Kicking-off an online branding campaign, you'll start building awareness in the mind of parents in the community.
You'll also be creating a very REAL, CONCRETE ASSET from which to draw future enrollments fast and cheaply.

With a branding campaign, you’re building a massive pool of warm, curious parents who are continuously seeing you all around the web without having to leave their contact details.

Let me explain further:

We'd all like to think that every single parent that comes in contact with our school follows a very straight and orderly path to enrollment.
Someone visits our site for the first time, then fills out a form to download an ebook, then becomes interested in talking with an admissions rep - all in one session on your website.
Minutes later, the admissions specialist reaches out to this lead, and before you know it, the lead is becoming an enrolled family, handing over their credit card or banking details.

But in reality, the enrollment journey is probably not so linear.
Parents pop over to your website and then leave.
Two months later, they discover your latest blog article and then decide to download that ebook you published.

A few days after that, they decide to check out another blog post or an infographic you put on your website and social media.
Maybe a week later, they decide to get in touch with Admissions, and it takes several more weeks of meetings and discussions to come to decide to proceed.

The same end result, but the process is a little more convoluted.
Until Google published the book ZMOT: Zero Moment of Truth back in 2011, many marketing experts believed that the path to any consumer decision looked like this:

Google ZMOT image

In a school context, the Stimulus will be the moment parents hear about a school, the First Moment of Truth is when they check your website or come in for a tour, and the Second Moment of Truth comes after they’ve enrolled when they start experiencing what you offer.

Turns out, this isn’t how it happens. Using billions of data points, Google proved that people follow a very unstructured pattern, consuming a lot of user-generated content such as reviews, testimonials, recommendations (from over 10 sources, on average) before proceeding to the next step.

Google ZMOT Image

For example, after the first Stimulus - which could be an ad on Facebook, they read reviews, they visit your website several times, they watch videos on YouTube, they check Facebook and Instagram, they download ebooks and infographics, and at some point, they feel ready to talk to Admissions.

So, schools need to be prepared to help parents through this unstructured whirlwind of a process. One great way to do that is with a REMARKETING pixel.

Pixel-Based REMARKETING

Unlike typical banner ads, REMARKETING ads are a form of online targeting advertising and are served to parents who have already visited your website or interacted with your ads.

Pixel-based REMARKETING is a way to re-display your material to any anonymous site visitor.

When a parents visits your website, an unobtrusive piece of JavaScript (often referred to as a pixel) is placed on their browser -- making their browser “cookied.” When they leave your site to surf the web, that cookie notifies REMARKETING platforms to serve specific ads based on the specific pages they visited on your website.

Retargeing graph

The advantages of pixel-based REMARKETING are:

✔︎ Timeliness: the audience can be retargeted immediately after leaving your site.

✔︎ Sequential Storytelling: We can retarget them, showing them different ads at different stages of their journey (one week after seeing our ads, two weeks after downloading a brochure, and so on and so forth).

✔︎ Online Newsletter (without needing the parent's contact details): We can show them different messaging as a function of what your school needs to tell at any given moment - kind of like a newsletter, but through ads (enrollment season starts, new offer on student materials, your team wins the national wrestling championship, etc.).

In conclusion, we’ve found that inquiry rates increase significantly the more parents see an ad within remarketing campaigns.

You know better than us, that parents are increasingly busy and have a ton of stuff going on in their life.
Remarketing gives them a gentle reminder to finish what they started on your site, while reinforcing your branding and messaging.
They’re getting to know you, and learning to trust you, and when they finally do have a free moment, they are increasingly likely to reach out to you.

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