The Higher Ed Marketer
The Higher Ed Marketer

Episode 74 · 1 month ago

Best Practices for PPC in Higher Ed Marketing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Many higher ed marketers think that paid media and PPC (Pay Per Click) ads are the answer to their problems, but most fail to realize that this is a long incubation process, and often, decisions won't be made from one ad. Our job as marketers is to create curiosity with our campaigns, and our guest today shows us how to do it.

Today we talk with Matt Wszolek, the Senior Executive of Marketing & Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Matt runs the internal agency of the University of Illinois that helps with paid media. In our conversation with Matt, he unpacks the best practices and offers insights on how higher ed marketers can push the envelope forward with paid media.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The biggest mistake that people make when using paid advertising.
  • Identifying goals and objectives for future ad campaigns.
  • Creating curiosity with your ad campaigns.

The High Reed Marketer podcast is sponsored by the ZEM APP enabling colleges and universities to engage interested students before they even apply. You're listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, donor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. If you're looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. My name is troy singer and here with Bart Kaylor, we co host a show where we interview higher Ed marketers that are interesting and that we feel can move the needle for other higher ed marketers that listen to the podcast. Today we talked to Matt Rosolik. He is the senior executive of marketing and media for the University of Illinois, and this conversation with Matt is exciting, it's impactful and, like most conversations with Matt, it's very passionate. Today we talk about blocking and tackling with PPC. Yeah, Troy, I think that, Um, you know what we've we kind of played around a little bit with the title of this Um. We talk a lot about differentiation, we talk a lot about new marketing. Effectively, Matt really runs kind of the the internal agency for you have. I that helps with paid media, but I think that one of the things that I've learned is that so many schools are curious about what I would consider the segment of paid media, which is paper Click Um, whether that's Google ads or Meta ads or Tiktok or social or whatever it might be. Matt kind of unpacks a lot of kind of best practices, kind of what I would call the blocking and tackling of those areas and gives us kind of kind of some some ideas of how to kind of push the push the envelope on some things, what to expect, how to set those expectations up for your leadership, as well as just kind of, uh, you know, some out of the box thinking of of, you know, paid media, of of engaging different prospective students and and alumni, and then we also get into a little bit of details about some connected TV. So this is a full episode. I think it goes a full forty minutes. So I would encourage you to really um either listen to the whole thing or take a couple, you know, to take it in a couple of segments, but I think it's a really rich conversation that you're going to walk away with a lot of great ideas and if you're not already a fan of Matt's, you will be. Here's our conversation with him. Matt recently, we like kicking off our episodes by asking this question of our guest. Please tell us something interesting or unique that you've learned recently. So you know, it's funny because part Troy I get so involved in marketing all the time, right, but I love to learn outside and form o reason I'm I'm obsessed with space. I don't know if it's all the back to the future watching as a child, but space and time and distance is incredible to me, and so I literally spent a half hour yesterday. I don't know if you saw this, but there's a radio telescope right a hundred billion light years away is sending a continuous radio signal. For the first time we've ever received this and it just like blew my mind thinking there could have been a civilization there billion years ago and now we're just getting the signal that, hey, here we are. I think that stuff just blows my mind right. It kind of keeps a center to a little bit, right because here we are always obsessed and thinking about our ad campaigns and marketing and what's our higher ends doing? And but then you think, wow, in the grand scope of things, hundred, fifty billion light years away, I think we're gonna be okay. Right, thank you for giving me something to Geek out on this Sunday afternoon. That's awesome. Thank you. That's exactly what we like to hear. Matt, if you would tell us your role at the University of Illinois? Yeah,...

...sure, so. I oversee on the senior executive of marketing and media and I oversee all of our advertising campaigns paid media. Um. That happens whether it be from the centralized campus perspective or from any of our individual colleges, units departments. And it's extraordinary because I'm an almal my Alma moterit as you have I right, and so for me to give back the insurance like motivating factor working for my Alma materitor makes it really fun to get up in the morning and very, very exhausting to go to bed at night. Matt, you have a unique perspective because I think you and your department, you touch almost every department area of the campus, because your campus doesn't utilize outside agencies. It's you and your team. Is that correct? Troy? You're absolutely right. Um, we don't use agencies. Um, when we're in we all we don't have the budgets of the large a t and t s and state farms and verizons of the world and higher. It right. Some of US have time amounts, some of us have gigantic amounts per se. But again, we have to be as efficient as possible. And so no, I don't. We don't use agencies because if we've got to siphon off even one dollar, that's not going to paid media. That's going to influence our efficiency and our effectiveness with our very little amount of dollars. And so we absolutely do. You're right. We do everything in house, everything from social to Google search to programmatic connect to television streaming, radio PODCASTS. We do everything certainly ourselves, and I think it gives a lot of joy, um, for our campaigns to extend even further into the marketplace. Right, because if we're siphoning off those precious dollars. Are We then getting the reach we wanted? Are we gonna hit the amount of eyeballs that we wanted? Are we going to get the type of form fills that we needed? Probably not. Yeah, I love that, Matt. I think that, uh, I think it is a good example of also, I think that, you know, being in day in day out, you're gonna have a better pulse on everything. Um, you know, I'm an outside agency. I'm asked sometimes to come in and help with different elements and we would come to the table with different elements. But I think that you're right to have the internal expertise that you guys have and to be able to leverage that a hundred percent for the school. I command you, guys, because I mean I think that's that's awesome and I think that's a really good stewardship model. But tell me a little bit about, you know, some of the things that that how these initiatives kind of how you can kind of get those going, because historically, I mean you've been outside of Higher Ed before you were in Higher Ed and and a lot of us have, you know, pre higher ed careers, whether it's in healthcare or corporate or whatever it is. Higher End, takes a little bit of time sometimes Um to get to the point of where where things need to be. How do you how do you kind of work with that internally? You know, so forecasting, you're planning, you're always looking to the future of these campaigns. And the weird thing is is because we're only dealing this is my client right, these are the only people on campus. I'm dealing with the University of Illinoire bandits champaign in every campaign that we do, right, and so I know exactly what they're planning looks like, what their budget cycle looks like, what their enrollment deadlines are, when do they have to have applications and for their master's programs? What has advancement looking at as far as moving their folks down the engagement needle towards a giving Tuesday? Right, and so it's a constant communication and getting in front of all of these people and saying, okay, what's the strategic objectives, where do you want to go? Where has paid me to fit into this, and then how are we going to efficiently and effectively use those dollars? So when we gather all that information from all these different people across campus. Right, we can then look at and use that forecast to go out and find the best deal for us. That's buying in bulk, that's creating economies of scale, because our book us are all over the place. We...

...have people that spent five bucks, which is a lot of money for them, people that spent five million. Right. How do we make sure that it's not just all about the big dogs, but it's about every dog, right, and making sure that that five gets the attention it deserves, that someone actually is focused on it, but they're also paying the same prices as the person that's spending five million. Right, and that's the whole point. If we can go on and we do this forecasting, it's a very easy valued proposition that we give it. People like all right, look, you don't have to pay an agency, so we're gonna work for you for free. I'm sitting here working for the same campus that you are, so you know I care. Right. We have access in real time, seven three, to how your campaign's going, so we can make adjustments to make sure we're not wasting FRI bullus dollars, and you know I care and you're getting the same support and service and pricing that no matter who is on campus, we're all in this together. Why would you say no to that? Right, and it's a warder that we've grown and had so much more campaigns launched because the people spending the thousand dollars five don't have to worry about hitting spending limits or spending minimums with a vendor. Right, we're hitting that together as a university and now they can actually play in sandboxes they never used to be able to play. Yeah, I think that's a really good point. I think that the idea of having that Um, that model of Stewardship at the University of Illinois makes it a lot of sense. And I'm going to get a little bit off script here for a second because I know I've got a lot of people listening that who are like, okay, this is great. I get what he's saying. With a thousand dollars a month, because that's my budget and I don't have Matt and his team at my school. What do I do? Yeah, you know, it's funny because even though there's a mad at you, I get that question every day. Right, it's actually the question is even more generic than that. Says, I don't even know what I should ask for or what kind of budget is necessary. And that's where you have to subjectively look at what are your goals and objectives of that particular campaign, right, and when you can look at those specific goals and objectives, then you can go back and say, all right, maybe this is a recommended tactic for you. And if that's the recommended tactic and here's how long that flight. That how long you want that advertising to go out there, you're looking at three months. You're looking at one tactic. We think we're only trying to do this. Well, then you only need x, Y Z as far as your budget goes right and and I think people get scared because they always think it takes a lot. And that's the beauty of where we are in this new modern world of digital advertising. Right. Sure, you can spend money on Outa home billboards, absolutely, and you could pay sixty dollars for a billboard on the inbound Eisenhower in Chicago. But you could also take five dollars and do a GEO targeted campaign with Google search with specific keywords for your individuals, small molecular biology program that contextually brings in words like biology and science and layers on top of those keywords to where your five dollars could produce for you countless prospects into your what I call the farm system that you can then subjectively move up and get to the big leagues. And that is applying to your school. So, like it doesn't have to be throwing darks or committing dollars to particular large scale tactics and hoping and praying that they work right. You can come out with this plan and you can say I want to try this and if you see that that's not working right, you simply turn off that Faucet, transfer and optimize it and turn on a different faucet and see how it's performing there in real time. Right. That's what's the beauty of this thing. I think people get so caught up and oh my gosh, I don't have that kind of money or I don't even know what I'm doing, but there's people out there, whether you have someone internally like myself, or you have an agency that you work with,...

...there's people there to help you do you just need to find that strategic partner that's going to listen and hear what you are looking to do and that you can trust that they will come back to you and say this is what we think you should do. You've got to trust us and if you have that trust, it's going to work. Yeah, and I really like what you said. They're just a moment ago and I want to point it out for our audience. It's getting those leads into a farm system. It's nurturing them outside of the acquisition because I think that too many times people making it make Um mistakes in the sense that they think I'm gonna run this Google ad campaign and I'm gonna get you know, I'm gonna fill my funnel with applications by doing that, and that's not going to happen. Bar. You literally hit the nail on the head. That's the biggest mistake that people make. Right. We are not selling by one, get one free big mack point of sale coupons. Right. We are a long incubation process. I tell people from the get go, if you think you're going to use paid advertising, someone is gonna look at your ad and make a life altering life decision change by seeing an ad and doing it immediately. It's not gonna happen. Right. Our job with any advertising campaign we do is to simply create curiosity. Right, click through, come to our specifically designed landing page where we are wanting to data capture immediately, right to get raise your hands, say you want more information, and from there it becomes a subjective, long scale journey where we are your guide and you are the hero. Right, we will showcase to you individually, not in an ad, not in a television fift second, not in a streaming radio placement on spotify. It's going to be that journey once you make it. And so many people get caught up in the first part of that. Right. What should my ad look like? Um, are we going to the right target? Is Right, ladering on it. That's part of it, but it's also what happens. We'll get them there, we'll get them to absolutely check it out. Not Worried about that. But what happens afterwards? Are you following up with them in three weeks after they raised their hand that that's not gonna work. I don't remember what I did three hours ago. On three weeks. There's a huge journey. That happens afterwards. Yeah, I think that's so, so critically important, because I think whether it's an whether it's an ad on Google or you know, spotify, like you said, or even you know, hey, we're cool because we're gonna do stuff on Tiktok. If we're really trying to build that relationship, that's what that's what the goal of paid media is, is to start a relationship. And I see too many times the called actions of apply now or you know, or even on your own website, you know, it's like big bold apply now. It's like you have to woo the relationship. You cannot just it's like you know, and it's like asking someone to marry you on your first date. We have to build that relationship and build that trust. You're totally right, and I'll add to that too, because at your campus, is right now, of all the people that are listening to this, you have advancement professionals, right, and they are going out and trying to find qualified prospects, right, and then they're soliciting those prospects and they're cultivating those prospects and then eventually they begin to steward those prospects. That's the journey of all of your customers, not just an advancement whether it be someone that is looking to have an undergraduate degree or someone that is literally a tax professional that needs to do a certificate program to keep their C P A status. There is a journey that they have to go on to make that happen. And so with your ads, you do you have to solicit, but then you have to cultivate, you have to build...

...it up to where they're ready to make that life altering decision. Yeah, if I proposed to my wife, I think I tried to propose my wife actually the first thing. I don't think even four hours still together, to be honest with yeah, and I think that, Um, I think that's interesting and I guess I wanted to kind of, you know, tease out a few things too with you, because I think that there's there's a lot of different ways and different schools at different sizes are doing things differently with with paid um and even with s e o, I think too. Agree. I'm curious too, at a big school like you have, I there's got to be a danger if if everybody goes rogue, then you're kind of cannibalizing each other, aren't you were, we're we're best friends here, because you are literally getting you should you should be be beat right literally I'm telling you right now, that was the number one thing when I started in this role and we started to put together this tool in the toolbox and anyone on campus could use ars to help them with their advertising campaigns. As people began to ask questions, one they were scared that I was going to take their wonderful ideas and like pass them onto somebody else, even though we're all in the same family. But the other was they didn't understand exactly what you just said, and that is, if you're running things independently and you're doing it on your own, maybe you have some expertise to get into these particular paid media environments, but when you start to look further, you might have been bidding against someone across campus for the exact same keywords. You're cannibalizing each other. Nobody wins that way. And you want to talk about inefficiencies of spend right. So it was creating this model that allows people to say, Hey, look who's out there, look what they're doing, but also making sure we're not competing against each other. And that's the worst thing in the whole wide world, because then the entire University of annoyer, Bandi, champagne loses right then that is absolutely never the goal of any campaign. It's for us all to win, in particular hitting your strategic objectives. So you have to be upfront, you have to showcase Um what your objectives and tactics are, because we don't want to cannibalize. It could it could apple and destroy any campaign and it happens all the time, and so one of the things about looking at all of these different campaigns at the same time as we can make sure we do that right. And certainly there are certain areas of crossover that do occur, but there's so much into day's layering and targeting perspectives that, no matter what the programs are or what campus might perceive them to be in quote unquote competition for the same master students, they're really not, because when you start to put those two separate and you start to learn from the individual that's applying, that's what will breed them down the right path. It won't again, it's not that ad it's where are they interacting with it? What are they asking questions on? It's very subjective in the cultivation process. That's great and I want to just kind of I'm trying to pull out something, because we're talking about a lot of things and it's it's just a great conversation. I mean one we've talked about the idea of if you've got multiple people on campus, be sure you're not cannibalizing each other and out outbidding each other. I mean, the only winner in that's Google, the owner winner, and that's Meta. I mean it's they're good, they don't care. You know, you can bid to your blue in the face on that. But the second thing, and you kind of touched on it earlier, but I want to make sure that everybody understands this, is that you know, we're we're doing things to to build relationships and part of the way that we're going to build a relationship is to take them to a place that that conversation can start. And you talked about a landing page. I one of my pet peeves and one of the things that just makes my head want to explode. When I asked somebody to tell me about your your your your paid campaign, I'm like, where do you send people when they click on this this apply now button? I always send them to the front page of the website. I...

...mean, I talk about that. Oh my gosh. So you know, how long do we have? Um The landing page. Again, you have to think from the consumer's journey standpoint. Okay, here they are, we've gotten them excited enough to learn more, right, but we've got to make sure we continue that journey not only at our pace of what our new marketing funnel is going to be, now that we've gotten somebody to raise our hands, but on their terms too. Right. And so the landing page, you got to make sure that when you get there, yes, it's gonna be giving some very pertinent information about what the program is, but it's not going to have thousands of words and it's not going to have all these pictures that are moving in motion and causing you to scroll through pages and pages of content. They will abandon ship. We are in head down. I don't have time for anybody generation. And so when they get there, it's short, it's concise, it's a quick boom, a dark thrown right at them. And the critical component, and this is the one that so many people forget in the landing pages, a very simple and fast way to enter in an email and say I want to learn more. Here's my email. Click, not seven questions what's your name, with your address, but because the more questions you ask, the more opportunities for abandonment you present to them. You can find out what program they're interested in later, you can find out where they live later, you can figure out what semester they're looking to apply for it later, because the more barriers of venture you're gonna have for them, forget it. It's got to be front and center, it's got to be right there. It's gotta be easy, is submit and boom, if you have a back end crm that it goes into. We use slate for a lot of our things or black book for our advancement efforts. There then needs to be that quick follow up with that individual to say we're really excited. Thanks for reaching out. We want to learn more and, to be honest with your Bart, if you want to be totally frank here, privacy laws are change in any ways right. So now is the time all of us across this country and Higher Ed should be having as little barrier ventry as possible to get people to raise their hands, because we're gonna need that First Party data because we're not going to be able to target and place ads to them like we have in the past or currently can. It changes by the second and so now is the time to start gathering that first party data so we can then have our own audience versus relying on third parties to provide one for us. Yeah, two things on that. We talked with J there a couple of weeks ago about this whole idea of first party data. So if you haven't listened to that episode, go back and listen to that. Second thing I think what Matt Just said about landing page R F I S, you know, request for information forms, that is applicable on every R F I on your website. I hear too many people say, well, you know, we we need to ask you know what you're they're graduating. We need to know this and our crm requests requires this. No, they don't. I mean figure out a way around it, because you are you're putting up friction for your prospective students and anytime there's a little bit of friction they're gonna Abandon Matt's point of where a heads down generation, I don't care what generation it is. We are now trained that we don't put up with a lot of the long term things that we used to we have to make sure that we're on the on the students term and not on our term, and so I think that's a that's a that's a brilliant way to put it, Matt. Thank you. We talk a lot about it on this show. Schools are really struggling today to make the same at spend work. CPMS...

...are up eight nine year over year on facebook and instagram. Our College clients are no longer looking for rented audiences. They're looking for an owned community where they can engage students even before they apply. This is why Zemi has become so crucial for our clients. With over one million students, close to ten thousand five star ratings, consistently ranked as one of the top social lapps and recently one of Apple's hot APPs of the week. There simply isn't anything out there like it, and we have seen it all. Zem Me not only provides the best space for student engagement, but the most unique and actional data for their one sixty college and university partners. We know firsthand from our clients that Ze me is a must have strategy for Gen Z. Check them out now at colleges dot Zem dot com. That's colleges dot Z E, m e dot Com and yes, tell them Barton Troy sent you. Matt. In speaking to you it's very evident that you believe in doing things differently when you can, and I think in our pre conversation you mentioned one of your pet peeves and one of your turn offs is when someone approaches you and they say school x doesn't like this or we've done this for school. Why could you expand for our audience? You are a philosophy around that. Oh, it tracts me nuts, it drives me. Now, look, not everyone is a great salesperson. Right, fine, but the number one turn off for me is when I'm talking to somebody like Oh, such and such does this, you should do it too. Well, how in the world is that going to cut through the head down generation we just talked about? Right, that's not unique, that's not different at all, and so we want to challenge people. If we're going to spend our money, we're gonna always do it effectively, inefficiency. We've talked about that already. But we're gonna be unique and different, because that's what's going to get people to have recall, and that's the one that I'm gonna remember what we did. And so I literally the first question I will ask people when they're talking to me about here's why you should do something with us, I will say, I want to learn more about you, but I'm going to challenge you to come up with something different. Are you okay with that? Because if you're not, if you're in a system that is not going to allow us to be creative, that okay. We've got to buy that billboard and that's the only thing we're gonna have to do. I want to know that ahead of time because I don't want to waste your time and I don't want to waste mine. And so what we will do is we will challenge them with that question. If they're open to it, and most of them are, because certainly they want to keep that conversation going, then we will actually follow up with that. And A and a great example of that. Quite honestly, the best ideas are when you don't follow the Path and you break off and come up with something unique and different. Great example is we launched and clear channel airports. We've been talking to them for years. They come in and they say, Matt, we think you should advertise it o'hare, why don't you come out and take a walk around? Oh here, let me show you all that inventor we have. Now, I've been there hard times, right, I know the inventory. But sure, we're gonna show up, but I'm gonna tell you, we're gonna walk that airport and I'm gonna Challenge you. Are you okay with that? And she said yeah, absolutely, we're all right with that. Let's do it. So we walk the airport and they're showing us all these wonderful signs above the escalators or walking down the tunnel to your aircraft. All fine, I said, let me ask you a question. We are the university that founded the led. What if we put a six FT statue landmark, bolted to the ground at terminal three, which happens to be all the connecting flights that come into Chicago that then go to champagne? So you're more it's energy. What if we put a six FT statue...

...bolted to the ground right here? And they said maybe. Really, I got thrown out about different ideas. This one. Let's talk more on that. And that's exactly what happened, right, and it's so funny because we're recording this today. A week ago we put out a post. Now, this thing has been up for two years now. Granted, we've had some covid circumstances in there, right, but that doesn't now. If the world's getting back, everyone's going back to airports. And we put out one social media post and said Hey, if you've ever been around this thing, set in your photos right on linked in, linked in of all mediums. We have forty two hundred likes and a hundred and fifty shares within forty eight hours of people just excited. We haven't even been there yet to see it right like, oh my gosh, I can't wait to go, this is amazing. And all these people passing through the or that's the whole point of these programs, right. It's moving that level of engagement from A to B. You can't tell me that those people are more excited about the University of Illinois and think about when to develop an officer has that coffee in that conversation or even that zoom call still with that individual and they say hey, you know what, I was in a here. I got a picture with that. I'm so excited for you guys to do that. You don't think that's moving them closer to making a gift back to the university. Right. The same thing is we always are thinking about these different, unique, innovative things that can cut through clutter but also distinguish us. You know, I used to call it winning the water cooler, but a little bit Um. But you know, we can. We always talk about athletics. You know, you can never control the action between the lines, right, you know, so try to influence things outside the lines. Right, and that goes back to my cup days before being here, right, we could never figure out they're gonna want to lose. Let's like make the experience great, right. So, with live aation, we sat down and said, okay, look, we've got a lot of people that are going to your concerts. We we are you index great, you're showing us all this wonderful data. What if before the gates opened the public, five minutes before they opened in the public, what if anybody that was a university of the Ono, a alumnus that was going to the concert that day and had lawn seats could get into the concert and get their lawn spot before everybody else? You've already got the security there, you've already got the people working the gates. We're not asking you to put out more expenses. What do you think of that? And they said, we love that idea, let's do it, and we did right again. You want to talk about the engagement from A to B. Right, I got my lawn spot before anybody else like and you know that they went back to work or have gone their next zoom and told everyone under the sun that they had the opportunity to do that because they were in aligning right. That's the kind of cut through the clutter stuff. You're never gonna get that. When someone's like this, whatever your other college does, well, then forget it. I don't want to hear it. Literally annoys the heck out and I want to just make a point to matt that I think that a lot what a lot of what you're saying I would kind of consider top shelf. But I think things can come down. I mean, you guys have relationships with clear channel, you know, with with with live nation, those types of things. But I think, and I'm trying to encourage my small schools that are listening right now, and I know some of you are rolling your eyes and say, boy, wouldn't it great, be great if I was like that. You are you can do that. I mean, take what he's doing in O'hare and take it down to your local shopping center. Take what he's doing at, you know, at live nation, and take it down to the concert at your local church that you're affiliated with. There are ways to do it. You just have to think outside the box, and I think that's the bigger thing that we're talking about here, is how can you think about things differently? And and let me add to that, Bart, because you're right, because again they might hear that and go all that had to be expensive, that had to cost them a lot. Well, there's other ways to organically create that momentum and excitement right Um,...

...it cost us a thousand bucks. Thousand Bucks. A few years ago we got one of those boats that gives architectural boat tours down the city of Chicago on the Chicago River, and, by the way, if you've never done it, you absolutely have to. It's really fascinating the history of the architecture in Chicago and all the different bridges. I digress, but we gave him a thousand dollars that we want to buy that boat for an hour and we put our marching on line, on a marching band on that boat. We sent out a map ahead of time to all of the folks that lived in Chicago and we're working downtown and said on this day, come see the band perform on the river. And we just floaded down like a little symphony playing down the river and people were lined up on the bridges, on the sidewalks and the parks and everybody had their phones up and everybody then was posting it out and showing it to everybody. It costs us a thousand dollars. Right, it doesn't have to be a million. It just has to be something that's going to be UNIQU can different. End. By the way, you know who covered it, right? All the local media. Yeah, exactly, out there, because it's different, it's unique. That's great. Love that. Love that so much. Well, let's talk a little bit about where we're going with trends in high red marketing. I mean, there's a lot of a lot of things we've talked about here today. We've talked about a lot of digital marketing. Um, you know, I my wife and I kind of have a have a ritual every evening that we, you know, watch a show with our kids, usually usually on Disney or something, and then we watch Hulu and we've got this, you know, this new murder mystery that we've been we're excited because there's like twenty episodes of it, twenty seasons of it, so we're set for a good long time. But I noticed on Hulu they're doing a lot of, you know, interesting things. As far as you know the streaming ads, and I I've talked about it before, that I know that they know the big data of of my household. A lot of those ads are aimed at me because of who I am, because of where I live. I I see that. But there's some trends that I'm starting to see with, you know, choose your own ad. Now I know American Express gives me like three options that I can choose which ad and and we have a favorite that we always watch because or the new, the new electric Chevy has a one where the woman is pregnant and we think that one's funny. So we choose that one. And so what kind of trends are coming, especially when we look at digital Um as and in Higher Ed talk a little bit about that. So connected TV is a spectacular I'M gonna get up on the soapbox here. Perfect connected TV is spectacular, right. So it allows you to hit the people that you want to hit right. So you're looking for a certain individual that has interests and x, Y Z and a certain market, you can do that right, and so, in theory you can then place that ad in front of the particular audience that you care of. And so with connected TV there's always two things, though, that you have to ask yourself. The first is, what type of Ad Am I going to have? Right, and you've talked about it. They are evolving at a rapid pace. I mean traditional television was for sixty years before they had anything besides the thirty second TV spot, right, Um, and so they're adapting with all different types of wonderful types of ads that allow you to then a B test within the ad itself. Which one, which had, did they choose to watch? Right tell. That's revolutionary for TV. But it's also the second point is where is that ad running? And this is a dangerous, dangerous thing that many in the entire private or public or higher ad spear are not necessarily aware of, and that is when you put your ad out, is an in premium inventory and most of the times when those ads are put out or with the layering?...

Are Ninety nine out of a hundred of your ads running on Pluto television? I don't have anything against Pluto, but are they all going there? On the Beverly Hills Channel at two am, are any of your ads showing up on that? This is US finale in premium content or on sports or in news like. Learning and understanding specifically where those ads are going is vital because, just like the old traditional television where it's like I want to be in the super bowl because you know everybody's watching it, right, you got to think of all of your ads is how many Super Bowl ads am I getting to my particular audience? And this is dangerous, and this is a question whether you use an agency or you don't. If you are the client, you need to be asking them this all the time. How many of those ads are showcasing on the platforms that I have value you in the Hulus of the world, the sling TVs of the world, right, the discovery networks, the new Disney plus adversion that's coming soon. Right, how many are there? Because if you get that answer back that's one percent. You might hear. Oh well, Hey, no, don't worry, still getting your audience. But what kind of content do you want to marry yourself right, and that is a critical, critical so, while it's a developing trend of going into connect TV, as it should be, you need to ask yourself, and a great question that anyone that's using an agency can ask, and this is a terrifying statement for an agency to hear. Okay, this will scare the living but Jesus out of them, you need to say to them, on whatever particular tactic that you happen to be in this case, let's stay connected television. You need to ask them. I would love to see your optimization long because their job, and what my job, and grace land, who works with me on our side, is this. Look at that four seven, just because the ads out there. Is it in the right location? Is it being interacted with the way we want to? That is all on the optimization side. Asked see their optimization log because that will show you how much they're paying attention to your strategic goals and objectives. It's vitally important and just out of curiosity because I know a lot of people this, this connected TV, is new to them and they don't quite understand that they could actually reach that shelf. Talk about that a little bit. I mean I've I've heard things that say, you know what, depending on your budget, there's a way that you can kind of get to that in a very affordable way, because you're not doing super bowl ads. You're not spending millions and millions on Super Bowl ads, because of the targeting that you can do. Is it the same type of, you know, paper Click model where you know you're only paying for the ones that get served up, or how does it work? Yeah, it is. You know, they've got to view it right and and everyone's different. Again, it's a great question to ask. Hey, if they abandoned ship through this am I gonna pay for that impression. But to your point, though, and this is a good thing for, again, the people that have big budgets, you can cast a wider net into connected television. It's obviously a much more expensive space, right. TV is always gonna video is always gonna cost more than than audio and audio is always gonna cost more than display, right. But for those with smaller budgets it is a sandbox you can play in. But this is where that targeting comes into play right, and this is where that, before you ever launch a campaign in the first place, let's find out and do some market research. You could do it internally, of who the persona of people are that you're going after, because we only want to target those people. A lot of times people get caught up in all right, I'm gonna go into connect the TV, I'm gonna Track and I'm gonna sure it's gonna...

...be awesome. It's so much better than traditional. But then they cast too wide of a net and while you might catch some of those fish in the net, a lot of the fish you caught we're junk. We're really not ready. So you need to be in that targeted group of people, and I'll tell you in great place to spend a tiny bit amount of money and get wonderful premium content. Use that First Party data we talked about. Only go to those people that have raised their hand. Maybe you can't afford to go to the millions upon millions of the Super Bowl quality right, but take all those people that you've gotten raise your hand. You can place hands to just then and you can do it for pennies, just for their exactly. I mean that's the ideas that we can upload a list of addresses that you have in your you know, let's let's just use a traditional Undergrad, you know, small liberal arts school. You've got five thousand names in your in your pipeline, people that have, you know, inquired and they haven't filled out their APP yet. You could upload that list and target that that household, not only with retargeting with, you know, facebook, Meta those types of things Google, but you can also do that with connected TV. You sure can it. And it gets even more crazy. Part you can take that list right, start on connected TV, but then what's called a cross device match, right, so you know their household. Now you've grabbed on that connected TV connects to that Wifi router in their house. You now have grabbed all of their cell phones, you've grabbed their tablets, you've grabbed other connected televisions and now when they're on their phone, they get a display, digital display. Yet you do right. So it can all work together and you can do that and it's not millions of dollars, ninety thousands of dollars. You can do that for a very low amount of money. And this is where it comes into play with and why we do what we do internally here is right, because so many people don't have tons of dollars that we can't afford to siphon off dollars to third parties and then vendors and agencies. We really have to put all of those dollars to work if we want to do some of these times. That's awesome. Thank you, Matt. That's great, Matt. I feel greedy asking this question, but it is a question that we end our episodes with for all of our guests. If there is one additional thought or idea that you could offer that could be implemented by marketers immediately or soon after listening to this episode, what would that thought or idea be? I'll tell you what I think. It's the most under utilized tool that we all have in our toolbox. I think if you ask every higher ED institution this country, there the person will tell you. You know, and I know some people that do that really well and I don't know that don't do it at all. We will all agree on this, and that is seo, search engine optimization. If you can get this right and organically show up when people are looking for you, I can save you a lot of money. Can't right. If you can get S C o right, right, just have one individual that's handling and helping everybody, or if you have a decentralized in university, find that person that's really good and have them do an internal webinar about S C O and how to make it good. If you can get that under control. That you want to talk about efficiencies, there is nothing better price wise than organic. It's number one. It's number one, and so get S EO under control, solve that first, because if you can get organic, great, you're already halfway there. That's great. That's great advice. And, Matt, I'm going to add to that because I think one of the key elements that I've found, just even in my own business, writing content on a regular basis that answers the questions people have about whatever your service or product or offering is, is one of the best ways to rank higher on CEO. I mean, you can...

...play all day long with the levers on the back end of everything, but it comes down to if you have the content that Google Dee's worthy, content is king, content will always be king, and content gets stale. This is important to understand and if, if you're looking at it yourself or you have an agency that's optimizing for you. They should be watching your content. We can see when the ad is just art. I've seen this thing. We've all been there. I've seen this at a thousand times. I don't want to see it again, and that very actually annoys you. Right, you actually have a less love for the brand when you see that. Add too much right, follow the math. Follow when you see engagement going down. With creative and create more content. Stay on top of it, because again, you might have the best s C e o set up, you might have the world's greatest placement of ads. Heck, you might even have the best landing page and marketing funnel system that's ever been created in the history of Higher Ed, but you've got content that is stale and old. None of it matters. Content is king and will always be king. Awesome. Thank you, Matt. Matt, for those of our listeners that you've just won over, that you've gained fans, for those that would like to reach out and contact you for any reason, what would be the best way for them to do so? Yeah, absolutely, I I gotta be honest with one of the things I love the most about higher Ed is there is this opportunity to dialogue and learn from each other and use case study analysis. It's one of the things I love the most about Higher Ed period and your podcast for that matter. Right is that contact me via email first and foremost, probably the quickest way, but after that let's set up a time to chat. I will gladly talk to you. I want to learn from you. I want to learn what's I want to do a Swat analysis out of our school. What have you seen that's worked, what hasn't worked? Where is your biggest optic because there's probably some synergies there and a lot of times we might not even be playing in the same same sandbox. So let's help each other. So reach out on my email and wazzle look at Illinois. Ad To you. We'll set up a time and talk after that. Um, I love doing this stuff. have me back anytime. We certainly will. Thank you, Matt Bart. Do you have any final thought do you would like to share? Yeah, we've covered a lot on this episode and uh, and, and I think that you know, if you've been inspired by it, go back and listen to some of the elements again. I think that a lot of what Matt's talked about is just some of the basics of blocking and tackling. When it comes down to the paid media. Um, I think that it's a in many ways it's a shiny object that we all think that, oh, I can just put my credit card into, into, you know, my my facebook account and start, you know, getting leads. Um, yes and no. And I think that Matt's brought a lot of really good things to bear on that conversation. Shoon, and I think that there's there's certainly some some tactics, but I think the number one thing I want everybody to walk away with is that it is a door into a relationship and at the end of the day, higher education is a long term play, it's a long decision and this needs to be Um. Every tactic that we do is to build the relationship. And too, and I really liked Matt's thing about the you know, the the classic Um, you know, a story brand type of thing, where we are guides on the journey of the hero of the whether it's a prospective student, whether it's a parent of a prospective student, or whether it's a donor. We are the guide, they're the hero. Let's make sure that we do that and build the relationship correctly and when it comes time they will convert. But don't expect your paid media or anything that you do today too, you know, all of a sudden flood the inbox with all these new applicants who are ready to matriculate and graduate. It takes work and it takes effort and it takes time and it takes a process and I think that Matt's done a great job of...

...helping us understand that. Thank you, Bart. The hired Marketer podcast is brought to you by Kaylor solutions and education, marketing and branding agency and by Think, patented, a Marketing Execution Company combining print and digital assets for deeper engagement. On behalf of Bart Kaylor. I'm troy singer. Thank you for joining us. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple podcasts. We'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of stars do you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,.

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