This post is the second in a series on digital marketing for online higher education courses. To read last week’s lesson, ‘A Crash Course in Marketing Your Online Courses,’ click here.
The key to program awareness is to target your ads in the areas where you have real chances to convert students. As an example, many schools striving to promote online courses find that ads targeting within a 50-mile radius of the school tend to be the “sweet spot” for marketing efficiency. And schools competing for students against well-established programs nearby often find marketing efforts outside of a 25-mile radius ineffective. So every situation is different but there is one constant – find your sweet spot.
Working from the inside out will help you determine this “sweet spot” and will ensure that your ads continuously stay relevant to the people seeing them. This also helps advertising messages to be perceived as more personal and relevant to those seeing them. While online courses allow students to receive an education from home, it is still important for students to feel like the university is their university.
Another important factor in developing your digital marketing strategy is to tailor your messaging towards the professional landscape in the area. One of the likely reasons that a prospective student is interested in online education is the ability to remain close to their home and existing job.
That’s why it’s important to understand the industries and opportunities in the area that you’ve targeted. Where in the country will your online programs find the most interested candidates? For example, if your programs are in technology and research, consider targeting the “The Research Triangle” in North Carolina. Finding pockets around the country where you will find a large concentration of interested candidates will lead to greater success by making your marketing dollars more effective.
Universities can now target prospective students during the times of day days of week when they know someone is actively searching for programs. Through online browsing data, we know that students who are interested in going back to school are doing so towards the first and last part of the week and during their lunch hour and later at night. Messaging can be specifically tailored to those students who are unhappy in their careers or aspire to rise in their careers.
Interested in increasing the efficiency of your online course marketing efforts?
There are many tips and tricks we’ve learned from helping several major universities succeed with their digital marketing campaigns. If you need better results from your online course advertising campaigns, give us a call. We are happy to share our knowledge. Contact Dan Diveley @ 314-727-5850 and let’s get talking!
Next lesson: Ease your budget tension – focus on student retention