Digital Byte: Popular Online Display FAQs

Carnegie Higher Ed Mar 18, 2014 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Whether you’re currently running an online display campaign or you’re considering executing one, there is plenty to consider—and we get plenty of questions along the way! That’s why we wanted to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Carnegie—from the ins and outs of Retargeting to the best ways of analyzing your display campaign. We hope you find them helpful as you move through your display marketing plans this spring. (And if you have any other questions, you know who to call!)

Q. I have an event in just four weeks that I need to promote. Is it too late to market it via a targeted display campaign or Retargeting?

A. No, four weeks is not too late! While a longer time period can be ideal for some campaigns, pushing a specific call to action to a highly concentrated demography in just a month’s time can often pack the biggest punch. Once your goal is clear, define your target audience and geography. Also ensure your landing page is set up to receive the new increases in multi-device site traffic and has easy navigation to sign up, apply, or take whatever next step your call to action indicates. Then you can build the banner ads and let the recruitment begin!

Q. How exactly does Retargeting work? And does is violate schools’ privacy policies?

A. Here’s how it works at Carnegie: the Retargeting code or container tag that is placed on your site is designed by Google. The code fires when someone visits a designated area of your site and places a passive cookie in that visitor’s browser. That cookie then allows your banner ads to be served to visitors after they leave your website. It’s a great tool for reengaging current prospects, reminding them of your offerings, and encouraging them to come back and take more action.

As for the privacy violation, it’s a common question, and the good news is no, Retargeting shouldn’t break any privacy policies. Here at Carnegie we partner with Google on this front, and we’ve never run into an issue. For more information, check out Google’s information on privacy or AdWords policies.

Q. What’s the difference between keyword targeting and PPC?

A. Keyword targeting is a form of display advertising, and Pay Per Click is paid search. In keyword targeting, your banner ads are shown alongside content that contains chosen keywords. For example, choosing keywords with your school’s name will show your banner ads alongside content on websites with articles about recent news related to your institution. Some other keyword targeting strategies include highlighting popular athletes, recent program changes, professors in the news, or high-profile events.

Keyword targeting is very different than PPC, where text ads are shown in the search engine results page as a result of someone querying specific keywords you’ve chosen to bid on. While both strategies are similar in that you’re capturing people while they are engaged in related content online, they are very different in strategy, depending on the goals of your program.

Q. I want my school to have a targeted display program, but we don’t have the bandwidth to produce ads and landing pages in house.

A. Never under estimate the power of strong creative. It often has a direct correlation between high engagement and ROI. If you aren’t equipped to design banner ads in-house, then Carnegie can produce them for you! Our team of designers works exclusively in the education industry, and we can build both static and animated ads, write copy, and design calls to action that fit the needs and goals of your institution. We recommend ads point to an area on your website where prospective students can easily learn more and take the next steps. No unique landing pages are necessary. However, if you do want them, we can work with your Web team to ensure you build them with all the best practices in mind, so your campaign is set up for success.

Q. How can I tell if a display campaign is working for my school?

A. There are a few ways to track a display campaign’s performance. In addition to the basic performance metrics, including impressions, clicks, CTR, creative delivery, top geographies and websites, etc., you can also see conversions. For example, if a goal of your campaign is to get inquiries, then a conversion strategy is recommended to track those. Conversions can be tracked with a piece of code, similar to the Retargeting code, and will only report on the conversions that took place as a result of your display program.

With any display campaign, whether it’s targeted outreach, keyword targeting, or Retargeting, you want to ensure it’s having a positive impact on your website by looking at your Google Analytics. An easy way to do that is to append UTM codes to your landing pages, so that there is a clean referral source in your analytics that traces back to those that click on a banner ad. This allows for attribution anywhere from measuring positive trends (pathways, pages per visit, time on site) to advanced tracking, such as setting up conversion funnels. At Carnegie, we work with you to help you do it all so no campaign is left a mystery.

To learn more about getting started on a display campaign or any of our other digital services, contact us today!

Follow Angie on Twitter @AngieMayWard


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