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Target Students Where They Live ... Online!

Target Students Where They Live ... Online! Daryl Colwell
Students are spending more, finding more and sharing more information and ideas online. Those preparing for life after high school are likely conducting online research Googling colleges to attend. Such online activity should be viewed by college recruiters as a golden opportunity. For-profit higher education institutions attempting to reach their target audience - the prospective student - need to advertise online. A straightforward affiliate campaign can deliver qualified leads to online education landing pages ultimately increasing enrollment rates and lowering costs. But for even better results, try implementing display advertising and social media into your online recruiting campaign. Display advertising is a cost effective and efficient way to create brand awareness, thus, improving qualified leads and enrollment conversions. And by leveraging social media, you can score high student engagement marks, which can lead to spikes in enrollment and revenue.

In the digital age, "F" no longer stands for failing grades. Indeed, "F" stands for Facebook, which is dominating the marketplace as a display publisher. Facebook currently drives one trillion targeted impressions annually. And considering that over 46% of Facebook users are between the ages of 13 and 25, the social network is prime display advertising real estate for colleges and universities.  Affiliate advertisers should jump at the chance to align with education vertical publishers with access to a Facebook approved display network. This will ensure that your targeted, qualified leads stay Front and center with online universities. It will also enable affiliates to reach not only a given social user but that users’ extended friend network.

Online learning sites trust affiliate marketers and display advertisers to drive their desired results with precise targeting. But affiliate and display networks must earn that trust. Affiliates need to illustrate they have a commitment to best practices, proprietary technology, vertical experience and lead exclusivity. Display experts must help colleges and universities recruiting new students understand that display success is no longer determined solely by clicks. Measuring site visits, ad views and user attitudes are better indicators of successful engagement and conversion. Launching display ads on Facebook would increase these exponentially.

Audience-centric and behavioral targeted advertising on affiliate, display and social networks can help colleges and universities present relevant messaging to potential students. Proper leveraging of these channels is particularly effective because they target students who have already expressed interest in colleges and universities online. It finds those individuals that want to be found. And that’s critical strategically to prevent competitors from converting qualified student leads and ensure they get the right talent to keep their program on the right academic and acquisition tracks. The bottom line is your audience is online. Shouldn’t that be where you make with the introductions?


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