For higher education marketers, continually reaching and engaging on-the-go student audiences is a must. Luckily, with the majority of your students and potential students accessing multiple devices several times per day, there are plenty of opportunities to reach them. In 2015, Time reported that 18-24 year olds were checking their phone roughly 74 times a day. These moments when potential students are accessing digital media are all opportunities for you to increase applications, information requests, and RSVPs. One highly targeted and measurable way to accomplish this is with geographically-targeted campaigns, commonly referred to as “geotargeting.”
What is Geotargeting?
Geotargeting is the process by which your online audience is targeted to be served specific ads depending on their geographic location. This can be determined by IP address, country, city, state, region, or even exact location using GPS.
When Would I Use Geotargeting?
The goal of geotargeting is to ensure that specific ad messages can be delivered to very specific audience members at a particular location, at a certain point in time. The applications for digital marketers and advertisers are immense – consider the many different geographic areas, regions, businesses, and other places your prospective students like to visit or where they might be with their families or friends on the weekends.
Geotargeting and Geofencing: What’s the Difference?
One very specific type of geotargeting is called geofencing. Geofencing is a little different than just general geotargeting, because it relies on a location-aware device (normally a smartphone) that uses a GPS. With mobile use climbing steadily, there are an increasing number of applications for the use of location-based targeting.
Geofencing allows you to target an audience within a very specific radius of other physical locations. Depending on audience size and budget, higher education marketers can use geofencing to target areas where students and potential students congregate. For example, to advertise for a campus info night, you might try geofencing campaigns in places where potential students spend their free time, like shopping malls, sporting events, or other relevant areas near campus. If you are trying to increase visibility and get student conversions from a specific city or region, you can use broader geotargeting to target a larger geographic area. In short, geofencing is normally used for a very specifically-targeted geographic area, radius, or “pinpoint,” while geotargeting can cover a much larger area.
As with any digital marketing initiative, however, it’s very important to consider whether your target audience is large enough within your given geographic radius, as well as whether you have the proper budget to support it.
Rachel Sadacca is a Marketing Specialist at Mogo Interactive. Mogo is a leader in digital advertising, programmatic media buying, and real-time-bidding (RTB). As a partner to higher education institutions nationwide, Mogo combines advanced technology and customized campaign tactics to drive the success of higher education marketing programs.