Beyond Conversion: IEAA Marketing & Recruitment Forum 2018

Recently, Mike spoke at the Beyond Conversion: IEAA Marketing & Recruitment Forum 2018 and I was there to hear his insights on higher education marketing.

With a focus on maximising opportunity through user-generated content (UGC), Mike explains how education institutions have more opportunity than ever to tailor experiences.

It’s not only the education industry reflecting shifting consumer expectations. This phenomenon allows all marketers to meet customers on their terms – with data.

Check out all of the presentation highlights from the forum below.

The Digital Market Arbitrage: Snapchat

Cost per 1,000 impressions might not be the first metric you prioritise in your marketing strategy, but it’s hard to ignore the value a platform comparison can offer.

And given the cost of a Snapchat ad is almost 42% less than Facebook, it’s hard to ignore. Now to put this into context:

Almost 20% market penetration in three huge countries… it might be time to stop spending your marketing budget on billboards, huh.

Although Snapchat isn’t present in China, WeChat owners Tencent purchased a 12% stake in it. What seems like a bold move is really just good foresight.

At Social Garden, we’re not going to ignore something like this.

We’re the first Bronze Certified Snapchat Partner in Australia and if we know one thing, it’s the value of market arbitrage.

Watching where the consumer attention shifts to is our default state. This is why we’re on our toes with Tencent’s activity. It anticipates the impact Snapchat might have in one of the world’s biggest and most exclusive markets.

What you have to keep in mind with market arbitrage is that whenever it occurs, there is a delay.

It’s a delay between the shift in attention and the appearance of brands in that space – a perfect time to swoop in and gobble up that consumer focus.

For the time that your easy pickings remain undiscovered by your competitors, the advertising bidding system will play to your advantage.

Capitalise on UGC & Marketing Automation

Making a ton of new content for just one platform can be pretty daunting. Be easy on yourself and outsource it. Not to a freelancer. We’re talking UGC.

UGC has completely changed the social advertising landscape and is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal – and it’s dead cheap.

It can do what branded ads can’t. UGC reflects the cultural nuances of each target market. It ‘gets’ the consumer. When it comes to students, they understand each other’s pain points.

Run a simple competition or incentivise students to send in images and videos of themselves on campus. Or studying. Or at a cool uni event. Whatever it is, it can result in volumes of content to be repurposed by your marketing team.

Because the content is already native to the platform, when it’s repurposed the user attention remains high – as opposed to branded content, which can appear out of place.

Seek content from the students themselves and you’ll also have an opportunity to gain insights into what makes them tick.

This is a goldmine for delivering a tailored experience that can answer key questions and spark a conversation on their terms.

It contrasts a traditional marketing approach, where consumers are told what they need to know and when they need to know it. Your focus should always be on the customer experience.

By investing in UGC, you’ll maximise personalisation and engagement across your target audience and have a much more sophisticated email nurture strategy.

Gamifying Content

The real key to creating engaging ads for digital platforms is to make sure they sit natively. It should look like it belongs there.

Gamification is an effective approach for this, as users won’t perceive the content as an ad.

You can create a simple game and use it as gated content in-app, which encourages the user to take part in an authentic, engaging journey with your brand.

Users expect to be engaged in these spaces – it’s not good enough to just be present.

If you want your lead capture page to have conversion rates of over 20%, you need to make sure:

  1. The ad sits natively within the platform
  2. You encourage users to participate in an experience
  3. The user journey after the game remains engaging and consistent

Where to from Here?

To make the most of market arbitrage, invest in UGC, understand how you can tailor this to your objectives and optimise the strategy to what’s working.

Make sure you take the time to understand what native means for your platform mix and reflect this in all of your digital advertising efforts.

By picking up speed on how prospects communicate in digital spaces now, you’ll be ready for the next time when consumer attention shifts once more.

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