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Colleges, universities, and independent schools are under increasing pressure today. With financial, societal, competitive, demographic, and global forces roiling private education, most institutions need to reassess their marketing strategies. These decisions have profound effects on your admissions, retention, and advancement campaigns.
Do you have a strategic marketing plan? Are you using the data from your website, email, and social media to discover what's of interest to your readers? Do you use personlization, benchmarking, and testing to develop and analyze your marketing campaigns?
* Content Marketing & Blogging
Data-driven Marketing & Analytics
* Lead Gen & Nurturing
* Video Marketing
* Social Media
Whew. Obviously we can’t cover all of these digital possibilities in depth. At EdChanges, we focus on those options that can be used to move the needle for a school, college, or university. Two of digital marketing’s unique features are the ability to target audiences and analyze results, which in education marketing usually focuses on enhancing applications, yield, word of mouth, fundraising, and rankings.
Primary Digital Marketing Options for Ed Marketers
Let’s explore these marketing channels and media a bit further:
Digital ads: There are several digital possibilities to consider depending on your goals. Banner ads, a bastion of the web for over 20 years, have been seen as declining for year but are always being reinvented, e.g. in retargeting, and remain a staple for many education marketers. "Native ads" that fit the look and feel of the advertiser's site and are often hard to distinguish from site content are increasing, as are interstitial ads and other forms that seek to break through the clutter. However, the biggest threat to banner ads is the growth of the newer search and social platforms noted below.
* Retargeting is a form of digital advertising that presents ads to web users based on their previous browsing, e.g. showing an ad for rental cars after the person visits a travel site. This cookie-based technology is highly personalized, and while it still causes some people unease for privacy reasons, delivers much higher response than banner ads. Schools, colleges, and universities are starting to test this very modern approach through Google or third parties with retargeting capability, or use their ad agency as a broker. Nearly half of search engine marketers believe retargeting is today's most underused marketing technology.
Search engine ads: Pay-per-click ads are a primary vehicle for advertising on the results page of an Internet search. Most educational institutions will not appear on the crucial first page of organic search results, and programs like Google AdWords allow them to buy a presence in the sponsored sections. PPC keyword ads only cost when a browser clicks, and they catch the individual in a searching mindset versus "interrupting" people when that product or service is not of primary importance.
Content marketing: Improving your reputation and results through content that interests and motivates your current or prospective constituents is a fast-growing segment of digital marketing in education as well as business. Learn more on our content marketing page.
Mobile marketing and text marketing: The astonishing and rapid convergence of wireless technologies,
networks, and smart phone capabilities discussed elsewhere on this site is reshaping the fundamentals
of digital marketing. Mobile apps have evolved to accompany phone-specific ad formats, mobile ad
serving platforms, and location-based features to propel advertising through smart phones, tablets, and
increasingly, new smart devices like watches. In higher ed especially, astute colleges and universities are
using a mid-90's invention, texting, to stay connected with applicants overwhelmed by massive email traffic.
Social media marketing: Facebook didn't reach over 1.2 billion (yes, b!) worldwide users without some brilliant insights into consumer behavior and advertising instincts. Sure enough, their ad program has advanced rapidly, with education marketers among its biggest fans. One of the main reasons is the exceptional targeting capabilities, allowing most every advertiser to hone its messages based on criteria such as demographics, interests, age, income, geography, "look-alike" characteristics to your target audience, and others. Twitter now offers an ad program as well, with less information yet available about its performance. Gain a strategic view on our social media page.
Video marketing: While this rocket ship of marketing growth isn't always included under digital marketing, it is noted here given its strategic importance and technology roots.To learn more about video marketing
opportunities to help exceed your institution's goals, see our complete web page.
If you seek improvements in your digital marketing program, or are unsure where to begin, we can help. William Bullard has handled a wide variety of digital marketing strategies and campaigns since the late 1990s and would welcome the chance to learn more about your marketing.
Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of marketing tools, technologies, and media. After springing up along with the Internet in the mid-90s, it has evolved from generic banner ads to increasingly sophisticated search engine improvements to mobile devices. Along the way, the umbrella concept that is also called digital advertising, online marketing, or Internet (web) marketing has come to potentially include content and inbound marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM - includes pay per click), retargeting, social media marketing, mobile apps, affiliate marketing, text marketing, video marketing, and influencer marketing.
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