There’s no magic bullet for marketing anymore. When JMH designs marketing strategies for schools, we never depend on any one platform. Instead, we design an “ecosystem” combining (usually) 3-6 marketing platforms with landing pages, microsites, email drip campaigns, and more. Google Paid Search is almost always part of it and so are Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and Bing Paid Search. But these tools have been around for years and competition is rising. That’s why JMH explores different channels and methodologies. Now, we want to share a few new platforms that may become a bigger part of your marketing mix in the coming years …
Content Syndication allows you to promote a blog post, article, or any other content you can publish on your site on other websites with a link back to your original page. You can see examples of syndicated articles on websites like Forbes or CNN. This is a chance to raise awareness and reach people. It’s also fairly inexpensive.
Content Syndication providers include Outbrain, Nativo, or Taboola. The upside? Your content will appear on major websites. The downside? Targeting is limited mostly to geography.
Twitter is not just for teenagers. Currently, around 20 million Twitter users are between the ages of 25 and 44. Twitter ads allow you to target based on behaviors (industry, net worth, generation, etc.), keywords, geography, interests and demographics. In addition, you can target followers of specific Twitter handles — which can instantly create a customized audience. Right now, Twitter is not as expensive as Google AdWords and its targeting capability makes it quite effective for some programs.
Instagram has 77 million users — with almost 28% of them hailing from the United States. Right now, 90% of Instagram’s population is under the age of 35. However for some programs, such as undergraduate degree completion, this can be a great fit.
Instagram allows you to run ads as a Photo, a Video, or a Carousel. The company is now owned by Facebook, so you can create ads through the same Ads Manager or Power Editor you use for Facebook ads. Another benefit of Facebook owning Instagram is that you can use the same targeting used for Facebook ads.
Pinterest officially launched Promoted Pins last January, but limited who could participate. Now, it’s fairly easy to get access to their advertising platform if you have an active Pinterest account. Promoted Pins (Pinterest’s name for ads) are similar to paid ads on other marketing platforms. You can target by geography, some demographics, and customer interest. You are charged when someone clicks on your pin which can direct you to a landing page or microsite.
Pinterest is still a majority female marketing channel, but as with many platforms, for the right program, you can promote tools and ideas that align with your program and serve your audience. The visuals also challenge you to be creative and eye-catching.
Google rolled out a revamped version of Gmail ads in late September 2015. The ads appear in Gmail users’ inboxes on the Promotions tab. Most targeting options available in Google Display can be used with Gmail ads. The ads appear initially as a collapsed ad at the top of the Promotions tab. When someone clicks on the ad, it expands to full size (much like opening an email), at which point a prospective student can interact with the ad.
As of May 2015, 900 million people use Gmail. That’s a lot of prospective students. Gmail also continues to see growth in their mobile app.
What is your favorite online marketing platform? When is the last time you tested something new? If you’re ready to get beyond Google AdWords, JMH would love to help. Call us at 404-312-3999.