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A related story about related stories (04/03/2017)

Posted on Apr 3, 2017

IF YOUR MARKETING RESEMBLES A SPHERE… UH-OH: If your marketing could be rolled down a hill, then there’s a big problem. Do you see where I’m going with this? POINTLESS, like a sphere. If you aren’t using marketing technology to track, analyze, and report your marketing efforts in order to learn and grow from them, then what is the point? Analyzing and reporting allows you to assess which marketing campaigns were most successful, and more importantly, what made them successful so that you can repeat it in the future. According to an eMarketer survey featured on Contently, 62 percent of senior marketers in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. say the main reason they use marketing technology is to better understand customers and prospects.

Why you should care: Reaching potential students can be a difficult task, especially when other universities are attempting to reach them as well. In order to boost your marketing efforts and ensure you aren’t wasting money, you need to track each of your campaigns and determine what worked and what didn’t. Learning from previous campaigns and then adapting and making changes is a vital part of higher education marketing. When dealing with a younger audience, like college students, you need to stay on top of trends and techniques that appeal to their age group. Constantly monitoring your marketing efforts is the best way to see if you’re speaking to them in a “language” they understand.

WE’RE ALL JUST BIG BABIES: A picture says 1,000 words, so don’t write 1,000 words, because odds are nobody is going to read all of it. A baby enjoys the pictures in a book, more than the words, because they’re visually appealing. Well, it turns out that every other age group likes pictures, too. Articles with an image every 75-100 words receive double the social media shares when compared to articles with fewer images. It’s beneficial in so many ways: It breaks up the page, provides the reader a different feel, and increases memory recall. Infographics are a great way to display information in a format that is engaging and also provides quality information to your audience.

Why you should care: With the constant need for information to be delivered in the shortest and simplest way possible, images and infographics provide you with the perfect opportunity to reach and engage those potential students who might be hesitant to read a full blog post or ebook. Creating the perfect blend of information and visual appeal is not easy, but if you dedicate the time there is potential for a huge payoff.

A RELATED STORY ABOUT RELATED STORIES: You know when you start reading something but realize it’s not exactly what you wanted? Related articles that are located at the bottom of the page are usually the go-to for people looking for similar, but better, information. According to Ben Peskoe, a Facebook marketing executive, you will soon be able to compete for related article advertisement space located within Facebook’s new Instant Articles section. This type of advertising is expected to be wildly popular, since you will be reaching people who are already reading something related to your promoted content piece. Essentially, everyone who sees your advertisement will be at least somewhat interested, which is more than you can say for most of your other forms of advertising.

Why you should care: If a potential applicant is looking up information about graduate schools and your sponsored post is listed as a related article, at the bottom of the original post, then they are more likely to read it than someone who is just seeing a regular social media ad about your university. These readers are looking for specific content at times, and if you have what they’re looking for, then you will be placed at the forefront. And everyone in marketing knows that’s the place you want to be.

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Bringing you a 60-second update on the latest trends in Higher Education Marketing each Monday morning. We stay on top of everything happening out there — the tweets, snaps, blogs, newsblasts, etc. — and bring you a summary of the stuff that is actually worth reading.

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