For higher education advertisers, there’s no better way to reach an engaged high school- and college-aged audience than on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. According to eMarketer, 85% of 13-24 year-olds choose to watch video on YouTube, far ahead of cable or satellite TV, while 53% watch video on Facebook, and 37% watch on Instagram. With the proliferation of smartphones, these video platforms are always within reach; advertising on them enables colleges and universities to reach their target demographic directly to influence their higher ed decisions.
Social video offers higher education advertisers more opportunities to engage with prospective students than traditional advertising: viewers have the option to explore related videos, click through to learn more, or sign up to receive information over email. These platforms also give advertisers more flexibility to tell their story, with ad formats and lengths that exceed the traditional 30 second TV spot. Pixability’s data shows that 10% of YouTube content published by the top 100 brands1 is greater than ten minutes in length, and that, on average, longer-form content generates higher engagement rates than 30 second videos on YouTube. With more sophisticated — and measurable — targeting and audience segmentation, social video advertising ensures that marketers are reaching the right audience with precision.
But executing a cross-platform campaign can be complicated, as different ad formats, view definitions, and metrics make campaign management difficult. In order to reach prospective students, higher ed advertisers need specialized technology and data-driven insights. By partnering with Pixability, several higher ed advertisers have been able to make a measurable impact among their target demographic:

  • To get the word out about its many graduate and undergraduate programs, a leading midwestern university needed a technology partner to help execute a complex ad campaign across YouTube and Facebook. Pixability segmented the university’s audience by 8 undergraduate and graduate programs, and targeted these prospective students based on location, education, and interest data. As a result, Pixability exceeded the campaign’s benchmarks for view-to-completion rate by 25% on YouTube and 33% on Facebook.
  • Pixability’s YouTube campaign for a private liberal arts college successfully connected with the college’s target audience: prospective students, and parents of prospective students. Pixability optimized the campaign to capitalize on seasonality, shifting more budget to late December and early January as high school students finished their college applications, and as a result, achieved a 29% higher click-through rate than the campaign’s benchmarks.
  • To reach medical and premedical students, a government program partnered with Pixability to execute a highly-targeted ad campaign on YouTube. With a goal of raising awareness and driving viewers to the program’s landing page, Pixability’s curated placements and deep targeting resulted in view-to-completion and click-through rates that surpassed campaign benchmarks by 78% and 20%, respectively.

The most effective way for higher education advertisers to reach their target audience is by following the eyeballs. For prospective students, that means social video advertising.
Learn more about advertising on and across walled gardens with our Walled Garden Strategy Guide.

1. According to Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands report.?