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Research, Marketing & Recruitment

Online Paid Ads: They Matter More Than Ever

pay-per-click conceptToday’s students are the point-and-click generation, meaning that if your paid ad is creative, colorful, and interactive, they are likely to click to learn more. In fact, the 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report found that of the 67% of high school seniors and 68% of juniors who saw paid ads for colleges and universities, 41% of seniors and 45% of juniors actually CLICKED on the paid ads.

This presents a huge opportunity for your marketing efforts to take advantage of Google search, banner ads, and retargeting. Not only is digital advertising driving awareness and allowing schools to feature offers and pointed messaging, but it is leveling the playing field for colleges and universities.

Why do students click on college or university ads?

Juniors want ads to help them find new information or provide a better website experience. Thirty percent of seniors and 44% of juniors surveyed said they would visit the main website for a school they saw in an ad, even if they didn’t click on the ad. Another 60% of seniors and 54% of juniors would do so, but only if they were already interested in the school.

What can you learn from the data?

  • Ads engage and build your brand.
    Four out of 10 students click on a paid ad. This gives you an opportunity to engage prospects and build your applicant pool. More than ever, paid ads help you build brand awareness.

  • Adjust your ads as students advance through the enrollment process.
    Paid ads give you a chance to tailor your ads, and the best way to do this is to have them adjust as students move through the enrollment process. College-bound seniors and juniors have different objectives and respond better to messages addressed specifically to their needs.

  • Multichannel advertising matters.
    Only 12% of seniors and 26% of juniors clicked on ads for institutions they didn’t know. Digital ads are effective and trackable, but they work best when part of a strategic, multichannel campaign.

The effectiveness of your marketing campaign comes down to how it is engaging prospective students through your ads and placing ads where these students surf on the web.

To learn more about trends in digital engagement, download the complete 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report. 

Download report

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