Finding Future-Friendly Digital Marketing Channels

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Andrea Maconachy, EVP of Marketing at All Campus, joined the podcast to talk about finding blue ocean marketing opportunities in an increasingly difficult and attribution-fuzzy paid media landscape.

In terms of where we should steerour marketing dollars. Cross channels is going to be really important. Diversification reallyimportant. We still think paid search is going to be relevant in the future. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional developmentpodcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university.Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources,you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome backto enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect ETU podcast network.I'm Eric Olsen with Helix Education and we're here today with Andrea mcconichie, executivevice president of marketing at all campus. Andrea, welcome to the show.Thanks, Eric. I'm excited to be here, really excited to talk withyou today about finding blue ocean marketing opportunities...

...in an increasingly difficult paid media landscape. Yes, before we dig into that conversation, can you give the listenersa little background on all campus in your role? They're sure. So.All campus is an online program management company. We offer comprehensive, tailored services.So research, marketing and recruitment, enrollment student services and we primarily focuson the top a hundred and fifty institutions in the US. So produced,Columbia, University of Arizona, Ucla and the underbuilt are just a few ofour partners. Are Focus is mainly on master's degrees and microcredentials. Andrew,to kick us off today, how do you think about marketing attribution in thisdigital world that's getting data fuzzier by the day? Sure so, I firstwant to address the attribution point, because attribution has never been perfect and there'sa lot of ways that you can go about it. You know, whetheryou're looking at attribution based on first inquiry...

...or last inquiry, or across channelsor you're waiting it in some way. So you know it's never perfect andwe use a bunch of those to dictate our marketing decisions. But on thepoint about getting Fuzzier, I've been in the industry for a while, ashave you, Eric, and it's almost like we're reverting back to the goodold days. You know, we've we've had this great period of time.We've had all this rich data at our fingertips and you know, I amenthusiastic because I feel like we've been in this, you know seat before wherewe've had to make decisions based on, you know, not all the puzzlepieces spitting quite right, and we made it work then and we can makeit work again. Yeah, you mentioned the increasingly fuzzy disconnect in a butwith a reminder that it's always been a little bit fuzzy. Always Been Fuzzy, yes, but but in terms of paid media channels like facebook and Google, we are seeing these trends toward increase...

...user privacy. We're seeing their ownplatform changes that are making perfect attribution more difficult than ever. How are youthinking about where to steer your marketing dollars in this harder to verify digital marketinglandscape? Yeah, it's a great question. So I want to point out thatcurrently the marketers facing the most significant challenge are obviously those that are reallyreliant on social media, facebook and especially apple users. Right, in termsof where we should steer our marketing dollars cross channels, it's going to bereally important. Diversification really important. We still think paid search is going tobe relevant in the future. I realized that Google has pushed back their privacychanges to two thousand and twenty three. So there's still some time to figureit out. But these platforms are based off of ad revenue and so we'reconfident that they're going to find a way...

...to to help us out. It'sjust going to take some time to get there. So we think paid searchis still going to be relevant and and high converting, but this is alsoa time it's actually pretty exciting, you know, to think about you andemerging platforms. So some of the ones that that we're looking at our bangof course, Linkedin, Reddit, Cora, ticktock, snapchat, podcasts, influencers. There's there's a lot to kind of play with and you know,at first blush you think, well, this doesn't seem like it would beappropriate for Higher Ed and you know it's time to get creative and think aboutthat right. You know, for us, Linkedin in particular has generated mixed results, I can say, but they're doing some creative things to with conversationads and form ads, which, you know, is testing direct engagement withperspective students. So, you know, I think these platforms are are realizingtheir potential and it's just going to going...

...to take a while and some creativityon our part to make them work. So so there's that. And thenfinally, you know, in terms of investment of time, Steo, youknow it. People think of Seo as as an earned activity, but itdoes cost. You know, it cost time, cost resources and for us, you know, the the prospects, the prospective students we generate all campusthrough earned convert about to x to three x better than paid search. Soit's a really big focus for us and something that, you know, wethink is going to sustain in the future. Yeah, I love how you're thinkingabout this in terms of timing and sequence, in terms of okay,hios fourteen, five and fifteen updates of came. Let's refigure out facebook.We have until two thousand and twenty three to figure out Google. Yeah,how do we start thinking about till then? When you're trying to think as futurefriendly as possible in terms of what can we build today that we thinkis not going to be only for the...

...next six months or even the nextthree years, but maybe the next ten, what are the the marketing channels andstrategies that you think might be the most future proof, even as wenavigate toward these increasing trends of increasing data privacy. Yeah, I you know, again I go back to our core channels. I think Google is goingto fix this, I really do. I know there's a focus on privacy, but you know, you're seeing it already with you know, and anytime you enter a site nowadays you get a cookie permission. Right. It'salmost becoming just a standard and something you just click, you know. Sowe think that Google is going to to win the game. Their ad revenueis way too important and we always can fall back on even with the impactof privacy laws, the upper fun on metrics that we have like click throughrate, impression share, clicks, like shares, all of that will stillbe visible to us and we'll be able to make some some good decisions offof that. And then again, you...

...know, I stress strongly to havea really solid content marketing strategy and Seo Strategy. It can be a littlebit difficult because you know, the content that you produced might not hit theway you expect. It's a long term game. You might not get therankings that you want, you know. I know for us we recently hadsome really strong articles that we produced on behalf of purdue and all of asudden, boom overnight our rankings dropped because the Google Algorithm had decided that theywere going to prioritizecom's with the ratings ahead of our own DOT EDU program Iyeah, it was. It was really interesting to see and and sure enough, just a few weeks later the it shifted it back because Google realize thatthey weren't getting the clicks out of thosecom's or the you know, the leadscoming from from that that page. So you know, we are confident,maybe maybe too confident, in Google that...

...that they'll fix it. And anothersuggestion that I'd have on the content development side is is prioritizing your research anddevelopment of that unbranded content. So you know you've got perspective students that areare kind of dabbling and are researching the degrees, but they're also probably researchingother things that are ancilary to the degrees. So you know, what articles canyou write that, you know, for is, on keywords that aren'tdirectly related to the degree program that you're covering? You know we've written articlescloud security versus network security. What's the difference careers with a master's degree insocial work? And think we even have an article right now that's focused onesports. That's related to one of the master's degrees, and in sport marketingthat we cover. So these can be great opportunities for a university with astrong DOTU domain to get really great, well researched content in front of prospectsand even just get them to the site,...

...knowing that they'll be able to retargetand remark it to them later. Yeah, let's dig into that apparatusof how do we not only magnetize those students to our site but then getat them into our funnel. So I love how you talked about content strategyand SEO and in Google, hopefully we can trust long term in terms ofbeing effective and efficient ways to get perspective students to our site. Then whatwe create content that Google serves that students are interested in. We get thestudent to the site. How do we then get the student into and throughour enrollment funnels? Sure, so, you know, we've consulted with alot of universities on this point and the biggest thing that I can say thatdid differentiates the sites that we produce on behalf of our partners with with highered sites in general, that you know, Sirt have to serve a wide varietyof constituents, you know, current...

...students, sports, etc. Oursites are conversion driven. You know, they're built to be conversion driven.Every page has a form. The form asks for very concise information. Ifeel like I've seen forms on university websites that are basically asking for everything exceptthe prospective students blood type. You know, they go away too far right,whereas we recommend first name, last name, email address, phone numberand really that's it, and making sure that you have something to offer andexchange for that information. So a brochure download or career guide can go along way. And then also utilizing chats. I feel like a lot of institutionsdon't utilize chat as much as they could. We use a Lark.They've been a very good chat provider for us and, you know, incertain instances I think all are. Unfortunately took this functionality away, but wewe had our advisors image alongside the the chat window and we would frequently getperspective students asking You, are you a...

...real person or a Bot? SayNo, we're a real person. So I recommend not using bots if youcan. And we've found that a quality chat converts just as well as aphone interview. So you know, chat can be a really, really usefultool, particularly in a day where, perspective, students might be less likelyto give up their information or might be less likely to pick up a phonecall. And then, of course, you know, we supplement our advisoroutreach with email, with SMS, text messaging, and we try to bewhat we call pleasantly persistent. So we want to make sure we're not andin dating these prospects with too much at one time. We have plenty oftestimonials from enrolled students that said at the service that they were provided by theenrollment team really was the difference maker in going down the enrollment path with ourpartner versus a competitor. So so you...

...can't really count out enrollment and andthat's my next recommendation, is partner with enrollment. I have found oftentimes thatmarketing is on one side of the fence and enrollment is on the other sideof the fence. And you know, there's the there's the people that generatethe prospects and then there's the people that are tasks with converting them, andyou really have to work together. Then enrollment advisors are just each treasure troveof information. They're the one speaking to the the prospects. They know,you know what's what they're thinking, what's going on in their field and andwe've found that even just having some great conversations with the enrollment team on thephone is can generate seo article ideas can inform our landing page, testing headlinescan inform body copy on our website. So I encourage you to reach outto enrollment if you are and more of a psiloid structure at your university.Andrew a great stuff. Finally, any next steps, advice or highed markingteams? They're looking to navigate all these...

...new digital marketing changes and challenges.Maybe your one big piece of advice you can give us moving forward? Iwould say that don't be afraid of leading edge strategies, and one thing thatwe've done in support of that in our organization that might be useful is armingyour your a staff, your marketing strategists, with kind of a lane to communicatewith one another. So what we've done is we've got a an emailthat we curate. It's Bi weekly, it's cross functional, so our SEOexperts will put in a couple of articles that they found. Are paid mediaexperts will put in a couple articles that they found social it's just across themarketing team. It all goes into one one document and it's shared across themarketing team and and even other teams within the organization so that everybody's brainstorming,learning about what everyone else is doing in...

...the industry and it just creates areally cohesive environment so that we can just continue to move the needle forward andnot with the site of what's next. Andrew, thank you so much ofyour time today. What's the best place for listeners to reach out if theyhave any follow up questions? Thank you, Eric. It's been a pleasure.Those that are interested in more about all campus can and of course,it is at our website, all Campuscom we'd love to hear from you.Awesome, Andrew. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you,Eric. It's been a blast. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adoptingnew enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape and Helix has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new contenton how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloaded today forfree at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've...

...been listening to enrollment growth university fromHelix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to theshow in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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