Learn how to tap the power of data to optimize your school’s marketing strategy, so those already looking for your school can find you easily online.
If “data,” “optimize” and “strategy” sound like buzzwords, don’t be discouraged. They show up in marketing conversations for a good reason. Let’s discuss what they mean.
AT A GLANCE:
- What kind of data are we talking about?
- Optimizing your KPIs, CTAs and ROI
- Strategy is what you do with your data and insights
What kind of data are we talking about?
Data is an integral part of the information culture we live in. Anyone who uses a computer, tablet or smartphone gives information about themselves to get useful information in return. Think about when you type “restaurants near me” on Google.
Data is just another word for information. There’s structured data—information that computer programs can collect, measure and process—and unstructured data, which is information that humans are able to interpret and study for meaning.
Structured data can be personal, such as the age, gender, location and email address of a target user, or it can be transactional, such as when, where and at what time a user has clicked on an ad, made a purchase, or visited a particular web page. The data already exists; it’s just a question of getting access to gain insights.
The most important user metrics for you to track will depend on your school’s goals. Building awareness about your school will call for different metrics than monitoring the performance of a specific digital ad campaign.
Optimizing your KPIs, CTAs and ROI
Measuring data is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, but some approaches can be applied across the board. For instance, you can experiment with various ways to attract your audiences (blog posts, social media, paid media, email/newsletter marketing). You can test different visual ads, messages and calls to action to see which perform the best.
Optimize is another way of saying you want to make the most effective use of something. When marketing your school, you can optimize advertising or web content to improve the performance of your campaign or web traffic. To do this, you need to establish benchmarks against which you can measure performance.
One obvious key performance indicator (KPI) is increased enrolment. There are also KPIs for the actions visitors take when they engage with your website. These help you learn where they first encountered you (traffic source engagement), where they viewed and left your site (pageviews, bounce rate) and how far down they scrolled (scroll depth). Digital ad KPIs measure how users respond to different ads, messages and calls to action (CTAs).
By measuring the performance of your KPIs against your organization’s goals, then reallocating your marketing resources to optimize the best performing content, you can improve the return on your investment (ROI).
Strategy is what you do with your data and insights
Strategy simply means planning. Once you begin collecting useful data, you can start to plan for better and more effective web and digital campaign content. Digital advertising is flexible and nimble, with multiple options for deployment including where, how and what will appear in ad images, campaign sites, specific messaging and CTAs.
Website and campaign landing-page content can be easily changed and improved on the fly, in response to what your analytics are telling you. When you analyze your campaign and web data regularly, it’s easy to optimize content to maximize performance.
A good strategy is what helps you move from data to insight to optimization. The intelligence you get from data is gold because it allows you to refine your audience targets and get increasingly in front of your best prospects, or “warm leads.”
Here’s what we learned:
- Data is information about people online who are interested in what you have to offer. It’s already collected by Google, so you just have to tap into it.
- Optimizing means making the best use of your ad or site performance—and marketing budget—to improve your ROI.
- Strategy just means planning what you’ll do with the insights you’ve gained from the data you’ve collected.
When you send marketing out into the digital world, your goal is to reach those who are interested in what you have to offer. It’s important to test and optimize your digital ads so the best-performing messages, images and CTAs are in market. By reallocating your budget to focus on top-performing ads and qualified leads, you also optimize your marketing spend.
The value of data has evolved exponentially during the past decade. No longer perceived as a byproduct of business activity or processes, the value of data—and its reporting, analytics and insights—is accepted, even if it isn’t fully understood. Metric delivers data-driven results for independent, private and post-secondary schools across North America.
Want to learn how you can use data to optimize your school’s marketing strategy?
This article was originally published on [TBD, 2019]. All content is © Metric Marketing Inc., 2019. Please link to this article if you quote or use any content from this page.