Do you have a LinkedIn profile for your university? Good. Do you post regularly on the page? Great. Okay, here is where we lose most higher education marketers: do you have a LinkedIn strategy in place with defined measures of success?
If you don’t, that’s where this blog comes in. We’ve compiled a list of easy wins and long-term tactics to improve your LinkedIn higher education marketing strategy.
Set up LinkedIn website demographics. Once you’ve installed the LinkedIn Insight Tag, you can also set up the LinkedIn website demographics. Through this tool, you will collect helpful demographic information about your website visitors. This data can be used to make your targeting and messaging more effective and learn more about your website audience.
Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms are the perfect tool for admissions and enrollment campaigns. These forms were built with users in mind, providing an easy experience for them, and resulting in an increased pool of prospective students for you. LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allow users to convert without ever leaving the LinkedIn platform and auto-populate a user’s contact details by pulling their information from their LinkedIn profile. This creates a seamless, one-click conversion experience for prospective students.
Test automated bidding options. Automated bidding allows the LinkedIn platform to automatically optimize your campaign based on your goals. In addition to removing the effort of manually adjusting your bid, auto-bidding helps you reach your campaign goals at the lowest price. Looking to increase awareness or drive traffic to your site? Try using the “awareness” or “website traffic” bidding options. Is the goal of your campaign to generate qualified leads? Test utilizing “lead form submissions” for any LinkedIn Lead Gen Form campaigns or “website conversions” for campaigns driving traffic to your landing page.
Tailor value offers to admissions cycle stages. Nurturing leads is all about targeted messaging. It is important to understand the different stages of the admissions cycle and what your prospective students go through, to provide them relevant information along the way. Looking to engage with top of funnel leads? Try sending them a class profile or brochure to familiarize them with your program. Looking to drive lower funnel leads toward application? Consider offering an application fee waiver.
Create a LinkedIn remarketing campaign. Don’t forget about leads that have engaged with your school in the past. Create a remarketing campaign on LinkedIn to target them. It’s important to give them fresh material with new imagery and content to keep them engaged throughout the lengthy decision cycle.
Set up conversion tracking. Conversion tracking allows you to track conversion for any lead generation campaigns not utilizing the Lead Gen Forms. This will allow you to understand which of your ads are driving form fills and allow you to optimize accordingly.
Start A/B testing elements in your campaigns. What resonates best with prospective students may surprise you. Test different imagery, messaging, and CTAs with A/B testing. This involves splitting your traffic in half and testing one different element with each audience. Compile data for 1-2 months and evaluate at the end to see which is performing best.
Incorporate personas into your content strategy. Use your own data to create custom personas for prospective students. By understanding the demographic information and motivations of your current students you can tailor your marketing message and segment your audience. You can also use GMAC personas and segment your audience accordingly.
Develop a content strategy for each campaign. For every campaign, you can create content that will resonate with your audience across all the stages in the decision cycle. Your messages should address the variety of motivations, concerns, and questions each persona will have, at each level of their journey.
Test segmented audiences in your campaigns. Home in on users from certain industries, locations, or job functions. This allows you to speak directly to your audience, often resulting in increased engagement and lead volume.
Schedule a campus photo shoot. Relatable imagery is an important component of a successful LinkedIn campaign. Aim for a diverse mix of images in professional and casual settings, as well as campus photos. Read this blog for more information.
Run a LinkedIn Audience Match campaign. Target people who have already interacted with your university to encourage them to take the next step in the admissions process. An audience match campaign allows you to retarget website visitors or target users via email address with ads on LinkedIn. This is a great way to continue to engage with your audience at a low cost.
Find ROI. Calculate return on ad spend using the “cost per acquisition” and “percent enrollment” formulas. Continually monitor campaign performance and allocate spend towards campaigns where leads are turning into applied and enrolled students.