August 13, 2019
Not so long ago, I was presenting a content marketing plan to a group of enrollment marketing professionals at a struggling law school. As I outlined an approach that included retargeting, geofencing, IP addressing, and a host of other outreach tactics, all designed to get prospects to some really great content, two of the clients looked at each other with mock horror on their faces and commented, “That’s really creepy.” I turned to them and responded, “It’s also fantastic.”
I know it sounds odd, but I really want you to consider building your enrollment marketing plan based upon the concept of “creepy fantastic.” It’s all about delivering relevant and engaging content to your prospective students, when and where they might be looking for it.
The key words here are “relevant” and “engaging.” I’m not talking about institution-focused messaging. I’m talking about content that has real value relative to the wants, needs, fears, and desires of your target audience. Anything else will disappoint and alienate your prospects.
The alleged “creepy” part comes from our evolving ability to do just that. Sure, you can create content and optimize the heck out of it. That’s extremely important, but it’s also a really s-l-o-w b-u-r-n and fraught with the vagaries of the ever-changing Google algorithm. You can’t bet your next class on Google.
Retargeting, for example, lets you reconnect with people who’ve visited your website, opened your email, clicked to a landing page, or searched on your relevant terms, but never gave up their information. You can then serve up relevant content offers as your prospect navigates the web. It’s a really effective way to deal with those ghostly stealth visitors.
Geofencing and IP addressing add another level of sophistication. Using these technologies, we can serve digital ads (by behavioral or demographic characteristics or through retargeting) to those who live in a certain area (for example, your primary recruiting footprint) or to those with email addresses at a certain institution or organization (for example, your best feeder schools for transfer students). The big search engines and media networks are offering new techniques like this every day.
The result? You significantly increase the effectiveness of your content by offering it directly to the people who want it most.
Creepy? Not really. Fantastic? Definitely.
To find out more about how you can put a little “creepy fantastic” into your enrollment marketing, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me in our Albany office at (518) 591-4640.