As the possibilities of digital advertising continue to grow, the Department of Marketing is implementing new strategies to recruit prospective students.
The opportunities to reach potential graduate and undergraduate students through online advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google are unmatched – which is why the marketing team has invested more time and resources into these platforms as of late.
Part of that investment includes working with agency partners. While the College has worked with agencies before to support digital advertising, two new ones were selected this year to bring in fresh perspectives and strategies.
“There are several factors that go into choosing an agency to help place advertising,” said Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kristi Eaves-McLennan. “Two of the most important factors are their track records of success in achieving client goals and their experience in a competitive higher education environment.”
Expertise and expenses are also taken into account, as Eaves-McLennan and her team aim to maximize every dollar spent on advertising for Meredith. “We are constantly monitoring the performance of our ad campaigns and making tweaks based on data to improve the return on investment,” she said. “We do not take a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach.”
The ad campaigns have already shown signs of success since their launch. “Our undergraduate “Apply Now” advertising campaign resulted in more than 1,700 actions in August and September, which means prospective students took an action on our web site beyond clicking on the ad,” said Eaves-McLennan. “This campaign has performed so well that we’ve shifted more funds to it to continue boosting performance.”
Graduate and post-baccalaureate advertising performance is also looking good, though the campaigns are still early in their launch. “All campaigns are beating industry benchmarks for click through rates and a good number of leads are starting to come in,” Eaves-McLennan reported.
As those who frequent the Meredith website scroll through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Google Search, they may see ads for the College that feature fresh designs from the recent brand refresh. Machine learning is used to show ads to those who are most likely interested, based on internet activity.
Though agency partners work to hide ads from internal audiences to avoid wasted spend, it is not uncommon for students, faculty, and staff to see the occasional ad pop up on their newsfeeds. While the temptation to click the ads is understandable, doing so skews analytics and costs the College unnecessary money.
“If you see a Meredith ad on social media, share it to help increase exposure but don’t click on it or fill in the form,” said Eaves-McLennan.
As the campaigns continue to run, the Marketing Department is focused on meeting enrollment goals and increasing general awareness for Meredith.