By: Mike Dean

The Education Industry

As kids get ready to start their summers and people start planning their summer trips, this is a good time to look towards the next school year. I don’t mean working on your post graduate degrees, I mean pitching your education clients! With 44% of education advertising dollars going to digital (Educational Marketing Group, 2017), there are a lot of dollars to be won in this vertical.

The education industry covers a wide range of students, so we’re dealing with a variety of demographics. No longer are we just targeting high school students and their parents for higher education. In fact, two in five students in higher education are 25 years or older (National Center for Education Statistics).

In addition to higher education, there are preschools, private schools, and local community education. There is plenty of opportunity in this vertical, but you want to make sure you’re presenting the right plan to your prospects if you want to win those budgets.

Advertiser Goals

Learn the client’s ultimate goal before building your plan to ensure you will select the tactics that will lead to the most success. Think about it: Planning for college or a post-graduate degree are BIG, EXPENSIVE decisions.

With a long buying cycle, it’s important to focus on each level of the sales funnel throughout the year and campaign. The media plan should ideally include an “always on” awareness campaign as this helps education clients stay top of mind during the long buying cycle. Ramping up to enrollment periods, site traffic campaigns help an education client showcase their programs, facilities, and schools. During enrollment periods, user action or conversion goals will help the advertiser track applications, information requests, contact forms, etc.

Have a discussion about ROI: How many students would they need to enroll from the campaign to cover its cost? This can be a super helpful exercise in justifying the spend.

Once you know the goal and schedule for the campaign, you can start to select tactics that would be effective in driving the desired result. Below are a few suggestions:

  • Audience Targeting – This could include parents, graduate school seekers, college students, and more. Find users who have shown a behavior or interest in education as well as those looking for education opportunities.
  • Hyperlocal – Use location to find a desired audience. For example, you can build geo-fences around high schools, colleges, or business areas of town.
  • Mobile Location Retargeting – Find audiences based on their past locations—college students, young professionals, and business travelers, for example.
  • Contextual Targeting –Reach users who are reading and consuming content about education, whether it’s at the college, graduate school, or K-6 level.
  • CRM Onboarding – You can upload your education advertiser’s CRM database (either physical or mailing addresses) to create a digital audience and reach them with display, video or native ads.
  • Retargeting – Re-engage users who have already shown an interest in the school, specific programs, or facilities. Building strong 1st party audiences can help re-engage users throughout the life cycle of the campaign.