More industries are shifting to digital advertising thanks to its convenience and ability for wide reach and there’s no sign of slowing down. Search, banners, social media, and videos are currently the most popular advertising form for marketers.
The beauty of digital advertising is that it can be handy for any business or organization. Even in the education industry where marketing seemed a luxury, it’s now helpful. It may also be the missing key in the higher education sector, especially with studies showing colleges face increasing declines in enrollments.
Most of your target prospects spend their time online. While traditional strategies limited you to a local audience, you’re now able to target global prospects.
All signs show that digital advertising is the road to take your college or business to the next level. This article will show you the tips to build a decent digital advertising strategy.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital advertising is a modern strategy used to promote businesses on online platforms. It targets internet users through digital devices such as phones or laptops.
Unlike traditional advertising, you have more marketing freedom with digital advertising. You’re able to leverage the most productive channels or combine several mediums. You can post an ad on Facebook and use it to collect email addresses.
What makes it highly powerful is its speed and reliance on data. You can send real-time messages, create timeless content, and track channel performance.
For instance, a college in Pasadena, CA, can establish the exact source and number of searches for a particular course. They can then use the information to create relevant targeted Facebook ads.
What are Digital Advertising Strategies?
Digital marketing also comes with various strategies that you can use. Sometimes, not every medium will work for some content or your targeted audience. It’s always reasonable to work with a digital advertising agency to establish what can be useful.
Here are some top services to expect from digital advertising companies
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social media marketing
- Video production
- Local SEO
- Adwords management
- Reputation management
- Inbound marketing
- Facebook ads
- Content marketing
Strategies are not limited to this list. Check out the following tips on using digital advertising to help you build authority.
1. Have a Plan
A plan is a must-have for a successful digital advertising strategy. No matter your digital advertising agency’s expertise level, you’ll need to set benchmarks and outline your expectations. Even for colleges, it can be tricky to track marketing results without real numbers.
How do digital advertising companies follow up implemented strategies and confirm performance? Successful digital marketing strategies start with a plan. A plan guides goals and objectives and provides measurable targets.
One of the most important things to figure out is the targeted audience. Who do you want to reach with your ads and messages? If your audience is niche-based, you may still need to break it down further. A college can have separate strategies targeting local and international students.
Then you’ll need to set goals for your digital advertising strategy to be meaningful. Define what you expect from each campaign. Do you want to promote a particular course, boost engagement or even increase enrollments or subscriptions?
Above all, you need a budget to fund your marketing efforts. Most companies reduce spending on traditional advertising to drift to digital advertising. One study shows most firms are planning to increase spending on digital tactics to 54% in the next three years.
2. Understand Your Prospect’s Journey
Some major marketing fails include campaigns that don’t consider the prospects’ pain points and needs. There’s an established consistent pattern that leads to conversions. It’s a guide to a buyer’s journey and often it results in more positive outcomes.
A defined buyer’s journey helps to establish what the buyer is up to. Are they aware of your products, services or programs and their pain points? If yes, what are they searching on Google?
Early on (when your brand is unknown) it’s best to focus on awareness content. Let your customers or prospects know what your institution is about. Create awareness and use strategies to inform targets of what you do and how you can help them.
Once your audience is aware of you, you can proceed to educate them. Share informative downloads, testimonials and reviews. At this stage, you can start tracking insights and collecting prospects’ information.
A good prospects’ journey framework should ultimately convert traffic into qualified leads. This is because it tracks and channels prospects to join your brand. For instance, when searches are highly specific, your digital advertising agency can recommend more boastful content.
3. Do Your Research
Prospects may behave differently here compared to offline mediums. There are many behind-the-scenes dynamics to each internet marketing strategy. Plus, your competitors may be way ahead with an unshakeable online presence.
Research equips you with the data to overcome all the possible challenges. It also opens up your eyes to competitor strategies and what top brands do to stay on the top. Most digital marketing strategies are data-driven. So research is a prerequisite for apt decisions.
Digital advertising companies focus their research on the targeted audience, competition, and digital mediums. Knowing how the targeted audience behaves on digital media can enable you to focus on the right channels.
An analysis of competitors can give hints of what keywords they are using to rank on search engines. You can also be able to establish the most visited content and craft a strategy to beat it.
4. Build SEO
SEO is one of the most demanding digital advertising strategies. Once you figure it out, you can reap from it for many years without extra effort.
At first, it may involve a lot of research. You need to know what people are searching for and which keywords are more effective. You also have to keep up with Google updates and the ever-evolving search engine crawlers.
That said, you’re still able to build an effective SEO strategy and rank on Google’s first page within one year. For starters, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, loads faster and easy to use. Most searches happen from smartphones.
Plus, every internet user doesn’t wait to wait on sluggish pages. When targeting a youthful niche, your website must be super interactive. SEO also demands that your content is ever fresh, engaging, informative, and useful.
It would also help to have a local SEO strategy. Most knowledgeable internet users are likely to use highly specific keywords. For instance, a prospective student looking for a college in Pasadena, CA, may use the following keywords. Colleges in Pasadena or Pasadena City College.
5. Take Advantage of Social Media and Facebook Paid Ads
One of the top strengths of digital advertising is that it has a way of reaching prospects on the platforms they love. Today, Facebook has over 2.6 billion active monthly users. Young adults continue to dominate the usage statistics of most social media sites.
Anyone not using social media for digital marketing is missing on a traffic goldmine. Social media marketing works for any industry. Case in point, 41% of universities attribute their increased enrollments to social media marketing.
There are digital advertising examples of successful learning institutions that use social media marketing. The University of Nevada, Reno creates trendy posts to stay relevant. With 60,740 followers, you can say social media is helping their brand.
Facebook or any social media site enables your brand to stay in the minds of targeted prospects. You can engage followers in real-time and post current events or upcoming ones. You’ll be able to answer personal inquiries to connect with your targets via DMs
Thanks to Facebook analytics, you’re always aware of the best performing campaigns. You can figure out improvements and come up with impeccably effective campaigns. If you want to quicken marketing results, you can use targeted Facebook ads to reach desired and qualified audiences.
6. Use Video Marketing and Testimonials
Video is the king of digital advertising. Because of video content, most Millenials and Gen Zers are moving to video-intensive platforms. A new survey shows 89% of Gen Zers use YouTube than any other social media site.
This means, if you’re a marketer it’s time to produce more video content. Every serious brand needs to focus on building its online presence through Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram TV.
Fortunately, videos can work across platforms. You can blend videos with your blog content to make it more attractive and boost your SEO. You can share one video on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
However, only high quality and interesting videos can help your digital advertising strategy. Think of the content that’s most likely to grip your audience. Consider a video testimonial about honest experiences about your school or a video or a virtual tour around your college can immerse prospects into what they are to expect.
7. Combine Digital Advertising Platforms
Digital marketing platforms can sometimes be unpredictable. An in-vogue social media site can water down your many years of marketing efforts. Google updates can drop your website’s rankings. Sometimes, one or two platforms can go down and leave you feeling stuck.
The secret to a stable and prosperous online experience is to combine digital advertising mediums. You don’t own equity in any of these sites and when they struggle your brand shouldn’t suffer a lot.
Your targeted prospects may be scattered and you’ll need to know how to reach them in multiple ways. Some people prefer consuming website content while others love videos. Be sure to invest your time and efforts in an omnipresent strategy that helps to carry your brand across various platforms.
8. Mind Your Reputation
Messages spread quickly in this digital era. A simple social media post can reach millions of people within a few seconds. If your brand gets its strategy right, it can boast an excellent image very fast. In contrast, a poor plan can dim your brand’s reputation.
For a sustainable reputation, it would help to mind what you’re posting. Have a team to review all campaigns before they go live. Work with expert digital advertising companies to enjoy a professional touch to your strategies.
Above all, try to stay away from controversial subjects or topics. If you do comment on these topics, be sure that its with empathy, compassion and lots of research. Remember, no one wants to work with a tainted institution or brand.
9. Blend PR With Digital Advertising
As much as you’re going digital, you’ll still need to manage the spread of information. The public shouldn’t rely on hearsay but rather factual information from your organization.
There are also exclusive updates that must comply with the proven practices used for PR campaigns. For example, you need to announce the latest news, launch new programs, or demonstrate your CSR.
You’ll need to find the online press releases or publications that are popular with your prospects. You can also collect emails and send tailored newsletters to your subscribers.
10. Keep up With the Performance Metrics
Not every digital advertising strategy will produce expected results. Even at the start, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t. Also, some ideas may take a while before being productive, for instance, organic marketing.
The best way to run digital marketing is always to pay attention to analytics. Watch out for the best-performing Facebook ads or posts on social media. Track the blog posts which are driving the most traffic and identify the strategy which converts the most.
You can figure out what your best weapons are and what is letting you down by observing analytics. You can then boost the best performing content and improve the trailing ones for better results.
Build Your Digital Advertising Strategy
Digital advertising is the key to unlock your branding potential. Colleges and training schools can equally use online tactics to great success. Start with the tips in this guide to revamp your brand and boost traffic.
Remember, it’s a process that you must track and continuously improve for longterm success. Contact us today for assistance with your digital advertising strategy.