For many college-bound seniors, the college search is an exciting, overwhelming, and lengthy process filled with a tremendous amount of information. For institutions, due to the complexity and time involved with college choice, marketing to these students can be just as stressful and painstaking. Online advertising is one channel building momentum at colleges and universities vying for increased enrollment amidst a dwindling prospect population. In fact, of the more than 600 million dollars spent by higher education marketers on paid ads last year, twenty-four percent ($152.3 million) went to Internet display advertising, according to research by Educational Market Group. Nonetheless, no matter how much budget institutions commit to online advertising, display ads are only effective if seen by prospective students at least three times. An ad needs to be seen an average of seven times before they are ready to take the first step and request information. With soaring keyword bids, meager budgets, and multiple touch points necessary to make an impression on a single student, rinse-and-repeat marketing efforts are the key to guiding prospects from awareness to enrollment.

Remarketing, a marketer’s best friend

This is where remarketing comes into play.  At a high level, remarketing allows you to display banner and/or text ads to students who have already visited your website.  With extra customization, marketers can create visitor lists based on website navigation patterns and target specific visitors who were not initially receptive to your ad’s call-to-action, such as requesting more information or joining a subscriber list.

Remarketing campaigns also provide very specific advantages to institutions during multiple phases of a student’s researching process.  For example, during the initial phase of a student’s research, remarketing can offer schools:

  1. Audience Targeting: Institutions can target specific segments by demographics, interests, and geography.  Using these added layers, marketers responsible for enrolling students into the accounting program can execute a remarketing campaign targeting 24 – 55 year-olds, living in and around your campus, that are interested in financial news.
  2. Branding: This is a no-brainer. The more prospective students come in contact with your brand, the more likely your brand will become memorable and recognizable. Remarketing campaigns help your college/university’s branding efforts by allowing you to stand out from the competition and exposing your brand to potential students, more often then not keeping your institution “top of mind.”
  3. Cost effectively educates your audience: Since visitors have already been on your site and added to the remarketing list, you now have the ability to target a smaller segment of potential students with a broader keyword set while maintaining a lower average cost per click. How? There is less competition for keywords once you get this targeted with your ad campaign.
  4. Increases leads and improves site conversion rates: Remarketing re-engages site visitors who have already shown interest in your brand, providing opportunity to create a more relevant message that will move prospects along their decision path. A simple lead nurturing concept, re-engagement often leads to a higher conversion rate as institutions “continue the conversation” with interested students. 

When effectively run, a remarketing campaign can help institutions influence college choice and spend marketing dollars more effectively, leading to increased conversion rates. So what are you waiting for? Add the remarketing tag to your site and get started!


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