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digital media Archives - Tan Media

engaging content student audience

Why engaging with students requires engaging content

By | Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Content Creation, Banner - Native Video, Banner - Reporting, Banner - True Native, Content, Content Marketing, Education, Native advertising

The shifting landscape

Declining application numbers have been a shock to the system across the higher education sector and have led to several major shifts. This year we witnessed a squeeze at the top, with the highest ranked 20 institutions competing for the brightest. Russell Group universities accepted ABB in the summer which had a knock-on effect right down the rankings and led universities to rethink their recruitment strategies.

Students are aware that it’s a buyer’s market, so are now shopping around, visiting multiple campuses to find the perfect university for them. Others are leaving it later to apply and some are waiting until August in the knowledge that even higher ranked institutions will offer places through clearing and confirmation.

Last year St George’s University became the first to offer medicine through clearing. This year, universities that used to mop up their last few places on results day, still had courses available days after to accommodate for late demand. Most institutions now offer a clearing open day to engage with students before they apply.

Making a first impression

The university is a unique institution, in that it’s marketing team must work to a particular cycle, communicating with a largely new audience each year. This presents a great opportunity to fine-tune your brand over time.

As a result, it’s crucial to make a high quality and lasting first impression with each student, each year. It makes such a difference if potential students understand who you are and what you’re all about before they are signposted towards course lists, prospectuses and open days.

student content

The power of your brand

With tightening budgets to work to, most unis are opting for high-intensity campaigns at key periods – January deadline, open days and clearing. This offers maximum impact and ensures that students are given every opportunity to register or apply. A downside of this strategy is that ads that feel transactional are less likely to influence students in making an important decision.

This problem is compounded by the intensity of competition for share of voice, making it hard to be heard above the crowd. Students are likely to see multiple university ads in a day, so how can any one ad stand out above the rest? Will students click on the first one they see? The most colourful? The most relevant? The most impressive stat?

Or will it be a brand that they have engaged with before and feel they recognise and want to explore further?

Education agency, SMRS, recently drew attention to the importance of brand in their HE marketing survey. 97% of respondents pointed to the increased importance of brand, above other recent impacts such as Brexit and the Teaching Excellence Framework.

student content

Being inspirational

When we talk about online brand engagement, we refer to the execution of meaningful, prolonged interactions with university content. Campaigns are often judged on the price of their clicks and the traffic they drive to a site, but this isn’t always the best way to build lasting and impactful brand awareness. Sometimes we should look beyond the click to really understand the results of a piece of activity.

We should consider the potential student’s experience and ask ourselves what students want from their interaction. If the aim is to win hearts and minds, we can’t be pushy, sending students to fill out a form without having something to offer. Universities are great at producing content but not so good at sharing it!

Departments, lecturers and student groups produce fascinating research every day and it’s exactly the kind of stuff that grabs attention and excites young people about getting stuck in and starting their student journey.

Be the one to spark that idea, that conversation, that inspiration, whilst quietly reinforcing your brand identity as an authority on the subject.

Engaging with a digital generation

The last few years have seen the rise of programmatic display ads which have led to campaigns that mine for direct response, opting for quantity over quality. At the same time, a digitally savvy generation has started holding advertisers to a higher standard. To have a chance of generating quality engagement with potential students, interactions have to become less transactional and more inspirational. To get engagement you must be engaging!

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Decline in programmatic while mobile and native make big gains

By | Ad Spend

Programmatic ad buying fell by 12% in the first three months of 2017, versus the same time last year, new data from MediaRadar shows.

The numbers gathered from looking at advertising spending and buying patterns showed 39,415 advertisers bought ads programmatically in the first quarter, which compares to 45,008 in the same three months in 2016.

A lack of faith in programmatic buying has grown, thanks to concerns over fraud, brand safety and a lack of transparency in how ad prices are decided. This means companies and agencies are taking on more direct advertising, such as sponsored editorial or buying brand-safe PMPs (private marketplaces).

Advertisers worry about having little control of their ads

The main concern is that companies have less control over exactly where their ads appear when they are placed programmatically. Instead, a software-led process automates buying, placement, and optimisation via a bidding system.

Todd Krizelman, the CEO of MediaRadar, explained the decline was likely due to problems for companies like YouTube, but that the form of advertising was continually evolving. He expects to see new growth in programmatic buying, but a shift towards programmatic direct models.

Mobile and native formats saw the greatest growth overall

MediaRadar also found that high-CPM ads in mobile and native environments made the biggest gains. Native buyers were up 74% from 2016 to 2017. This is part of a bigger trend which has seen native almost triple since 2015. There were just 981 buyers in 2015, now there are 2,882.

This is because native has a click-through rate of up to four times more than non-native on mobile. People are also more likely engage with native content, as it is non-disruptive.

Overall, the top five sectors seeing success in buying native advertising were media and entertaining, professional services, financial and real estate, technology, and wholesale. The top five ad placers in the US for native were Secco Squared, Potential Investments, Answers Corp., NextAdvisor and JPMorgan Chase and the United States of America.

Video and specialist print ads also proved resilient

Video ads were also making money in the first quarter. Comcast, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Toyota, and Verizon all put cash into ads with video. On mobile, Brown-Forman, Time Warner, Anheuser-Busch, Simplisafe, and Liberty Interactive had the highest number of placements.

Traditional media forms continued to decline. Print ad pages fell by 8% against last year after a 6% decrease in spending, but regional titles and specialist publications were still successful.

These conclusions were drawn from a study of 266,324 advertisers and considered their use of digital, native, mobile, video, email and print advertising.

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How native advertising is set to dominate digital media

By | Native advertising, Technology, Uncategorized

Native advertising is predicted to make up over 50% the display media bought across Europe by 2020.

We may only be a few months in to 2016 but it’s already shaping up to be a breakthrough year for native advertising. A new report forecasts a massive €13.2 billion native ad spend around Europe by 2020 – spectacular growth of 156% compared to the €5.2 billion companies spent on native ads in 2015.

In Britain alone, the market was worth £1.2 billion last year. That figure is set to more than double to £2.8 billion by 2020, according to the study, carried out by Yahoo and Enders Analysis and unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The move to mobile

That’s sweet music to the ears of online publishers who are currently struggling against a number of advertising headwinds, most notably the marked trend among consumers away from the larger screens of laptops and PCs to the much smaller screens of mobile devices.

Display advertising is challenged on smaller screens, so native in-feed advertising makes far more sense from both viewabilty and user experience perspectives.

Opt-in advertising

Additionally, surveys are finding that consumers actually appreciate native as adding value, compared to blaring and brash display ads they’re not overly fond of – one reason fewer people are clicking them.

A true native execution is the ultimate ‘opt-in’ advertising and a world away from the intrusive splurges which shield entire homepages or launch a video that’s impossible to switch off. If the reader choses to engage with on-site, clearly labelled sponsored content, that’s exactly what they get.

The future is native

The new study found that native advertising will amount to 52% of all display advertising in European markets by 2020, and – reflecting the swing to mobile – native ads for mobile will soar from €1.5 billion last year to €8.8 billion in less than four years’ time.

So, it’s increasingly looking like publishers and advertisers are embracing a native future together, with everyone benefiting – even consumers!

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