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Don’t Be Afraid of Big Brother: Why Remarketing Is Awesome for Reaching Higher Education Prospects

We’ve all experienced this scenario: After shopping online for a certain item of clothing, that same item follows you around the internet on almost every other site you visit, prodding you to make the purchase. This is a re-marketing campaign, which tags a user after visiting a website and enables advertisers to serve ads to already-interested prospects. It’s a common digital marketing tool and, in some people’s opinion, a little creepy. I’d argue it’s helpful to see ads you’re actually interested in as opposed to more random fare. It is also an effective and cost-efficient tactic for higher education marketers. Here’s why:

  • Prospects are no longer spending solid blocks of time on their desktop computers researching your college or univiersity; they’re now shopping in “micro moments.” These moments are the quick check of your phone while standing in line or the fast swipe just before bed. In fact, 90% of smartphone users use their devices to make progress toward a long-term goal while out and about. This change in behavior increases the necessity for that extra reminder remarketing campaigns provide.
  • You’re virtually guaranteed to reach your target audience by running a remarketing campaign with just Facebook and Google Display Network (GDN). GDN serves 90% of the internet users worldwide, and Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users. Chances are high that your ideal prospective student is seeing ads served by either of these two platforms somewhere on the web.
  • There is no question that both paid and organic search are the strongest conversion tactics. However, there is one downfall: low brand assertion and visibility. A remarketing campaign makes up for the lack of branding, especially when you use both paid search and display campaigns. Remarketing display ads give you the space you need for your brand to stand out with a memorable message. Also, remarketing ads can be purchased at a much lower cost per click than the average pay-per-click text ad ($0.34 vs. a pay-per-click average of $1.80 within the education industry).

Remember, high school seniors apply to five to eight colleges and universities on average and research countless more before narrowing down their lists. Remarketing is an important tactic to help your school stay top of mind. The technology is even being used now to give priority to PPC ads based on if the searcher has visited the advertiser’s website before.

Bottom line: Don’t lose the students visiting your website. Embrace the technology that allows you to reach them and send that extra reminder.


Account Director


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