The spring 2020 educational landscape continues to evolve rapidly with the escalation of the COVID-19 virus. With each passing day, additional institutions across the United States push out dates for the return of in-person instruction. As we grapple with the very real possibility that high schools, community colleges, and universities may not be back in session this spring—in addition to the SAT and ACT getting postponed or cancelled—admission teams across the country are asking the same question: How can we build our pipeline for 2021 and beyond without purchasing lists, college fairs, and other in-person recruiting events at key feeder schools or locations?
As we touched on last week, content and digital marketing efforts are now more important than ever. In particular, mobile footprinting of feeder institutions has always been one of our most tried-and-true methods for building brand awareness, interest, and action among top prospects for our client partners—but many of our partners are wondering if geofencing is even still an option now that students aren’t in school. We’re here to tell you that it is—here’s how.
Leveraging lookback windows to reach students
Through our technology partner, Carnegie Dartlet has already geofenced all high schools and community colleges throughout the US, meaning we’re able to tap into the devices that have been captured at these locations at any time. While we won’t be capturing any new devices while students aren’t on campus, we can use a lookback window to deliver digital banner ads to any prospect’s device that was captured at that high school or community college within the past 180 days.
This strategy is called mobile footprinting; we use the fence drawn around the locations to tag the devices that have been there within those 180 days. We’re able to then serve those ads to these mobile devices wherever they are (which right now is mostly at home, probably while watching Netflix). Not only can we reach these mobile devices, but we can identify their home IP addresses and target all devices connected to those IPs. This means for high school students, we can also reach their parents or other influencers in the household. In the case of potential degree completion programs that are targeting community college students, this also means we can get in front of them (and their spouses or people who might be helping them make a decision to finish their degree) at home.
Now’s the time to get in front of students and family members
We need to be getting in front of students and their families to stay top of mind now more than ever. People are stuck at home, using all of their devices on rotation (laptops, TVs, streaming devices, phones, etc.), and we can easily catch their attention and continue to show them what your school has to offer. Their focus is very much still on their future, and it’s crucial that we continue to focus on reaching those who will help fill our pipeline for 2021 and beyond. Please reach out if you’d like to learn how we can help you reach these students who are no longer physically at your feeder locations but are instead stuck on their couch, on their devices, just waiting to hear from you.