Remarketing Advertising for Higher Education

Posted: January 8, 2014

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You’ve seen them. The shoes you browsed an hour ago on Amazon are now staring at you while you read an article from your favorite news source. They pop up again when you log into Facebook.

The opportunity this kind of advertising technology creates for retailers is obvious, but what about the higher education marketer? How can remarketing advertising technology push the needle in your institution’s or program’s marketing efforts?

In short, it’s about lead nurturing. In the same way that the shoe, breadmaker, automobile, etc. seller reconnects with prospective buyers after they’ve moved on, higher education marketers can use remarketing ad technology to stay top of mind during their prospects’ decision making process.

Here’s a quick overview of the basic steps that are critical to running a successful remarketing campaign:

1. Place the remarketing pixel on your website.

Regardless of which of the many remarketing technology companies you decide to do business with, there are some common elements that you’ll find with each.

Your process will likely start with the remarketing tag. It’s the snippet of javascript that goes into the HTML of your website. It allows your chosen remarketing partner to build a list of users to whom you can target for advertising.

2. Segment your users into lists.

The options are virtually endless when it comes to the methods you can deploy when it comes to slicing and dicing your big pool of website users into narrowly identified targets.

Here are a few examples of ways that you can segment your remarketing audience:

  • All website visitors
  • Visitors who viewed specific pages of your site (events, admissions requirements, academic departments, etc.)
  • Visitors who completed a specific conversion action
  • Visitors who did not complete a conversion action
  • Visitors who accessed the site from a particular source

3. Create targeted ad creative and calls to action for each segment.

Once you’ve created the segments that are most effective in helping to achieve your goals, you are ready to address the messaging, creative, calls to action and channels through which you want to reconnect with your user segments.

Because users who are eligible to be served remarketing ads have already visited designated pages on a website, remarketing ads are considered a lower Top of the Funnel or Middle of the Funnel messaging opportunity. Messaging and calls to action should be developed with each user segments’ place in the buying process in mind.

4. Target, test, iterate and measure ROI.

The advertising inventory open to remarketing placements differs by the remarketing technology company. You can use the remarketing features of Google’s AdWords and Analytics data to access inventory across the Google Display Network.

Other companies like AdRoll tout their connections to multiple inventory sources. One of the newest sources of inventory is the Facebook Exchange (FBX). The Facebook Exchange is an ad system that allows for real-time bidding (RTB) related web browsing and third party data integration. Facebook grants access to the exchange through its selected demand-side platforms (DSPs).

Testing different types of visuals and calls to action will help you narrow down the most effective methods for appealing to your users. When it comes to remarketing, the cliched acronym/rule is still valid: ABT (always be testing).

Use the same metrics and strategies for quantifying ROI that are used in other forms of pay-per-click advertising. Make sure that your costs per click and cost per conversion are sustainable and look for opportunities to improve your conversion rates for even more effective campaigns.

The Bottom Line

When standing out in the marketplace is a challenge and optimizing your conversions is a key tactic in achieve your marketing goals, remarketing ad technology can be a major asset in your advertising tool belt.

Drop us a line or leave a comment if you have questions about advertising in the higher education space. We’re always glad to chat.