you’re not in their market it may be harder to gather intel. If you’re like many schools, you may have missing pieces of the puzzle like how peer schools are marketing and on what channels. You may even be wondering what they’re spending, how many leads they’re getting and where their students are coming from (hopefully it’s not your backyard). Wouldn’t it be great to have a marketing partner that has all of these answers, and more?
Filling in the gaps with industry benchmark data
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. But if you’re going to compete in a national (or global) market, being armed with additional information on how your competition thinks can only serve to enhance your strategy.
In addition to the standard competitive analysis areas, when comparing your marketing with your peers, here are the main categories that are important to benchmark:
- Leads – how many leads were obtained and how may turned into prospects and seated students
- Cost per click – what is the typical cost per click and cost per seated student by channel, area of the country, program
- Seasonality – what seasons are key recruiting periods? You may know your school’s seasonality based on recruiting events or past data, but there could be times of the year you are missing.
- Geographic Interaction – where are prospects coming from that are attracted to your type of program, where is your competition pulling from, and what radius should you target for the highest possible interactions?
- ROI – how much is your competition spending and where, what channels are working the best and how many seated students are they obtaining directly from their marketing spend?
- Messaging – what types of messages resonate the best in your geographic location and for your specific type of program?
How do you obtain this industry benchmark data?
Although we’d like to tell you that “there’s an app for that,” that’s unfortunately not the case. But partnering with GPRS will give you access to our proprietary platform, GP InsightsTM, that we’ve developed after years of collecting aggregate industry data. We are tracking real-time market data and can give you the type of insights you’re seeking to deepen your marketing strategy. With a subscription to the GP Insights platform, predictive analytics in the higher ed space is no longer the future, it’s available today.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can fill in the gaps of your competitive analysis, contact GPRS today.