What is data-inspired creativity?: Creative teams (aka “creatives”) have historically “butted heads” with data analytics teams. If you work in marketing, you know that both creativity and data are critical to a successful marketing strategy. Now more than ever, these two teams need to work together. How does this happen? In simple terms, data helps prove the case for creatives. “Too many wonderful ideas have died in the bottom drawer of creative agencies all because there wasn’t enough ‘evidence’ to support a bold creative approach,” says Kimberlee Wells, CEO of TBWA. In other words, data helps validate the strategic direction of creative teams. Data allows creatives to explore new areas, markets, audiences, and ideas that would never make it to the executive table without data-backing.
Why you should care: Attracting students requires both creative and data-backed strategy, but the two shouldn’t be considered mutually exclusive. For example, a strong digital advertising strategy should be built with engaging designs that are informed by data about a program’s particular target audience. Use data on your target market to empower your creative team to tell more engaging and targeted stories. Additionally, data can validate or disprove nuances in your prospective students’ demographics or interests. Those nuances (proven or disproven by data) can help your creative team write a killer email subject line, design a must-read eBook, or write a social media post that prospects will truly relate to.
what headlines and speed dating have in common: Headlines are the deal breaker of any content. Even the best content will go unnoticed if the headline that precedes it is boring or dull. Think of speed dating as a metaphor for your content’s headline. You get 10 seconds to make an impression on the date sitting across from you at the table before moving on. Within those 10 seconds, you hope you’ve given that person a reason to talk to you at the end of the night. “Headlines can make a dramatic impact on click-through rates and overall impressions of the article,” says HubSpot. “On average, only 20% of those who read your headline will click through to read your article.” That means even the best-of-the-best headlines see 80% of visitors drop off after reading. Your headline is the first impression of your article. Make it count and give your audience a reason to keep reading.
Why you should care: Although creating new content is key to keeping student prospects engaged and educated on your programs, events, and offerings, even the best piece of content will get lost in the depths of the internet if the headline is weak or uninteresting. When writing headlines, ensure you keep these 2 things in mind:
- The headline must appeal to your target audience
- The headline must promise to provide value to your target audience
Don’t forget to A/B test headlines and subject lines. After testing, look at data trends for those headlines that outperform and those that underperform. Ask yourself why. Does the headline appeal to higher education students and does the headline promise to provide value to them? Use these tips to avoid digital “speed dating” with prospective students.
Knock, knock. students are on tiktok: TikTok is a relatively new social media platform used for making and sharing short-form videos which are displayed to users on a vertical feed. Around two-thirds of TikTok’s 500 million users (100 million active users in the United States) are under 30 years old. What makes this new platform so popular? First, its user base is extremely diverse. Within the app, anyone can create customized videos. Viral videos are then copied, mimicked, and re-created by other TikTok users. Recently, the platform started allowing video advertising and brands are slowly adopting this as a viable advertising channel. For organizations considering advertising on TikTok, here’s some advice. Staying true to your brand while creating video content that conforms to a trend or content subset on TikTok could lead to promising results. Being too “sales-y” and not understanding the latest trends on TikTok can lead to brand embarrassment and negative publicity.
Why you should care: The age demographic of users on TikTok is enticing for higher ed admissions teams (remember, 2/3rds of users are under 30 years old). If you decide to use TikTok as a new social media platform, keep in mind that new platforms are volatile; some rise quickly and die fast. Others follow a slow road to stardom. For enrollment marketers contemplating TikTok, consider following the formula other brands/organizations have used to be successful on the platform. Research and find a subset of content already popular on the app and create on-brand videos that mimic that video content. Provide relevant content based on trends within the app while staying true to your graduate programs’ brand and voice.