Optimizing Your Ad Strategy For Higher Ed Marketing & Recruiting


By: Jarad Petroske Oct 07, 2018

Optimizing Your Ad Strategy For Higher Ed Marketing & Recruiting

Developing a comprehensive ad strategy has to consider many moving parts. You’ll need to choose platforms, determine your audiences, develop copy, and more.

With this guide from EducationDynamics, you’ll have three important ways to optimize your higher-ed ad strategy and help turn more potential students into enrollments.

Start Geofencing Your Mobile Ads

An optimized higher-ed ad strategy needs to rely on advanced targeting techniques.
In the 2018 Online College Student report, we found students were twice as likely to first encounter an online program from a paid ad as a social media post.

An optimized higher-ed ad strategy needs to rely on advanced targeting techniques.

Mobile ads should be a big part of your recruiting strategy. In the free report 2018 Online College Students, we found that 87 percent of prospective students (up from 80 in 2017) are researching schools on their mobile devices, so it’s essential your ads are part of their search. Geofencing is one way to make sure your ads are showing up while students are on the go.

Geofencing—or more technically “mobile location-based targeting”—allows you to target and reach students based on their location. You can identify top feeder high schools and reach students with specific calls-to-action.

Geofencing, IP targeting, and custom audiences have big potential for your online advertising strategy, but they’re just pieces in a bigger puzzle. We cover these tips and more in the free eBook, The Definitive Guide to Undergraduate Recruiting.

You can choose either radius targeting, where you identify a town or city and show ads to anyone within 25 miles (for example). Or you can select specific locations, like a high school campus, shopping mall, sports stadium, or other spots where prospective students gather.

You can also select to run ads when a person searches for a specific location. This could be useful if you’re hosting campus tours during summer and prospective students are searching the town your campus is in.

Use IP Addresses For Hyper Targeted Ads

With IP targeting, you can match a prospective student’s home address with their IP (internet protocol) address to send timely, personalized digital advertising to everyone in the household (including mom and dad). If your institution is already in the habit of buying search lists, you’ll have plenty of addresses for potential students. With IP mapping software you can match those physical addresses to IP addresses, allowing you to show ads to the very same students you’re targeting with your other marketing channels.

Create Custom Audiences from Your Search Lists

Facebook and Instagram give you the power to create custom audiences based on your contact’s data.

By matching the email addresses from your search lists to Facebook and Instagram accounts, you can deliver customized in-feed advertisements. You can invite these prospects to open houses, encourage them to visit your website, or connect with an enrollment counselor right from Facebook.

But a note of caution is in order here. Facebook is updating how advertisers interact with audiences in the wake of April’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal. For starters, Facebook introduced a Custom Audience Permission Tool in early July. Custom audience are powerful tools in higher ed recruiting.

Look to this blog for updates on Facebook’s policies soon.