Higher education marketing has changed drastically in the past few years. Thanks to strategies such as Pay per Click or PPC campaigns, higher education institutions can now design their campaigns to attract prospective students a lot more easily than before. Search engines continue to play an instrumental role in the way students carry out research and this has obviously forced marketers in higher education to step up.
PPC campaigns work on the principle that marketers only pay for results. This presents higher institutions with a perfect situation that only allows them to spend money on advertisements that attract seriously interested applicants. In practice, PPC campaigns sound straightforward, but there is a method to the madness for success to occur. Here are smart PPC guidelines for higher education marketing:
- Goal definition
One of the best things that a marketer can do to ensure the success of a PPC campaign is to start the process with a clear goal in mind. A lot of marketers often start on PPC initiatives without defining their goals, which almost always leads to failure. To prevent this from taking place, it is always best to have an objective in mind; for instance, a 5% rise in applications for vocational classes.
- Align PPC campaigns with the school’s goals
The objective of a higher education PPC campaign should be aligned well with that of the institution. This implies targeting the right audience with the right keywords while sticking to the set budget so that the institutions can see real value in their investment. Paid search management is also another strategy that can be utilized to align the PPC goals and that of the institution.
- Create custom landing pages
Custom landing pages for PPC campaigns make sure that prospective students have a page to land on when they click on an ad campaign. Although some marketers link a PPC ad to the school’s homepage, this often leaves visitors browsing the site aimlessly, which reduces the chances of conversion greatly.
- Regulations matter
Before PPC became extremely popular, most marketers would get away with using keywords of their choice in their ad text without any repercussions. Things are slightly different today as Google has regulations in place that restrict schools from using ad words such as employment in their copy to prevent higher education institutions from misleading students. As such, the regulations matter now more than ever before when it comes to PPC campaigns relating to colleges and universities.
- Focus on a specific audience
Almost all institutions of higher learning have to deal with tight budgets, and PPC campaigns are typically pricey. To ensure that a PPC campaign yields the intended results, marketers should concentrate on a specific audience that is likely to gain value from the paid search.