How to Generate Virtual Open Day Sign Ups using Google Ads

Open events are a great way of showcasing what your school has to offer to prospective parents and students alike, so building interest and buzz around such events is tremendously important. However, getting people to show interest and sign up for open events is an immense task in itself, and marketing departments at schools across the country are increasingly turning to online advertising platforms to help promote their schools and events. Here, we will look at the different ways you can advertise using Google Ads as well as how to build an effective campaign using these methods.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a platform that uses the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model, and it is the single most popular PPC platform out there. Essentially, Google Ads allows you to pay for traffic to your website or landing page through a range of different advertising instruments including search engines, video and display advertising. We will look at the main three methods of advertising on Google Ads: Search, Display and YouTube.

Search

As the world’s largest search engine, Google is crucial for business. On average, Google Ads convert 50% better than organic traffic. Keywords associated with schooling and education are becoming increasingly competitive, making it difficult to rank high on search results – so search advertising allows you to quickly and effectively get your adverts and school seen by an engaged audience that is actively searching for relevant keywords. Keyword research is essential and there are many tools that can help with this including Google’s built-in Keyword Planner as well as third-party software such as SEMRush. Targeting only the most relevant keywords will not only improve your conversion and click-through rate (CTR), it will also improve your cost-per-click (CPC).

Display

Display advertising follows the same PPC model whereby you pay for visitors to your website or landing page, but rather than search engine advertising it utilises images and GIFs. The Google Display Network (GDN) is made up of over 2 million websites, and you can feature your display adverts on these sites by filtering your target audience to specific locations as well as key interests and demographic information. Allow display advertising to showcase what your school has to offer using striking images and snappy headlines to attract visitors.

YouTube Ads

YouTube is now the second-biggest search engine after Google and with the popularity of video advertising on the rise, YouTube advertising is definitely worth considering for your school’s marketing. You can advertise on YouTube in a number of different ways – you‘re not limited to advertising using just videos, as you can also make use of display and search methods (similar to Google).

 

 

Landing pages

At the start of every successful campaign is a good landing page built around your key campaign goals. All adverts will lead back to this landing page, so it needs to highlight exactly what the open event is and the relevant data capture information must be included in the form. We recommend not overpopulating your landing page with information and keeping the form as short and concise as possible. Information overload, including excessively long forms to complete, tends to discourage potential sign-ups – the aim of the landing page is to convert interest, so it’s important to keep it brief.

Tracking

In order to measure a campaign’s effectiveness, you will need to know and understand key metrics as well as make sure that the campaign is fully trackable. Google Ads allows you to track conversions through tags set up within the platform that then need to be attached to Google Tag Manager (GTM). On your landing page, you can also add UTM parameters to URLs. So, for example, you can include a link to the school's main website for further information, and if your conversions are set up correctly within Google Analytics you can also track conversions on the main website where the source of the traffic was the landing page. Google offers lots of analytical data as part of your campaign, so it is important that you understand the basics, and where possible, go the extra mile and track conversions accurately. 

How to build an effective campaign using Google Ads

With Google Ads you can build highly effective campaigns using a range of different platforms, methods and adverts, capturing potential leads at every step of the buyer journey/marketing funnel. 

  1. Awareness - at the top of the funnel, a potential lead may simply be looking for information, and through the use of display advertising, you can successfully serve them with information that’s engaging as well as relevant. The aim is to showcase your open event to a large number of interested people, and display advertising can successfully do this, whether online or offline (using traditional media such as print). 
  1. Consideration - At the middle of the funnel we have the consideration stage, where a potential customer is considering their options before entering the decision-making stage. As this stage is all about engagement, YouTube is an excellent platform, since we are watching online videos more than ever before (each of us is set to watch 100 minutes a day by 2021). Video marketing on YouTube is a great way of engaging with your target audience during the consideration stage, enabling you to showcase your school’s selling points visually to a relevant audience.
  2. Decision - The decision-making stage is the key to any good campaign and in order to be successful you need to ensure that your landing page is built with the key goal in mind, ie. attracting open event sign-ups. Your Google Search campaign should include keywords that will not only attract clicks but that will also be relevant to the information on the landing page. Clickbait isn’t helpful here I’m afraid as the ultimate goal is a lead form competition.

 


social media

How to Engage Your Audience Through Social Media


Did your social media traffic skyrocket at first but is falling flat nowadays? Don’t sweat it. A lot of hours and hard work have gone into perfecting the use of this not-so-secret weapon.

We all start with zero readers and zero traffic anyway and anyone can write a blog but it's what you do with it afterwards that counts.

Once you perfectly understand how Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram strategies work and which can benefit your business best, you will be an expert at handling them and many other factors mentioned down below.

Facebook, Google and Twitter

What works: Images, videos, calls to action, industry-related content, general share-worthy content.

What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, poor business/related/share-worthy balance.

Videos and images, which are mostly used for redirecting consumers to your website, are essential to catch the eye of social media readers, though video works a little better to hold the reader’s attention.

The main ways to get traction with your blog, to get your readers to back up your business is:

  • Get them to go straight to your website or store
  • Get them to like and follow
  • Get them to share your content

Let’s illustrate that with a few examples :

Three people see your business posts about a “2 for 1 sale”. These posts just likely to be seen, and not shared. Once people start liking and sharing your posts, you’ll start to see new eyes on your page. In the case of a fitness coach, for example, try and get your readers excited to see and share those workout tips and you’ll have a better chance that someone who needs trainer will come across them.

Once you’ve gained the attention of your readers with a photo or video, a call to action is the ideal way to guide them to their next step. That being said, calls to action can be used for almost every type of post. These posts may not lead your reader straight to your website, they will, however, get you more likes and shares.

Packaged in with the importance of shared content is the name of your business. Every time your post is shared, someone new has the chance to see you.

That’s brand-recognition!

On the other hand, lengthy content, bland posts, and a poor balance of business/industry/shareable don’t work well on these media channels. People do not have the attention spans to read posts that are more than a couple of lines long.

Keep them short and concise! Don’t post bland, filler content like, “Happy Friday!” unless people have a reason to share it. “Happy Friday, here’s a hilarious cat meme” can improve brand recognition, but only if shared - use humour to your advantage.

Try to find your balance between business and shareable content.

Pinterest

What works: Images, videos, industry related content, general share-worthy content.

What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, business-related content, long texts.

Pinterest is ALL about pictures. People usually go on Pinterest to look for creative ideas. If your business provides projects, how-tos or even the means with which to make ideas happen.

For example, a hardware store will greatly benefit from Pinterest: once people get the ideas from you, they’ll come into your store to buy the necessary tools to get the job done! (Remember, brand-recognition!).

The best use of Pinterest includes non-business related content. Show people ideas that may lead them to your business, but don’t try to sell them right then and there.

Last but not least, the text attached to Pinterest posts is often ignored, so any applicable text should go into an infographic displayed as an image. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use any text. Although a small headline or message will suffice here.

Instagram

What works: Images, video, projects.

What doesn’t work: Mostly everything else.

The whole point of this platform is to get users to follow you and talk about what you have to offer. This works best for restaurant accounts because your customers can post images of your food for their friends to see. This also works great for accounts posting about home improvements. Here, your business can post projects and progress pictures of what you’ve been working on. Seeing these images and sharing them can work well to compel the reader to seek you out.

Do not dismiss the reviews!

Now that we’ve covered the main social media channels, let’s discuss other ways they can be used. Facebook, Google, and other media channels support reviews. Reviews play a big role in a business, as they can make or break it. 92% of consumers now read online reviews and star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.

You may be thinking “I can’t control what people rate my business”, and you’d be right. However, you can control how you respond to people. You can turn around even the angriest rater by replying to their review in a quick and professional manner. Check out our articles about how to respond to positive as well as negative reviews.

Listen to Your Audience

Social Media Listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to get a better hold of what customers are saying about your business. This is ideal to identify your customer's pain points and responding to their questions and complaints.

This phenomenon is bigger that social monitoring. The difference can be explained with this simple quote : "Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest".

The short and sweet of this is that you need to be researching your competitors and your peers. What are people talking about, liking, and sharing, and how can you get in on it? You’ll want to shape your social media strategies around what’s getting the best traction everywhere else. Get researching!

Increase the Quality and Quantity of Your Website’s Traffic

The importance of SEO should not be ignored. When you search for your business’ name or keywords related to your work, how high on the results page does it appear? The more you and your readers are mentioning your name and other keywords in relation to your business, the better your SEO results will be.

Finally, Measure your Results in The Long Term

Finally, take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Naturally, you’ll want to look for what’s working and what isn’t. Whether you’re counting likes and shares by hand or using Google Analytics to track the information for you, understanding your trends may just be the most important part of the process.

Find out more about social media and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


paid

How to Reach Your Audience With Paid Advertising

There are several different forms of paid advertising, including display advertising, sponsored ads (such as those on Google and Facebook), and of course, search ads - just to name a few of the main ones.

So where do you start? Whilst there are many options to choose from, reaching your desired audience does require a little bit of work. Fortunately, using paid advertising to get your business across to relevant consumers is easier than you think.

Pick the right platform

In 2008, only 24 percent of the UK had a social media account. Today that number has skyrocketed to 81%. Whilst many traditional methods of advertising, such as television and print publications, still have their place, companies are now turning to digital advertising for the majority of their needs.

Tech titans, Google and Facebook are said to command nearly 65% of UK online ad market by 2021. Furthermore, this year, the overall digital advertising market will grow by more than 11% to hit £14.73bn, with Google taking a 38.8% share, valued at about £5.72bn and Facebook will grow its share from 22.7% in 2018 to 24.5% in 2019, worth around £3.62bn (campaign live). So why would you settle for anything but the best? Pick the right digital platforms and go where you’ll be seen.

Know your audience

Knowing your exact target audience is undeniably the most beneficial tool in your advertising toolbox. Not only does it give you a leg up for reaching your most likely consumers, but it also helps to pick the appropriate platform and technology to deliver your products and services. However, once you have their attention, there’s still plenty of work to do!

To make sure you are pushing all the correct buttons, you need to know exactly what to say. Well thought and engaging content moves people and will consequently move your products! It creates loyalty, trust and brand awareness, meaning your customers will keep coming back for more!

Be interactive

As the internet continues to advance, media is consumed differently by all groups of people. More and more people are getting their entertainment and news from streaming options such as Netflix and YouTube. So what does this mean for paid advertising....interaction! Interactive ads get a higher clickthrough rate of around 6 percent, whereas most digital ads remain at just under half of one percent.

Interesting advertisements tell a story that engages the audience. If you’re a restaurant owner, enticing future customers with a snappy ad no longer works as well as it used to. You need to intrigue potential buyers with an eye catching video, and a captivating call to action. Don’t tell customers what to think, but instead show them why buying your product is the best decision for them.

Keep it short and sweet

Don’t say too much. Short, effective messages that include interesting and engaging content go a long way in the paid advertising world. Hook your audience with a smart pun, a fun image or simple one liner.

Pull at their heartstrings

Whether your message is sensitive, funny or serious, it should come across as authentic at its core.

Nowadays, audiences are smarter and expect a lot more than basic pandering. They need and want to see engaging content that scratches beneath the surface of a product and that relates to them on a personal level.

That’s why today’s most memorable campaigns reject tradition in exchange for something more sincere. We understand that traditional word of mouth will forever impact a local business and the trick with this is to give them something positive to talk about! The most important thing about your digital advertising campaign should be about connecting with your audience. A little passion goes a long way.

Successful paid advertising plucks at your viewers’ heartstrings and entices them with good, relevant content. Most importantly, whatever your approach, be sure to make a connection with your audience - leave them engaged and interested. Make your digital ad is memorable and appealing, and therefore your brand will be too.

More: How to reach your audience with print advertising.

To find out how we can help grow your business, book a consultation now.