Marketing to Young People – How to Smash Your Recruitment Targets in the Education Sector

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Facing tough competition, Schools and Universities are under extreme pressure to ensure they stay on top of their recruitment strategies. This isn’t just recruitment in your local market either. A research paper published this year highlighted how 94% of University Leaders agreed that internationalisation was a high priority for their institution, but only two in five said that they have adequate resources to deliver on their strategy.

The pressure on those who are marketing in education has never been higher. And with changing cultures and changing technology, the traditional marketing methods just don’t work anymore. Our present world requires a new approach.

Grabbing the Attention of Young People

The youth of today have grown up in a very different world. There are even stark differences between Millennials and Gen Z. That means the first step is to get to know them and how they operate.

A survey of UK parents and children conducted in late 2021 revealed that “98 percent of children between 16 and 17 years old were using their mobile phones to go online, while only 23 percent of respondents from this age group were using desktop computers for the same purpose”. It’s clear: if you want to attract the attention of students, then you need a mobile first strategy.

Moving on from this, the youth of today won’t respond to more traditional marketing techniques. As detailed in an article from Uni Buddy, they’re looking for authentic voices, content that actually interests them – perhaps even humour – and they want to know what others think. They are very driven by influence.

If targeted appropriately, however, the youth of today can be incredibly responsive. A Criteo survey revealed that “three in five Gen Z and Millennial shoppers confirmed that they click on ads while using the internet. The same number said that they buy products that are recommended to them in ads”.

They are open to content and ready to listen if it interests them.

Be Savvy With Your Strategy

The research that’s been done suggests that bombarding prospective students with messages simply won’t work. Instead, you need to find that compelling message and be clever with your creative. Then you need to layer in the right tactics to ensure you hit your target audience at just the right time with the perfect message.

Digital display advertising could work extremely well here. Not only can it be used quite easily to attract both local and international students – and it’s measurable and controllable – there is also clear evidence that a young audience will be influenced by the adverts they see – if they appeal enough.

Here are Fluid Ads’ top tips for using display advertising

Increase your chances of positive recruitment and improve your ROAS (return on ad spend):

  • Geofence the postcodes on your competitor’s open days. This will target quality students who are already looking to enrol and they will already be in the right mindset
  • Bid on keywords that students are using. What are they looking for in a University and how can you attract their attention when they’re searching?
  • By using a combination of Geotargeting and specific keywords, you can target Ad creatives precisely to your ideal audience, only showing people searching those keywords
  • When prospects have been identified, use this data to personalise communications through retargeting. This can help to drive applications and maintain your enrolment targets

There are numerous different display advertising tactics that can achieve immediate results. If you’re searching for new ways to meet your recruitment targets, we’d love to have a chat about how we could help.

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