Digital advertising has revolutionised the education marketing landscape, offering unparalleled opportunities. But are digital ads in education marketing effective?
Reports indicate that recruitment activity is on the increase, after a 60% decline during the height of the pandemic. From this data, we can infer that such digital strategies are at least partially responsible for this regrowth, due to their ever-growing presence in today’s education sector.
Digital ads offer unparalleled opportunities to engage, inform and persuade prospective students about the benefits of an educational institution. Let’s explore their relevance:
One of the primary advantages of digital ads in education marketing is the ability to reach a wide and highly targeted audience. With a Google study revealing that 58% of students turn to search engines first when they begin research for higher education, the importance of digital advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads cannot be overstated. These platforms permit institutions to precisely define their target audience based on specific criteria, thus ensuring ads are shown to individuals who are more likely to be interested in educational offerings, in turn capitalising on potential customers via search engines.
Moreover, digital ads provide an opportunity to reach potential students beyond your immediate geographic area. Whether you offer online courses or have campuses in different locations, digital advertising allows you to expand your reach nationally or even globally. This level of targeting and reach can significantly enhance your education marketing efforts.
Digital advertising presents a cost-effective approach compared to traditional advertising methods. With digital ads, educational institutions have greater control over their budget and can allocate resources more efficiently. Unlike print ads or billboards that require a significant investment, digital ads allow you to set a specific budget and pay only when someone interacts with your ad (clicks or conversions). According to Wordstream, the average cost-per-click (CPC) for education marketing is £1.92, implying that the measurability of results/metrics such as CPC can be used to optimise campaign budgets.
Additionally, the ability to target specific audiences with digital ads ensures that your budget is spent on reaching individuals who are more likely to be interested in your educational programs. This targeted approach eliminates wasted ad spend, making digital advertising a cost-effective strategy for education marketers.
Another key advantage of digital advertising in education marketing is the ability to measure and analyse campaign performance in real-time. Unlike traditional advertising methods, digital ads provide detailed insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.
For example, 2020 saw Loyola University yield a 149% increase in organic search, and a 165% increase in direct traffic to their website after utilising a SaaS (Software as a Service) to track metrics and audit their website to increase it’s visibility. Actionable data helped them to fill content gaps, optimise content and better-address FAQs. Simultaneously, they were able to measure the impact the changes had on ongoing website performance and ROI.
In a similar manner to a SaaS, digital advertising platforms can offer comprehensive analytics tools that track key metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions and engagement rates. These insights help you evaluate the success of your ad campaigns, identify areas for improvement and optimise your strategies accordingly. From here, you can analyse the performance of different ads, platforms, target audiences and ad formats to refine your marketing approach continuously.
By strategically placing ads across relevant online platforms and channels, you can expose your brand to a broader audience, increasing recognition and familiarity. To highlight the importance of a heightened web presence, a recent study revealed that 90% of incoming first year students at an Australian university were concerned about having a consistent digital experience from their institution, clearly showcasing how digital familiarity fosters trust and credibility amongst students.
Consistent and targeted digital advertising campaigns can reinforce your institution’s value proposition and unique selling points, allowing potential students to become familiar with your institution and offerings. This increased brand awareness helps establish authority, ultimately driving more enrolments and applications.
Digital advertising allows you to leverage retargeting and personalisation techniques, which are powerful tools. By using tracking pixels or cookies, you can retarget individuals who have previously interacted with your website or shown interest in your educational programs.
By retargeting, you can deliver tailored ads to these warm leads, reminding them of your institution and encouraging them to take the next step. This personalised approach significantly improves conversion rates and increases the likelihood of attracting highly qualified students.
The biggest advocate for this kind of personalisation is arguably the most important when discussing higher education – Gen Z students. According to market research company Unsupervised, 81% of Gen Z internet users say they like personalised ads. That compares to only 57% of millennials and 43% of baby boomers, clearly showcasing the advertising preference of today’s potential customers.
It seems that the answer to the question: ”Do digital ads work in education marketing?” is a resounding yes. When implemented strategically and with a focus on targeting, personalisation and measurement, digital ads have the potential to transform education marketing efforts and drive tangible results for learning institutions. With this in mind, don’t miss out on the opportunity to harness the awesome power Saturate, and our wide range of digital advertising services.
Reach out to us, and start engaging with your ideal candidates today. Allow us to expertly plot the course of your digital ad campaigns with our educational expertise, and reap the benefits for yourself.