Recruiting the high school student to enroll at your higher educational institution has never been harder. Trust me, as a former Enrollment Services Representative now working as a Social Media Strategist, I can understand the struggle. Working students through the admissions funnel from generating awareness, to getting an inquiry, to a campus visit, to the application process through to the tuition deposit has proven a challenge and frustration for many admission’s offices. Marketing to these students at various stages of the process has changed over the past years. No longer is snail mail and email blasts the best way to gain awareness for your school. At Bucket, we’ve taken on this challenge and wanted to share some things we’ve learned along the way.
Bucket Media works with a variety of higher education clients throughout the nation. We’ve worked with universities both large and small, with different marketing budgets and various strategies. It all came down to one objective: increase enrollment.
Let’s talk about the top of the funnel and gaining awareness for your school. Getting the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, can be a constant moving target. What platforms are high school students engaging with? Sure there are unique ways to get your message in front of students, parents or counselors through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Research shows this demographic is quickly flocking to Snapchat and the fast-growing social media app, TikTok. In a recent survey, teens listed Instagram as their favorite social media platform followed by Snapchat and TikTok.
According to Snapchat, 90% of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old and in a statista.com Fall 2019 survey, 44% of U.S. teens said Snapchat was their most important social media app. Because of the popularity with that demographic for the past several years, we’ve encouraged clients to promote Stories natively and have seen tremendous success. With evolving demographic targeting and ad placements within the app, Snapchat has offered a native way to reach a young audience in a non-threatening or salesy manner. If the user is interested in learning more, they can swipe up to be sent to the website, or if they want to skip the ad, they can do so.
The fastest growing social media app, TikTok reached 1.5 billion downloads globally by the end of 2019. 27% of U.S. users are between the ages of 13-17 years old (41% 18-24), as this app has quickly become a Gen Z favorite with 42% of users between 13-16 actively using the social platform. As with Snapchat, if the ad resonates with the user, they can click to go to the website or continue to scroll to view other content.
TikTok has recently allowed beta access for limited advertisers to utilize a self-serve platform, and Bucket is proud to be one of the first agencies to be able and get our clients’ access.
We recently ran a geotargeted campaign for one of our higher education clients on both Snapchat and TikTok, and the results we’ve seen thus far have been fantastic!
Utilizing the same vertical :10 video on both platforms, with similar demographic targeting, we’ve seen extremely low CPMs on Snapchat, hovering around $1. For quick comparison purposes, that’s at least $2.00-$3.00 cheaper, than the average display ad. In addition, we’ve also seen low CPSUs (cost-per-swipe-up) around $.10! These efficient rates allow us to generate high swipe-throughs and impressions, while maintaining a very strong swipe-up rate. On TikTok, we’ve seen different results, but still very strong numbers generating a low CPM around $2 and a low CPC around $.40.
It’s essential to make sure your message will be seen by the target demographic on the platform and in the format that they engage with daily. Especially during the pandemic, we know that these social media platforms daily usage numbers are increasing. On top of that, studies are showing that high school students may be reconsidering their college selection going into the Fall semester 2020. Whether you are still trying to recruit those last few seniors or starting to raise awareness with the sophomores and juniors, make sure you push out your message on the media they utilize.