Digital Byte: Master a Retargeting Campaign

Carnegie Higher Ed Jul 08, 2014 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

We’ve all heard the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none.” As a recent home buyer, I value my husband’s ability to transform from a plumber to a mechanic and then a carpenter all in one (very long) weekend. It’s certainly convenient, and not to mention a money-saver. But when it comes to the big things, like tree removal, we leave it to the experts. Marketing is not so unlike house repairs. Working with an agency that specializes in higher-education marketing, versus an agency that dabbles in a little of everything, can make or break a campaign’s effectiveness. Retargeting is a very good example of a service that requires expertise. While any agency, or even your in-house marketing team, can tag some pages and serve up decent banner ads, it takes a true understanding of the higher education industry, coupled with experience, to execute a competitive campaign with superior results.

With summer in full swing, this is an ideal time to implement such a Retargeting campaign. Your website is getting some new eye balls on those pages, as prospective seniors are doing their summer college research. But it’s not just the students doing the homework; parents are on the college prowl as well, trying to figure out which school is the right fit for their kids. Retargeting with timely, attention-grabbing messaging is critical to gaining the attention of these initial visitors, reminding them that there’s still more to learn. Ultimately, summer is an opportunity to reengage your audience in order to get them to inquire in the early stages, which reduces those stealth applicants later. Messaging should be unique to both parents and students, discussing various aspects of your school, such as financial assistance options and location benefits.

Then, as fall approaches, there’s a huge spike in traffic on campus and online! Retargeting cannot be understated at this time of year. By tagging this new traffic, you’re generating an enormous pool of candidates that you can isolate further based on which areas of your website they visited. With these segments, you can then begin to refine your creative messaging as well by incorporating video and detailed messages with call-to-actions that drive them back to your site, where they can take those final steps in registering for an open house, applying, etc. We know from experience the importance of personalized, targeted messaging at this time of year.

There are several marketing strategies to incorporate this summer and fall, and we consider Retargeting to be a big one. No matter what the season, there’s a revolving door on your homepage that prospective students pass through, and you need to continually connect and re-engage them through frequent, timely messaging as they move further along the funnel. When combined with other digital and traditional marketing efforts, Retargeting can prove to be a powerful tool in your wheelhouse. While anyone can piece a campaign together, you shouldn’t settle for a Jack. Recruiting the right students for your school is a long-term investment that requires execution by a company with the right knowledge, experience, and tools to have a meaningful impact on your yield.

Angie can be found on twitter @angiemayward.

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